Replacing your garage door is an excellent way to update your home. In fact, according to Remodeling Magazine’s 2021 Cost vs. Value report, you can recoup up to 94% of costs by replacing your garage door. The national trend includes installing a four-section steel door with foam insulation and insulated glass panels across the top. When shopping for garage doors, you might feel overwhelmed with all the options available and wonder does an insulating garage door make a difference?

What does an insulated garage door look like?

An insulated garage door has insulation that’s placed directly inside the door’s structure. This insulation acts as a barrier between the varying temperatures from inside and outside. Workers typically add fiberglass insulation to the walls when a home is under construction to establish a tight seal. This process prevents the home’s interior from being affected by exterior temperatures. You end up saving money on heating bills and lets you feel comfortable inside your residence. The best insulated garage doors accomplish practically the same purpose.

When comparing an insulated garage door vs. an uninsulated one, the latter one usually has a single wood or metal panel, but it gives you very few additional benefits other than giving you a space to house items. Insulated garage doors contain a hollow door frame or two panels that contain an insulating material.

Are insulated garage doors better?

Most insulated garage doors cost more than traditional garage doors, so you might wonder if the cost differential is worth the investment.

  • They save energy. You might purely focus on energy-saving efforts on the interior of your home, whether it includes a new furnace or energy-efficient windows, but don’t overlook your garage. An attached garage can transfer colder air to nearby rooms as well as allow colder air to enter your home due to gaps in the door. When you use an insulated garage door in a hot climate, it can moderate the garage’s temperature and reduce the amount of heat needed to warm up the remainder of your home.
  • They’re more durable. Insulated garage doors have different construction compared to those with a single layer. Most insulated doors contain an aluminum or steel frame, and the frame sits between panels either made of single or dual steel. This results in a lightweight door that’s is harder to dent. By comparison, older doors are made out of steel sheets that are wrapped over panel frames. If they don’t have the insulation, they can become easily dented from vehicles, bikes, or basketballs.
  • They’re quieter. Older doors usually have a louder track mechanism involving loose chains, worn rollers, or poorly lubricated hinges. Lightweight doors that lack insulation usually are the noisiest. Insulated garage doors have tighter construction, so they have less material moving around and making noise. Also, since they’re heavier, they’re might not vibrate or jolt the track.
  • They protect your vehicle. Yes, all garage doors protect your vehicle, but insulated doors give your vehicle added protection, especially during those frigid Chicago winters. Storing your vehicle in a spot with an insulated garage door can protect your vehicle from freezing conditions. Your vehicle might have a harder time running properly in lower temperatures.

How do you select an insulated garage door?

When you think about garage door insulation, especially in Chicago, you might immediately imagine keeping cold weather out of the garage since the colder the climate, the better the insulation. However, that’s not necessarily the case. Chicago summers can get warm, so you want to keep the garage cooler than outside in those instances. It’s important to maintain energy efficiency either way.

There are two types of insulation applied to insulated garage doors: rigid polystyrene (Styrofoam) or polyurethane foam. The rigid polystyrene is inexpensive, and after it’s cut, it’s typically glued on the surface. The polyurethane foam is a much better insulator and is injected into the panel spaces, where it fills up the gaps as it expands.

Understanding your home’s R-value can help you determine which option is better for you. The R-value is the measure of thermal resistance to the flow of heat. The R, which stands for resistance, rates the insulation’s thickness and chemical properties. The higher the R-value number, the better insulation the material has. Uninsulated garage doors have almost no R-value. Otherwise, the breakdown for R-value numbers is as follows:

  • R-12: Reduces 93% of the heat flow.
  • R-16: Reduces 95% of the heat flow.
  • R-20: Reduces 96% of the heat flow.
  • R-32: Reduces 97% of the heat flow.

What are the best insulated garage door brands?

Not all garage door designs and styles are the same, and neither are the companies that produce them. At Overhead Garage Door, we carry some of the best insulated garage doors available, including some from the following garage door manufacturers:

  • Clopay: With a wide variety of doors available, this company combines functionality with beauty so you can enjoy your insulated door for years to come. It’s also the largest garage door manufacturer in North America.
  • Haas Door: This company manufactures eight different series for their garage doors, including numerous insulated ones. You might wonder will insulating garage doors keep the heat out, and thanks to rust- and corrosion-free options, they can help you deal with the unpredictable Chicago weather, so you save money on heating bills.
  • Ideal Door: Its traditional steel garage doors have a thick layer of insulation, which is ideal if your garage is directly next to a major room in your home. Its designer steel doors are specially constructed to be quieter compared to those created by other manufacturers.
  • Timberlane: Its signature garage doors are professionally constructed with premium textured steel and have an insulated base that’s almost 2 inches thick. Each door has multiple style options, so you can find one that works best for your home.

If you’re interested in learning more about insulated garage doors or perhaps want to install one at your home, let the experts at Overhead Garage Door help you out. As a family-owned and operated business, we provide customers with the highest quality products and services. Contact us today, and find out why we’re one of the largest full-service garage door dealerships in the Chicagoland area.