Knoxville Garage Door Blog

Is an Insulated Garage Door a Good Investment?

Insulation is an essential part of controlling the temperature and atmosphere inside a space. Most garages are not insulated or are not insulated well. They get sweltering hot in the summer and freezing cold in the winter. This is because garages are typically designed with minimal insulation both in the exterior walls and the garage door itself. If you want to make your garage a more comfortable place for your workshop or laundry machines, anyone can put up a few layers of insulation along the outer walls of their garage, but your garage door may still let all the heat and cold of the outside weather into your space.

Investing in an insulated garage door is a great idea if you like to spend time in your garage, especially during the hottest days of summer and the coldest days of winter. With an insulated garage, you will be able to enjoy your garage without baking and freezing every year. But what exactly goes into buying an insulated garage door? At Doorvana, we have all the details.

Insulated Garage Door Design

An insulated garage door is not just a door with a layer of foam backing. Insulated garage doors have insulation built into the design, often sandwiched between durable outer layers to ensure that the insulated quality is maintained as long as the door itself lasts - quite possibly decades after installation. In addition, high-end insulated garage doors are also designed to seal at the joints so that the heat/cold/wind cannot penetrate your garage through the seams between garage door panels.

How to tell if your garage door is insulated

There are several ways to tell if your garage door is insulated.

  1. Check the temperature inside and outside your closed garage
    • Keep your garage closed for several hours. Then see if your garage matches the temperature outside or if it changes temperature more slowly. Even unheated/uncooled garages will be more comfortable when insulated.
  2. See if the inner panel is exactly like the outer panel
    • Look at your garage door from the outside, then walk into your garage and close the door. If you are seeing the back side of the outer panel, it is not insulated. If you see a matching or finished interior panel, it is insulated.
  3. Test the temperature of your garage door
    • Use an infrared thermometer, if you have one, to take the temperature of your garage door. Record the temperature inside and outside the door. If the outer panels and inner panels are a different temperature, it is insulated.
  4. Look up your garage door specs
    • If your garage door is recent or you found the serial number, you can look up the specs and find out if it is insulated.

Types of Garage Door Insulation

Garage doors are insulated using a layer of manufactured foam between the inner and outer door panels. Two types of insulation layers are often used in garage doors: Polystyrene and Polyurethane. Which insulated garage door you should buy will depend on your price range and level of need for insulation.

Polystyrene insulation

Polystyrene is manufactured in rigid panels with the panels of your garage door sandwiched around it. Polystyrene is considered the entry-level for insulated garage doors, offering greater insulation and soundproofing than uninsulated doors, but leaves some gaps in the door's design uninsulated.

Polyurethane insulation

Polyurethane is installed using foam injection, filling every nook and cranny of your insulated garage door panels for a superior temperature seal. Polyurethane-insulated garage doors are recommended for regions with extremely hot summers or cold winters, with the added bonus of near-silent operation and soundproofing.

The Best Type of Insulated Garage Door

When considering the best type of insulated garage door, the clear winner is polyurethane insulation with between-panel seals. Polyurethane offers the greatest R-value (insulation rating) because of its foam-injected installation process. Polyurethane-insulated garage doors are not hollow anywhere, even in the fit-together shaped edges of each panel - unlike rigid polystyrene panels.

To get the best performance, also look for insulated garage doors with a joint-seal design that has a form of weatherstripping in between each panel to ensure a snug and insulated fit when closed.

Do You Need an Insulated Garage Door

Whether you should buy an insulated garage door strongly depends on how your home is currently designed. Because most garages are not well-sealed, the biggest decider is the difference an insulated garage door will make to current heat/cold transmission into your garage.

If your garage door faces south, chances are your garage turns into an oven in the summer. An insulated garage door can make a big difference by stopping heat instead of radiating heat directly into your garage. Uninsulted garages also tend to get very cold in the winter.

If you have a steel garage door, you will also benefit more profoundly by replacing it with an insulated garage door. This is because thin steel panels are not good insulators and will transfer both heat and cold more profoundly, and the panels may not fit together snugly. Insulation adds rigidity and R-value to a steel garage door design to slow/eliminate heat transfer in the summer and cold transfer in the winter.

Getting Ready for an Insulated Garage Door

Should you buy an insulated garage door? Is an insulated garage door worth the upgrade? Garage door professionals like our team at Overhead Door Knoxville can help you make the best decision for your home, the local climate, and your plans for using your garage in every season. Contact us today to learn more.