What is an Insulated Garage Door?

Ken Black
Ken Black
Man with hands on his hips
Man with hands on his hips

An insulated garage door is a garage door that includes some special insulating materials in the cavities of the door that is meant to help protect against air intrusion. The need for insulation is made more prevalent by the use garage door materials other than wood. While wood has some insulating properties, many other materials used for garage doors do not.

Commonly, an insulated garage door is one made predominately from steel. The insulated steel garage door is one of the more common types of doors on the market. There are a number of reasons why insulated garage doors are so much in need. The main reason is simply the sheer size of the garage door and the heat that can be lost through it.

It is estimated as much as a third of energy loss in a garage comes from the garage door. Thus, the insulated garage door serves as an effective barrier against such energy loss. Insulation can increase the efficiency inside a garage by at least 33 percent. Given the potential energy savings, the additional cost is minimal, many times amounting to less than 20 percent of a garage door without insulation.

The need to have an insulated garage door is more clearly evident in attached garages. There, the garage shares at least one common wall, and likely more than one common wall, with the living area of the home. Therefore, using an insulated garage door may not only help in the garage, but the rest of the home as well.

Even without an attached garage, there are other reasons why an insulated garage door may be beneficial. For those who work in a garage a great deal of time, especially in a commercial garage, it can make the environment much more comfortable. Further, even in residential applications, where work is done in the garage, it will provide some relief from extreme hot and cold temperatures.

The material used in an insulated garage door is commonly either polyurethane and polystyrene. Polyurethane is a foam sprayed onto materials to which it then bonds and becomes an effective barrier. Polystyrene is hard slats that are inserted into cavities in steel garage doors, usually between the inner and outer panels. The more effective type of insulation is generally said to be the polyurethane material. Fiberglass is an insulation material that is used to a lesser extent than these other two.

For those who do not have an insulated garage door, insulation kits can be purchased starting at $100 US Dollars (USD) and going up, depending on the size of the door needed. Some of these may use fiberglass insulation. This aids in the installation of the insulation.

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