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.
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.
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.
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.
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!