Choosing garage door insulation is an important part of keeping your home energy efficient. The absence of garage door insulation means you are losing energy and therefore losing money. This is particularly true if your garage shares a wall with the house itself. This article will help you to determine how best to insulate your garage.
Exploring the Options
You may want to buy a completely new garage door made out of wood, which is a great natural insulator. However, insulating your existing garage door may be an easier option. You could cut costs by simply buying the insulating materials separately and cutting them yourself but the results my not be as tidy as they would be with a kit and may therefore be less energy efficient.
There are a many kits available that come with all the components you need to insulate a single garage door. They're not particularly cheap but will save you money on utility bills in the longer term. The only additional tools you are likely to need are a tape measure and a utility knife, although some insulation kits include these as well. Kits usually come with either insulating panels or reflective foil.
Panel kits usually come with around 8 pre-cut panels that fit inside the channels of the door frame. There are two types of insulation materials available consisting of either fiberglass panels or foam panels. Fiberglass panels provide good insulation as well as resisting water and mold.
Foam panels are made out of polystyrene and have a resistant laminated plastic surface. They provide slightly higher insulation than fiberglass and are great for insulating metal doors.
Whichever material you choose, installation of panels is easy and should take less than an hour. Both types of panels have a good R-value and your garage door will have a more accomplished appearance than it would with reflective foil.
Reflective foil is used to line the inside of the garage door. The kits come in either single foil or double foil. With single foil insulation, a layer of aluminum foil is sandwiched between two layers of polyethylene foam. With double foil insulation, two layers of polyethylene foam are sandwiched between two layers of foil.
Reflective foil usually provides higher insulation than panels but you should be aware that this method may not look as neat on your garage door as the panel options.
Things to Consider
When choosing the type of insulation that's best for you, some thought should be given to how the weight of it will affect the actual operation of your garage door. In some cases, it is necessary to re-balance the springs on your garage door due to the extra stress placed in it by the insulation materials.
Another important consideration is the R-value of the insulation. R-value is the measurement of how heat-resistant the insulation actually is. The higher the R-value, the more heat resistant the insulation will be. Double foil insulation, for example, will have a higher R-value than single foil insulation.
Finally, you need to make sure that the insulation is fireproof otherwise you could be turning your garage door into a fire hazard. Luckily, most kits contain fireproof insulation which is another reason you may want to obtain an all-in-one option as opposed to sourcing all the materials yourself.