An insulated door comes in different dimensions, types and kits so there is no issue when it comes to matching the door to your home’s architectural style. When seeking out insulated doors, make sure to do the necessary research as well as the R-value of each door. The R-value is the measurement of the resistance of the door’s material to changes in temperatures.
To understand how R-value and heat flow are related, think of your garage not as a single entity but as a part of a system with the external environment. As with most everything in nature, heat will want to redistribute itself in an effort to reach a state of equilibrium, or equal temperatures, on the inside and the outside of your garage. To do this, heat must pass through the garage door to reach the other part of the system.
Door insulation quality impacts your utility bills because your garage door is typically the largest opening in your home. Many people also like to spend time in their garages working or even entertaining guests. For those reasons, a well insulated garage door is important even if the garage is not connected to the house.
In the summer, it is naturally hotter outside of your garage than inside most of the time and heat will try to “get in” to even out the system. If a garage door has an R-value of 3, 1/3 of the heat will get through the door and into your garage. This does not mean though that the internal temperature will be 1/3 of the external temperature. It just means that as more heat is produced externally, 1/3 of it will enter your garage. Insulating your garage door can help keep the heat out.
The opposite is true in winter. Heat is produced inside your garage in winter, either by direct heating, connection to your house, or by effects of the sun. As it is cooler on the outside of the door, heat will try to escape through the door to even out the system. If keeping your garage warm in winter is a priority, or even to just lessen the overall effects of cold temperatures, then choose a door with a higher R-value.
Every year people everywhere lose thousands of dollars because they don’t have garage door insulation. This is very important. Especially as energy prices climb higher, it is important to seal up every possible interface with the outside cold and heat.
The number one (but not only) reason to insulate garage doors is simply because if you don’t then untold amounts of extra energy will be expended in both heating and cooling your house. Think about it: the garage is the single biggest area in most anyone’s home which is not insulated. This presents a major problem. What happens, in effect, is that during the winter this “room” will take on all the cold that swirls outside, and it will effectively act like a refrigerator or even freezer butting right up against your kitchen or your living room, etc. In the summer the same thing will happen with heat.
Meanwhile, you’ve got your heating and cooling systems, such as your air conditioning, working overtime to make up for this vulnerability. Where you could’ve just done the right thing and installed garage door insulation, now you’re noticing a greater rise in energy and electric bills than you should otherwise have to be paying. It’s not a good situation. In fact, it could’ve been prevented quite readily with just a little forethought. But don’t kick yourself too hard. Instead, it would be a better use of your time if you’d just patch up the “hole” now.