Here at A Plus Garage Door, we’re big fans of insulated garage doors. Not only do they help keep Utah’s extreme weather at bay during the hottest and coldest months, but they offer many other benefits as well.

Insulation is a key part of comfort in any home, starting with the foundation, walls, roof, windows, and other components of a home. Insulation determines how resistant the structure is to thermal transfer and external noise, so it’s important that the garage door is not a weak point in that system.

How Insulated Garage Doors Are Made

Insulated garage door panels are made by several manufacturers, either using a pre-made foam panel or by injecting expandable foam insulation into a hollow panel.

Insulated Garage Door Provided by Amarr
Image courtesy of Amarr

For example, Amarr’s garage doors, as shown in the image above, are available with no insulation (left), polystyrene insulation with vinyl backing (center), or polyurethane insulation with steel backing (right).

Insulated Garage Door Cost

Insulated garage doors cost more than their non-insulated counterparts due to the additional materials and labor required to manufacture them. Depending on the make, model, and other specifics, the cost for an insulated garage door would be anywhere from 20 to 60% higher than a non-insulated one.

While that may seem like a steep markup, there are many benefits of having an insulated garage door installed on your home.

Benefits of Insulated Garage Doors

1. Improved Energy Efficiency (Thermal Insulation)

Insulated materials help reduce heat transfer between two different environments. In this case, the space inside and outside your garage. Here in Utah, we can see temperatures range from 3 degrees in the winter to 110 degrees in the summer. A garage door with a higher insulation value will help to keep out the heat and the cold better.

Garage door manufacturers include details about their products, including the R-value, which refers to the capacity of an insulating material to resist heat flow. The higher the R-value, the greater the insulating power and the more efficient the garage door is.

In addition to having an insulated garage door, we highly recommend using weather stripping (also referred to as perimeter seal) to bridge the gap between the door and the building frame. Since it can be difficult or impossible to have the garage door close snug right up against the frame, this flexible material will help keep extreme weather at bay.

2. Durability

Steel-backed garage doors (ones made with steel on the back as well as the front) are much more sturdy than ones made with steel only on the front of the door. Under normal operating conditions, a steel-backed door will last many years longer than other doors due to the added structural strength.

3. Lower Noise Levels (Acoustic Insulation)

Insulated garage doors can help reduce noise levels. While the door is standing still, the insulation acts as a sound barrier, blocking loud noises from outside. While in operation, doors without insulation will often sound more hollow and clangy.

4. Protection

Garage doors are known for being heavy and strong, but their construction also makes them susceptible to damage in extreme cases. There have been reported instances of homes being broken into from top panels being pushed in to access the lever pull with a hanger and opening the garage door.

Garage door broken into using the level pull
Photos courtesy of SFPD Taravel Station

A steel-backed garage door will not be completely impervious to such an attack, but will definitely put up more of a fight than an uninsulated panel. Combine this with removing the cord or using a commercial product or the DIY approach, and your home will be that much more secure.

Insulated Garage Doors Are a Wise Investment

While it can be viewed as an upsell, we’re all-in on insulated garage doors given the extreme weather we face here in Utah and the many benefits they provide. Most of the garage doors we install are insulated (check out our new garage door photo gallery), and we have found that the advantages almost always outweigh the costs.

Are you looking for an insulated garage door and live in one of our service areas? Contact us today for a free estimate!

Insulated Garage Doors FAQ

Insulated garage doors are usually a wise investment. Insulated garage doors can help mitigate the effects of extreme temperatures and are more structurally sound due to their construction. If you have a garage where the temperature, noise levels, and longevity of the door are not important, then a non-insulated door will be fine.

The benefits of an insulated door almost always outweigh the extra cost.

A garage door with insulation will cost about 20 to 60% more than a non-insulated garage door.

Insulated garage doors generally cost around 30 to 60% more than an uninsulated garage door, depending on the manufacturer and other factors.

Yes, this is a do-it-yourself type of project that can add some of the benefits of insulation with less cost when you already have an uninsulated garage door. However, you won’t be getting the structural improvements along with the other benefits that come along with it. Also, adding weight to your door means you should at least adjust the springs to bear the added weight or replace them altogether.

There is no easy answer here, as the net effect of an insulated garage door heavily depends on all the parts involved. Modern buildings are complex structures, and the thermal efficiency of the system depends on all individual parts, the garage door usually being the largest entry point.

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