Most people neglect their garage door and don’t worry about things such as heating or insulation there. But if you’re using it often, you’re probably going to be uncomfortable since your garage will usually be either too hot or too cold.
This is only the case for non-insulated garages, though. And some insulation can easily fix this temperature problem. But still, then, many people don’t know how to tell if a garage door is insulated.
There are many ways to check for insulation, but the easiest way is to compare the temperature. If it’s insulated, the temperature will be lower in hotter climates and higher in colder climates. This isn’t the only easy way to check, though.
So today, I’ll be covering all about insulated garage doors, how to check them optimally, and how to insulate them.
What is an Insulated Garage Door?
If you’re not exactly sure about what an insulated garage door is, it’s what the name suggests — a door with insulation. This means that it’s able to trap any temperature inside your garage, allowing you to be more comfortable.
So during the summer, an insulated garage door keeps the cold air inside your garage, and during winter, it stops the hot air from leaving your garage. This way, you’ll get the perfect temperature all year round inside it.
It’s just as simple as it sounds, and installing it isn’t really hard either. So if you spend a lot of time inside your garage, an insulated door can be excellent.
How to Confirm if Garage Door is Insulated?
As mentioned above, there are tons of ways to check whether your garage door is insulated or not. However, there are usually three easy ways to detect an insulated garage door. These are explained below in detail —
Check the Temperature
Checking the temperature can be the easiest way to see if a garage door is insulated or not since, most of the time, you won’t even need to use any special tools, and you can feel the difference in the temperature.
But this isn’t the most effective way to check insulation, and the temperature inside your house can sometimes be colder or hotter than the outside temperature anyway. So we’d still recommend you get an infrared thermometer.
A regular thermometer works too, but an infrared one is usually more preferred. Not only that but it can be used in other areas too, such as cooking.
For garage door insulation checking, you can simply close the garage door and point the thermometer directly toward the garage door. Note down the temperature, and go outside and close the door again.
Once again, point the thermometer towards the door and note the temperature down. If the temperature difference isn’t much, then your garage door isn’t insulated. The temperature inside the garage should be higher during winter and lower during summer.
Check the Back Panel
The next easiest way to determine if the garage door is insulated is through the back panel. Some garage door designs may vary, but they’re the same for almost every garage door. To check the insulation, go inside your garage and close the door.
From there, inspect the garage door from the inside and check if you can see your garage door’s back panel design. All of this must be done from the inside.
If the panel design is visible, then your door isn’t insulated. But if it isn’t visible and it’s white and flat like styrofoam, your garage door is insulated. This is by far the easiest way to check whether your garage door is insulated or not.
It looks like styrofoam because insulated garage doors are made with two or more layers. The first layer is the garage door panel with all the designs, and the layers after that will usually be made of polyurethane or polystyrene.
These are added onto the back of your panel design, so an insulated garage door won’t have the panel visible.
Check the Manufacturing Specifications
Most of the time, the two options above will allow you to verify whether your garage door is insulated or not. But if you’re looking for an even easier method, you can check the manufacturing details.
Garage doors will usually have a product page or a website that shows all the details, including the material for the door, the design, the back panels, and the materials used for the layers and whether it’s insulated or not.
You’ll find all the small yet important details such as the R-value there too, so we’d highly recommend you to check out the specifications. But if you don’t know the exact model or name of your garage door, consider the two other methods above.
Garage Door Insulation Kit
By now, you can probably tell how excellent an insulated garage door can be. So if you’re looking to insulate your garage door yourself, you can check out an insulation kit.
There are tons of solid insulation kits out there. But by far, the one considered the best through ratings and popularity is Reach Barrier 3009. It comes at a small price of 45$, which is extremely affordable compared to most other options for insulation kits.
But even though it’s relatively cheap, the quality is outstanding, and it’s super easy to install. The material used for the layers of insulation is a type of reflective polyethylene that allows your garage door to achieve consistent R-values.
Along with that, it basically requires no maintenance and also comes with pre-cut panels making it even easier to install. The full kit consists of 8 Reach barrier bubble insulation panels, a garage door cleaning sponge, a permanent bond adhesive tape, and an instruction manual.
You won’t need any additional tools to install it either, so it’s extremely reliable. It has over 2,000 positive ratings on Amazon, so you can tell that it’s good.
One downside to a more affordable insulation panel kit can be the difference in temperature, though. So if the temperature inside your garage is excessively hot or cold, you should get insulation kits within the range of 100$. These will usually be of the best quality.
Which Garage Doors Give the Best Insulation?
There are tons of good materials for a garage door that can give excellent insulation results, but it depends a lot on preference too. These are the best ones —
Sectional Garage Doors
Sectional garage doors are vertically rising doors that are split into several sections. They’re usually considered the best-insulated doors for regular garages.
Most sectional garage doors aren’t too expensive either, and they’re generally thick. This allows them to have even better insulation than before.
A traditional timber side-hinged door with a tight fit and the right framework can give the best insulation results possible. Timber is an excellent insulator too, and the material is thick enough for garage doors.
Fiberglass-hinged doors can also be a good option, but timber is stronger and more reliable.
Up & Over Garage Doors
Up and over garage doors are great for insulation, but they have one flaw. This is the fact that the entire door panel is needed to move through the frame when it’s opening or closing. This creates a huge gap around the perimeter.
So not all up and over garage doors are good, but some can be excellent depending on how it’s made.
But overall, the recommended material for insulated garage doors is timber side-hinged doors. These will be thick enough to provide good insulation, and they look great too.
What is the Best R-Value for a Garage?
Even if you are wondering how to know if my garage is insulated, most people don’t have much of an idea about R-values.
In a nutshell, the R-value is considered the measure of resistance compared to the flow of heat. So the higher the R-value, the better it is. But generally, an R-value of 9-13 is considered to be the best for insulated garages.
If you converted your garage into a living space, though, you should consider an R-value of over 13.
Insulated vs Non-Insulated Garage Doors
There isn’t really much of a difference between insulated and non-insulated garage doors other than the insulation itself. But here are all the key differences between them —
To insulate an uninsulated garage door, it can cost 100-200$ more than usual. The prices can vary greatly depending on which kit you use or which manufacturer you buy the door from, but an insulated door will generally be much more expensive.
For non-insulated doors, you won’t have to pay for anything other than the door itself. So if you’re using a basic garage door, it can cost significantly less than an already manufactured insulated door.
Insulated garage doors will be significantly more comfortable to be in than non-insulated ones. With the temperature always being perfect compared to the temperature outside, you’ll have a much better time in your garage with insulated doors.
Non-insulated doors aren’t really much special, so inside your garage, it’ll be too hot or too cold most of the time. So if you’re living in a country that is excessively hot or cold, you’ll have to use a heater or cooler.
Since insulated doors already have the perfect temperature, it’s extremely energy efficient, and you won’t need to worry about using an additional heater or cooler, cutting down some expenses on the bills too.
You’re almost guaranteed to need a cooling or heating device if you have a non-insulated garage door and you spend time in your garage. This is especially an issue in summer since running an air conditioner all the time can be expensive.
Area Of Application
An insulated garage door is only necessary if you’re going to use your garage as a living space or if you spend time in your garage in general. But since the insulation doesn’t work with the door open, it is useful for everyone.
Regular non-insulated doors are best if you open your garage a lot to take your vehicles in or out. This is because if you have an insulated door and you open it constantly, it practically makes no difference, and the temperature will be the same as outside.
Should You Insulate Your Garage Door?
You might be thinking of the necessity of insulated garage doors if you don’t spend a lot of time there.
And although there isn’t a straight answer for everyone, it can be easily identified if you should insulate your garage door or not.
So if you’re someone who uses the vehicles in your garage often, you probably shouldn’t insulate your garage door, especially if you don’t use your garage as a living space.
But if you’re often using your garage with the door closed as a living space or for some extra accessories, you should definitely insulate your garage door. Because even though it might cost a lot, you’ll get lots of benefits from it.
And not only will the temperature be perfect for making yourself comfortable, but you’ll also be saving some expenses on cooling or heating bills. So if you use it with the door closed often, you should ask yourself again, is your garage door insulated?
How Thick Should Garage Door Insulation Be?
When someone is referring to the thickness of a garage door insulation, they usually mean the number of layers used after the panel or the thickness of the panels. The usual amount of layers is 2 in total, but some doors have more.
So a garage door should generally have a maximum of 3-4 layers in total, and the recommended thickness for the panels of an insulated garage door is 1-inch. But if your garage door isn’t as thick, you should go for a half-inch panel and 2 layers.
You should use a thicker material for the garage door itself, too, since the thicker your door, the better possible insulation.
Is it Worth it to Have an Insulated Garage Door?
Even though an insulated garage can seem like an unnecessary luxury, we’d say it’s highly worth it to have an insulated garage door. Because even if you open your garage often, it comes with tons of benefits. Some of them are —
Insulated garage doors keep the temperature at a stable cold or warm level, so you won’t have to worry about any heating or cooling appliances saving energy.
If you have an insulated garage door, it’ll reduce the annoying creaks, vibrations, and other noises.
If you have an insulated door, it will be more durable, prevent dents, and last better from the weather.
An insulated garage door will let the different parts of your vehicle last longer because of the cold air.
And, of course, the extra comfort you get from insulated garage doors is excellent. So overall, insulated garage doors are worth it.
How Much Does it Cost to Insulate a Garage Door?
The cost of an insulated garage door can depend highly on the material used and the size of the door itself. For an 8 or 9-foot garage door, it’ll usually take around 100$ to use an insulation kit on it.
This is only for one door too, so if you have a double-door garage, then you’ll need to spend 200$ on just the insulation kits.
Another option is to purchase insulated garage doors from a manufacturer directly. They usually won’t charge less than doing it yourself with a kit, but they’re much more reliable, and you won’t have an option to mess up the insulation.
It won’t always cost over 200$ to insulate your garage door, though, and there are much cheaper options you can stick with. So depending on the kit, you can choose how much it costs to insulate a garage door.
Now you have a good idea about garage door insulation. There are tons of ways to check, such as using a thermometer, but an insulated door might not even be worth it all the time.
But as a final note, we’d highly recommend you to use an insulated door. This is because most people don’t need to open their garage doors too often, and as long as you don’t leave it open constantly, an insulated door can be super helpful.
But in the end, it just comes down to personal preference and whether you want to spend the extra money for additional comfort. We hope your question of how to confirm if a garage door is insulated is fully answered now; cheers!
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