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How to Evaluate Insulated Garage Doors

04/05/2015 Back To Blog

The benefits of insulated overhead garage doors are well understood by homeowners. These units improve the energy efficiency of the garage and of the entire house. They can help you to generate considerable savings over time. Furthermore, they reduce the risk of condensation and rusting of the panels and hardware components. At the same time, not all insulated units are created equal. You should be able to assess the true value of a model in perspective. Learn how to do this.Insulated Garage Doors


Design Structure 


The modern insulated steel units have the so called layered design. Usually, each model in the product range of a brand has a specific design. Some brands like Amarr, however, have several design options for a single model with a given style. In any case, you have to compare what is offered carefully.


Assess each design option in terms of energy efficiency and durability - The units with two-layer design are made from a single sheet of steel and a layer of insulating material. They are not particularly heavy. The models with three-layer design have the insulation layer set between two sheets of metal. They are heavier and require a more powerful garage door opener, but they provide for a higher level of energy-efficiency. Furthermore, the insulation material is better protected from the elements. You should also check your budget when making the comparison.


Consider the decorative layers - Many models come with PVC overlay. It has decorative purpose and adds little to the level of insulation. At the same time, it provides protection to the layers underneath it. You have to evaluate the durability and aesthetics of the overlay and its cost as well when you plan garage door replacement.


Insulation Material


The quality of the insulation material, which is typically either polyurethane or polystyrene, is as important as the design of the unit. That is why it deserves your full attention.


Check the thickness and R-value of the material - The thicker the material is the better job it will do. This is a simple rule to follow when comparing different options. The assessment of the R-value is more challenging as it depends on the nature and make of the material as well as on its thickness. In general, polyurethane has higher R-value compared to polystyrene, all other things being equal.


Evaluate the material's durability - Check how resistant the material is to moisture. It is best if it gets dry and restores its properties after it gets wet. Pay attention to the fire-resistant rating of the material as well. Find out if the material will require replacement after a new garage door installation.


R-Value and U-Factor 


Look for higher R-value and lower U-factor - The first measure is for the thermal resistance of the overhead door. The greater it is the better. The second one is for the amount of heat which is transmitted from one side of the garage door panels to the other when the temperature difference between the two sides is 1 degree F. The lower is the better.


Check how the R-value is measured - This should be done in line with the instructions in Technical Data Sheet number 163 of the Doors and Access Systems Manufacturer Association. All major brands like Clopay adhere to these rules.


It is great to have a brand new unit, but if there is a problem, you should not hesitate to seek the help of Garage Door Repair Anoka.

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