An important part of many residences that homeowners often overlook or put off tending to is their garage. As garage doors cover the home’s largest doorway, it is important for you to make any necessary repairs or upgrades to keep your garage functional, economical and comfortable. One of the many ways to do this is to invest in an insulated garage door.
Insulated garage doors are especially important if you live in an area like Connecticut, where the weather is often fickle and unpredictable. Having an insulating garage door is beneficial for many reasons, as it can increase the overall efficiency and temperature control of your home. If you have been putting off making garage door upgrades, whether it be for financial or aesthetic reasons, you should consider making these changes now before the weather turns cold and you feel the effects of a non-insulated garage door in your home.
What You Need to Know About Garage Door Insulation
If you live in a home with a non-insulated garage door, you may not yet have upgraded because you do not know the extent of an insulated garage door’s benefits. Or maybe you do not know what information you need to understand when deciding which garage door is best for you home. Two important factors to consider when getting an insulated garage door are its R-value and U-factor.
The first thing you should look at when deciding on an insulated garage door is the insulation’s R-value, or the measure of the insulation’s thermal resistance per unit area. More effective insulation has a higher R-value, as the material is more resistant to conductive heat flow. The R-value of insulation depends on many factors, including the type of insulation, its density, its thickness and the number of individual layers of insulation.
More simply, the R-value represents the insulation’s ability to slow the transmission of heat. Better insulation has a higher R-value because it has a slower transfer of heat. This means that if you choose an insulated garage door with a higher R-value, it will slow the heat that leaves your house in the winter and allow the summer heat in at a slower rate.
You can determine your insulation needs by looking at the energy efficiency codes directed by the International Code Council (ICC). The entire state of Connecticut falls into Climate Zone Five A, meaning that it has a minimum average temperature between -15° and -20°F. Based on the attributes of the fifth zone, the ICC recommends a ceiling R-value of at least 37 and a wall R-value of 13-20, depending on the wall’s material makeup. Based on this information, in Connecticut, your garage door should have an R-value of at least 14 and 16 for garage spaces commonly used or sharing walls with primary living spaces.
Different garage doors have a wide range of R-values, so knowing what you need for your home will help narrow down the decision on what garage door will benefit you and your home the most.
Another factor to consider when choosing a garage door is its overall ability to transfer heat. Called the U-factor, this measures how much heat transfer occurs through the entire door, whereas the R-value only defines the heat flow capabilities of the insulation. Materials with lower U-factors insulate better, making them more energy-efficient than ones with higher U-factors.
U-factor measurements can be more accurate than R-values because while R-values look at the heat loss of insulation, U-factors account for the door as a whole, including frames, panels and other hardware. When selecting a new garage door with more energy efficiency, look for a garage door that advertises a lower U-factor to find a door that can help keep the heat in your home in the winter and the sun out in the summer.
Reasons to Buy an Insulated Garage Door in CT
Connecticut is a beautiful place to live, but the constantly changing and and often severe weather can sometimes make it difficult to keep your home as effective and comfortable as it should be. One way to avoid being unprepared for the weather is to get your house ready with an insulated garage door. Some reasons to consider this option include:
1. Temperature Control
If your home has an attached garage, this means that the garage is part of your home and shares at least one wall with your living space. As the garage door is most likely the largest entryway into your home, it is important to ensure that this is a well-insulated point to lessen heat transfer.
When you have your house’s heating system on in the wintertime, it works to heat your home to your desired temperature. If your attached garage does not have proper insulation, you lose some of the warmth that your heating system provides. The same is true for air conditioning in the summer. As your air conditioning works to produce cooler air in your home, a garage without proper insulation will allow some of the cold air to escape.
While you may think that a little heat transfer from your garage may not make too big of a difference, it might surprise you how much your garage can affect the heating and cooling of your home. In fact, data from the Clopay engineering department reveals that in the situation where it is 20 degrees outside, if you have a non-insulated garage door, the temperature of your garage will be around 30 degrees. Contrarily, if you have an insulated garage door, the temperature of your garage stays closer to 42 degrees. An insulated garage door makes a big difference in keeping your home comfortable and your energy use efficient.
2. Energy Efficiency
Relating to the idea of temperature control is the energy efficiency of your garage door. If you have your heat or air conditioning on but the hot or cold air escapes through the garage, your heating or cooling system has to work harder to compensate for the lost air. This makes it harder for your heating and cooling system to regulate temperature, thus making it do more work. Since your heating and cooling system has to work harder to maintain your home’s desired temperatures, this increases the cost of your energy bill, not to mention the wear and tear on the HVAC system. Therefore, investing in a garage door with proper insulation now can help your home be more energy-efficient, saving you money in the future.
3. Improved Durability
From the daily use of raising and lowering your garage door to the occasional storm damage or weather wear, your garage door will probably get some marks and dents over time. Although the everyday wear and tear of your garage door is a common and expected thing, there are still ways to help improve the durability of your garage door.
One of the best ways to ensure that you have a stronger and more durable garage door is by getting a door with insulation. Insulation adds an extra layer to your door, giving it more rigidity and enhanced durability. Whether you choose a garage door insulated by a solid panel of insulation between two layers of steel or aluminum, or a garage door with foam that expands and hardens to fill the gaps between the two metal panels, both insulation techniques work to strengthen your garage door.
Another aspect of your garage door that insulation works to protect is the internal hardware. Extreme temperatures can affect important parts of your garage door’s internal system, such as the springs, wires, cables, brackets and rollers. It is important to have a garage door with high-quality insulation to prevent any breakage or erosion of these parts, as they are what keep the garage door functional and safe.
4. Reduced Noise Levels
If you live in a home with people on different work and sleep schedules, you may worry about waking everyone up with the sound of your garage door opening and closing. While you can expect any mechanical system to make some noise because of its moving parts, your garage door should not make excessive noise. If you check the internal hardware of the door and do not find any specific problem causing the noise, the culprit may just be the door itself.
Lightweight, non-insulated garage doors tend to shake and rattle more than their heavier, insulated counterparts. If you have a non-insulated garage door, its panels may shake as it moves along the track, whereas an insulated garage door that is thicker with a tight construction may have less hollow space or loose materials, which can limit the noise your garage door makes when in motion. Also, insulation can act as a buffer that absorbs vibrations and noises, muffling some of the sounds the garage door may cause.
For similar reasons, insulated garage doors can also help lessen the noise getting through the door from the outside. An insulated garage door can help dampen the noise of anything from a loud storm outside to your neighbor’s lawnmower. While insulation will not dissolve all the noise pollution that gets into your home, it definitely can muffle outside sounds, making them more muted than without insulation.
Another reason to get an insulated garage door is that it can help boost your overall convenience and comfort within your home. One of the many perks of an insulated garage door is that because it keeps the warm air from your home in the garage, leaving your home in the winter can be more comfortable. If you keep your car in the garage, an insulated garage door makes it so you do not have to step outside in the cold weather, increasing the convenience of your garage, especially when bringing in groceries or buckling kids into their car seats.
Similarly, with the air in your garage staying warmer than it would without an insulated garage door, you avoid letting the cold outdoor temperatures blow into your home. Your garage acts as a vestibule or buffer zone between the temperature-regulated space of the home and the outdoor elements. This lessens the effect the outdoor air has on your living space.
Also, if you and your family use the garage as an extension of your living space or if someone in your home likes to work in the garage, having an insulated garage door makes temperature control of the garage much more convenient. If you decide to go to your garage and work on a project, doing so with a non-insulated door will have much more extreme temperatures in the garage. For example, some insulated garage doors can keep a garage between 10 and 20 degrees cooler or warmer than the outside temperature.
Find an Insulated Garage Door with American Overhead Doors
When facing change, it is reasonable to be hesitant, researching all possible options before deciding on what may be best for you. Regarding choosing a new garage door, there are a lot of things to consider, such as budget, style, brand and installation. The good news is that you do not have to explore your options and make these decisions alone.
If you want to replace your garage door and upgrade to an energy-efficient and stylish one that meets the needs of your home, come to American Overhead Doors, Inc. We have a wide variety of Clopay garage doors that will give your home eye-catching curb appeal while also helping increase your home’s energy efficiency.
From Coachman style doors to classic steel, custom wood to limited-edition styles, we offer a wide selection of doors of different styles, colors and materials. We can help you find the perfect door that will meet your garage door wants and needs. Because Clopay doors have a great balance of looks and functionality, whatever you need in a new garage door, American Overhead Doors will help you find the perfect fit for you.
Contact Us Today
At American Overhead Doors, we are a family-owned company that has served Connecticut customers since 1987. Holding the privileged status of being the only Clopay-Master Authorized Dealer in the state, we pride ourselves on our level of expertise and responsiveness in sales, installation and service, on top of our dedication to our customers.
If you are ready to start shopping for your next garage door, contact us at American Overhead Doors today by giving us a call at 860-347-1507 or filling out our online contact form. Also, do not hesitate to stop in our showroom, where we have 16 doors and 6 automatic openers on display, a wide variety of material samples and brochures sure to give you some creative inspiration!