Insulated Garage Doors: The Sensible Solution for 5 Common Garage Problems

Jan 30, 2023

Garage Doors

8 minute read

When you think of weather-proofing your home, does your garage come to mind? Webfoot sites that 55% of Americans spend at least one to two hours a week in their garage for hobbies like woodworking, sports, studying and more.

You should feel as comfortable in your garage as you do sitting in your living room. Garage door insulation should be top of mind as you consider readying your home for the next season. Let's take a look at why insulation is important, what to look for and how to prepare.

Why Garage Door Insulation is Important

You've heard of insulation, but do you know the full scope of what it does for your home? Because we use the garage for more than storing our car, it should be cared for like the rest of your home.

Whether you use your garage as a storage space or a place for your creativity to thrive, here are some surprising reasons you should consider insulating your garage.

1. Save energy

If your garage is attached to your home, air can travel into or escape from the living space. In the summer and winter months, when your AC is working overtime, save every dollar you can. Insulated garage doors can reduce air transfer and conserve energy.

2. Improve airflow

With an insulated garage, you can better control your home's airflow. Insulation better maintains the temperature rate. Your garage is typically the largest door in your home; without insulation, it's like leaving the door open with your AC running.

3. Protect your home

When big storms come your way, you want to ensure you've done everything you can to keep your home and your family safe from harm. In the case of high winds, a home's destruction often starts with the garage door. "Wind coming into your home through an opening this large poses grave problems for the rest of your home—especially your roof," according to FEMA.

4. Lower noise levels

Insulation's greatest secret is that it improves the sound control of your home. When your home is sealed properly with high-level insulation, not only does your garage door make less noise, but it cuts down on outside noises as well. No more barking dogs or loud cars to keep you up at night.

Garage door insulation really does make a difference in your quality of life and the safety of your home. When bad weather rolls through your town, you can rest assured you've done your best to secure your home with an insulated garage door.

To improve on the noise level outside of your home, insulate your house more effectively and reduce the number of unwanted pests, you should update your garage door insulation.

Understanding Garage Door Insulation Types

Insulation comes in a few shapes and sizes depending on your budget and needs. If you're shopping around for insulation levels, you may come across R-value. R-value is how insulation professionals measure thermal resistance. The higher the value, the more resistant, which makes it a better material. Cost differences for insulation materials will vary depending on how high their R-value is.

There are three common types of garage door insulation: fiberglass, polystyrene and polyurethane.

Amarr garage doors are available with no insulation (left), polystyrene insulation with vinyl backing (center), or polyurethane insulation with steel backing (right).Amarr garage doors are available with no insulation (left), polystyrene insulation with vinyl backing (center), or polyurethane insulation with steel backing (right).

Fiberglass insulation

You've probably seen fiberglass insulation in new home-building projects. It's the pink cotton candy-like material most people associate with this project. It's made of very fine glass that is melted and spun or blown into fibers. It's not waterproof and will not seal wall and ceiling spaces very tightly, meaning if you live in an area with extreme weather conditions, this may not be the best option for you. It's best advised not to install this type of insulation yourself. Fiberglass is highly flammable and can irritate the alveoli causing lung disease if mishandled.

Polystyrene insulation

Rigid paneling, known as polystyrene insulation, is a closed-cell board that is waterproof, fireproof and protects against weather changes. Polystyrene foam is one of two types of insulation Amarr offers. It's a colorless thermoplastic option that contains small pockets of air making this material the most effective insulation. This type of insulation is also one of the most durable options, lasting 30 to 50 years before a replacement is necessary. Finally, rigid paneling is non-toxic, chemically inert and non-irritating.

Polyurethane insulation

PUR (polyurethane), or PIR (polyisocyanurate), is a type of insulation material. This material works to offer good thermal efficiency, compressive strength and foam insulation properties. It's quick and easy to install. Similar to fiberglass, it's a spray-on material that foams up to create its insulation barrier. Because of this quality and its resistance to mold, water and fire, it poses a superior solution. PUR can fill in small gaps within a space making it a great solution for all types of garages. Unlike fiberglass, PUR is safe for those with allergies and animals and does not create dust or contain harmful gasses. 

Most Amarr garage doors offer two types of insulation: polystyrene and polyurethane. Either material will improve the insulating value of your door, though there is a difference between the two. Polystyrene provides adequate insulation at a great value, but polyurethane insulation is denser and superior.

Should I redo the insulation or get a new garage door?

If you have a metal garage door, you can call a professional to add insulation to the door. A drafty garage door can run up energy bills compared to a simple door installation. Energy efficiency can be difficult to master when the largest door in your home is not working properly.

However, if you're already in the market for a new garage door, choosing an insulated garage door could be your best bet. Although non-insulated doors are cheaper, the year-round usability of your garage could make a huge difference. The value lies in how you utilize your garage — do you have any items of value that could get damaged under high heat or low temperatures? Do you work or play in your garage?

How Insulation Solves 4 Common Garage Problems

Wondering whether or not you need to insulate your garage doors? Let's take a look at four common garage door problems you might be experiencing to find out.

Problem 1 — My garage is too cold!

In areas of extremely cold temperatures, an insulated garage door is a must. If you find that your garage stays cold in the winter, consider upgrading to an insulated garage door. Without insulation, garage doors will not keep out much of the cold or seal in much heat. An insulated overhead door could mean the difference between staying warm, no matter how cold it gets outside.

Problem 2 — My garage is too hot!

Yes, an insulated garage door helps your garage stay cooler than the rising hot temperatures of summer. If your garage gets as hot as a summer day, upgrade to an insulated garage door. Non-insulated garage doors do not regulate the heat and can't keep a space cool.

Problem 3 — My energy bills are high!

Conditioned spaces attached to garages also benefit from a "buffer zone" created by an insulated garage door. As a result of good heat stability, garages act as a buffer and help maintain the inside temperature to keep energy costs down. According to the polyurethane manufacturer Dow, an insulated garage door can help the average homeowner save up to 20% on their annual energy costs.

Is your garage so cold that your car is affected? Insulated garage doors can fix that.Is your garage so cold that your car is affected? Insulated garage doors can fix that.

Problem 4 — The garage door is so noisy!

The insulation in your garage door dampens the clattering sound that non-insulated steel garage doors often make. In turn, this makes insulated doors significantly quieter and provides much-needed relief for many homeowners with loud garage doors!

Problem 5 — I have to replace the door because of damage!

Insulated garage doors are considerably more rigid than their non-insulated counterparts, thus helping them endure minor impacts, such as rebounded basketballs. Polyurethane insulation provides the most strength and durability. All this means that your playful kids can carry on, and you don't have to worry about damage when the next storm rolls through with a new garage door.

Want more benefits of insulated garage doors?  Check out the following infographic from our polyurethane manufacturer, Dow, courtesy of Door + Access Systems Magazine! Click the picture to view it in full size.

Trust Amarr When Considering an Insulated Garage Door

When it comes to protecting your home from extreme weather, cutting down on energy costs and preparing for longevity, we've got you covered. With Amarr manufacturing insulated garage doors and professional garage dealers installing them, you are in good hands. With us, you'll never have to wonder if you're getting the right deal or the perfect garage door.

Talk to a garage door specialist at a location nearest you.