Pros and Cons of Insulated Garage Door

An image showing an individual applying fiberglass insulation on garage walls

One of the most challenging decisions you will have to make when shopping for a garage door is whether to invest in an insulated or uninsulated garage door. Both insulated and uninsulated garage doors have their share of advantages and disadvantages that you must examine before making a purchase decision.

Even though most garage doors provide insulation options, choosing between the two will significantly impact your energy costs and comfort. Often, homeowners contemplate between insulated and non-insulated garages due to the different qualities, costs, energy consumption, and other associated benefits.

As a result, it is better to get informed about the pros and cons of insulating your garage door.

Let’s dive into the pros and cons of insulated garage door units compared to uninsulated counterparts.

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Pros and cons of insulated garage door 

Pros

1. Reduced Energy Costs

Adding a layer of insulation to your residential garage door can significantly reduce your energy bills. Insulation helps moderate the temperature in your garage. As a result, you reduce the energy needed to heat or cool the rest of your home.

Insulation ensures that the inner space of your garage stays warmer, reducing the risk of freezing pipes. Also, insulated garage doors are better at preventing heat loss in warm and cold weather conditions.

Insulation will enable you to keep heat in your garage during the winter and out during the summer. Also, you don’t have to purchase air conditioning systems like HVAC systems, reducing the energy that would otherwise be used to run the air conditioners. This saves on energy costs.

Since they provide more comfort and safety, insulating your garage also provides long-term cost savings, hence the best way to enhance your garage’s energy efficiency.

2. Warmer Garage Space

Living in neither a warm nor cold garage is beneficial; it also means you will get more out of your garage space. Garages with insulation can maintain a temperature better suited for indoor activities.

The added protection from heat loss will decrease damage to your garage contents and prolong their lifespan.

3. Greater Durability

Investing in an insulated garage door allows you to get protection from heat and cold for a longer time. Insulated garage doors are thicker and more robust, making them durable, which means they will last longer than non-insulated doors, regardless of weather conditions.

Your garage door opener’s moving parts, like the motor, require adequate protection. With the insulated garage door, you will not have to spend an extra penny on this protection. Insulated garage doors will ensure the metal moving parts, and the motor stays in a better condition with enhanced longevity by offering protection to the garage door opener.

4. Safer Garages

Insulated garage doors are more durable and less likely to break in extreme weather conditions. They are more resistant to high winds, and their thicker walls and roof mean they can withstand construction equipment and large trucks driving over their surfaces.

As such, insulated garages provide you with a safer working environment.

5. Better Aesthetics and Ergonomics

Insulated garage doors have better aesthetics and ergonomics than non-insulated ones.

The insulation makes it possible for the door to have an aesthetic design, which may be necessary for some homeowners who want their houses to appear more finished and presentable.

As a result, your home value is enhanced through energy efficiency and curb appeal. Often, the insulated garage doors look more attractive and sturdier, which is vital in attracting buyers when it is time for sales.

Besides, since you are also improving energy efficiency through insulation, buyers will be willing to pay more upfront, enhancing value.

Cons

1. Expensive Garage Door Installation

Insulated garage doors are more expensive to install than non-insulated ones. This is mainly because it takes a large amount of work and materials to install them properly, so a DIYer will need to spend time and money on ventilation services and insulation installation.

Insulation installation requires special tools, involves the installation of massive amounts of material, and could require the expertise of a professional team. All these could translate to fees incurred by the garage owner.

2. Reduced Visibility

The thicker walls and roof of an insulated garage door will reduce visibility and obstruct the ability to see out of the garage. Cars and other vehicles might also have trouble backing up into the garage.

3.  Reduced Storage Space

Insulated garage doors occupy a larger area, so it will be harder to fit a car inside or store large items in the garage. The added bulkiness of insulated garages may also limit maneuverability in tight spaces and decrease storage options by limiting access to certain garage areas.

Pros and Cons of Uninsulated Garage Door

Pros

 Reduced Maintenance Costs

Uninsulated garage doors are less expensive to repair than insulated ones. Uninsulated garage doors do not have complex insulation systems and may be more resistant to damage from weather and wear and tear.

They are also easy to maintain and clean; homeowners will not have to spend time on ventilation services or other cleaning tasks to keep them in good working condition.

 Effective Protection

Uninsulated garage doors are thicker and more durable than their insulated counterparts. They will not succumb to extreme weather conditions and will not break down or crumble from a small amount of snow or rain. This means uninsulated garage doors are better at protecting your things from dust, dirt, and other harmful environmental elements.

  Better Storage

Uninsulated garage doors accommodate more cars, oversized items, and heavy construction equipment. They allow for good visibility and a larger space to store various items.

 Cons

No Cooling or Heating Insulation

Uninsulated garage doors do not provide any insulation benefits. This means that the interior temperature of the garage will be affected by external weather conditions.

Less Durable Garage Doors

Due to the absence of insulation, uninsulated garage doors may be less durable than their insulated counterparts. Their walls and roof do not provide as much strength and protection as insulated garage doors. This means they might not stand up to extreme weather conditions or need regular repair work to keep them in good working condition.

 Increased Electricity Costs

Uninsulated garage doors will increase electricity costs, requiring more energy to operate the heating and cooling systems necessary for temperature control.

 Can negatively affect the lifespan of goods stored

Uninsulated garage doors will not protect the items stored inside from the elements. This means they will be prone to damage, and homeowners may need more time cleaning and maintaining them.

Insulated vs. Uninsulated- Which is Better?

Insulated garages are better than their uninsulated counterparts. The insulated doors provide an extra layer of insulation to keep the temperature in the interior favorable and reduce energy bills by minimizing energy loss. This makes them a better choice, especially during the winter or extremely hot summer.

On the other hand, uninsulated garage doors do not provide an extra layer of insulation or protection against heat transfer as they lack an insulation layer. Instead, they use an airtight seal around the door, and heated, cooled, or greenhouse gases are used inside to heat and cool the garage areas.

As such, uninsulated garage doors are not energy efficient. Running an uninsulated garage can be costly, especially when installing air conditioners to control the temperatures at different times of the year.

The video below shows a comparative analysis of the Insulated Vs. Non-Insulated Garage Doors

How to Choose an Energy-Efficient Garage Door

Choosing the right garage door is essential; it can also be expensive. Before you go out to buy a new garage door, take into consideration the following tips:

  1. Check the insulation levels/ R-Values

An insulating material’s R-value represents the material’s resistance to conductive heat flow. The higher the R-value, the higher the material’s resistance to heat transfer or insulative effectiveness.

The R-value of a material is determined by its density, thickness, and type of insulation. Even though materials with higher R-values are more resistant to heat transfer than those with lower R-values, some individuals can get away with low R-values depending on their location. If you are purchasing an insulating material for home improvement, R-values ranging from R-10 for flooring materials to R-60 for dense attic insulation will do for you.

Interestingly, the insulation R-value assigned in an insulating material represents how much heat resistance the material has per inch of depth. The implication is that if you use more of a material with a lower R-value, they could provide the same resistance as a higher R-value. That is to say, if you have 2-inch of a material with an R-value R15, it will offer the same resistance as 1-inch R30.

Furthermore, if you own a garage or home in the United States, you can get away with lower R-values for your insulation based on the area you reside in. The United States Department of Energy provides recommended R-value range for different parts of the nation through a map system through which you can locate and determine your preferred R-value for your home or garage insulation.

For instance, the residents of the Southern United States have assigned R values ranging from R30 to R60  for their attics and R13 to R19 for the floors. These are recommended R-values for people living in the Southern United States.

On the other hand, if you are living in the Northern United States, R-values of R49 to R60 ratings are assigned for the attic insulation, while for the floors, the assigned R-values are R25 to R30. If you intend to use a material with a lower R-value, be sure to add extra depth to the insulating material.

That said, when choosing an energy-efficient garage door, determine the R-value of the insulating material. Choose a material with a higher R-value, as the higher the R-value, the more effective the insulating material is or the higher the resistance to heat transfer.

  1. Choose your material

You can choose from steel, Fiberglass, or wood garage doors. Each material has its benefits and disadvantages, so you should pick the one that best fits you. While wood is aesthetically pleasing, it is vulnerable to heat and moisture and may require more maintenance than other materials. Fiberglass is easy to maintain as well as lightweight and sturdy. Steel door frames are sturdier than fiberglass frames but tend to be noisier.

As a result, we recommend Fiberglass if you want to insulate your garage space or home. You will get this material in pre-cut batts and long blankets that effectively fit between ceiling joints and wall studs.

Besides, you can acquire loose-fill Fiberglass, which is ideal for blowing into a garage attic above a finished ceiling.

Also, we recommend Fiberglass because you can use it to give your ceiling or wall a finished look if they are opened ( covered by plywood or drywall). In such an instance, choose encapsulated or paper-faced fiberglass bats wrapped in a plastic film to give your walls a finished look.

  1. Watch out for air leakage

Not all garage doors are airtight. Check your garage door’s airtightness before you buy the door. There is a standard measurement called “U-value,” which is the amount of heat that passes in one hour through a square meter of a material with a temperature difference of one degree Celsius between two sides.

Good quality garage doors have a U-value of 0.3 or lower; if your current door has this value, you don’t need to replace it unless it is too old or worn out.

  1. Consider the garage door’s warranty

A garage door’s warranty will give you peace of mind knowing that the company will replace it if anything goes wrong. If you buy a new garage door, you can check the company’s website to see how long it lasts or ask for a free energy audit from an energy-efficient expert. The energy-efficient experts will assess your current garage door to see if it is energy efficient and recommend whether you need to replace this one and how much it would cost.

How much should an insulated garage door cost?

Insulated garage doors are available in many styles, sizes, materials, and colors. The same applies to the thickness. Prices vary depending on the dimensions and materials used to construct the doors.

  1. Steel

A double-layer steel garage door with polystyrene costs about $800 to $1,800, while a triple-insulated door can cost up to $3,000.

  1. Aluminum

A double-layer aluminum door with a thickness of 3/4-inch costs $300 to $450, while a triple-insulated door can cost up to $700.

  1. Fiberglass

An outdoor fiberglass door with a thickness of 1/2 inch costs $500 to $600, while a double insulated door can cost up to $700.

  1. Wood

A 1/2-inch thick wooden door costs about $200 to $350, while a double insulated door can cost up to $700.

The cost of a garage door replacement varies from one vendor to another. To get the best deal, you should check out several providers in your area or check their websites to get quotations and compare them. It would be best if you also asked for referrals and recommendations from people you know who have recently bought a garage door. You can also find information on garage doors online through forums, blogs, and product review sites.

We also provide guidance on the best. Reach out through our contact information or leave a comment below.

How long does an insulated garage door last?

According to the National Insulation Association (NIA), insulated garage doors last between 7 and 10 years.

NIA also illustrates that there are no known issues with basement door insulation becoming brittle or falling apart after long-term exposure to heat and moisture. Insulated basement doors, however, can get seriously damaged by high winds blowing them away or extreme temperatures that can cause them to lift and leave them vulnerable.

They will last longer if installed properly and with suitable materials. Over time, the vinyl-lined foam panels of the door will wear out, which is why you need to check them regularly to ensure they are not damaged. If needed, you should replace them before they become damaged so that your garage door can still keep its insulation value and prevent heat from escaping or entering your home.

Pros and Cons of Insulated Garage Door- Frequently Asked Questions

Q1. Is it worth getting an insulated garage door?

Insulating a garage door can help reduce unwanted heat or cold from entering or escaping the garage. It can also reduce the cost of heating and cooling your home if you want to know if an insulated garage door is worth your money.

Q2. Is an insulated garage door stronger?

Insulated garage doors are much stronger than ones without insulation. This is because they are made of very thick material. This is because the thicker the material, the stronger it is.

Q3. Will an insulated garage door keep the garage warmer?

An insulated garage door can help keep your garage warmer. This happens when the insulation is thick enough to absorb heat before it gets out of the garage. However, if there is a lot of sunlight in your garage or the exterior is not well insulated, it can make the temperature slightly cooler.

Conclusion

Insulated garage doors are essential to your home, especially in a colder or warmer region. They help keep both cold and heat out or in and can save you a lot of money in the long run. If you have a traditional garage door, it may be time for a change.

Insulated doors are now available, and their prices are reasonable enough to make it worth your money, especially if you live in a colder area and don’t have an insulated house.

If you want to install an insulated garage door, the first thing that you should do is contact home insulation specialists, who will come to your home and assess whether your garage needs insulation. They will conduct a free energy audit and recommend the best type of insulation, depending on your situation.

Whether you are in a colder or warmer region and whether your garage has any insulation, home insulation specialists can help you choose the right door for your home.

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