5 Reasons You Need an Insulated Garage Door

5 Reasons You Need an Insulated Garage Door

reasons insulated garage doors twin cities

  • Garage Door Insulation Saves Energy >>
  • Insulated Garage Doors are More Durable >>
  • Insulated Garage Doors are Quieter >>
  • Insulation Helps to Protect Your Car and Belongings >>
  • A Warmer Garage is More Convenient >>
  • How to Choose an Energy-Efficient Garage Door >>
  • Understanding R values for Garage Doors >>

Have you been considering replacing your garage door? You’re not alone.

Replacing garage doors is an easy way to update your house. It’s also one of the most valuable renovations you can make. When they sell their house, homeowners recoup 74 percent of the cost of a new garage door.

added home value insulated garage door Twin Cities

It’s also an affordable renovation option. The average garage door replacement costs between $700 and $1400. And many homeowners say it’s a renovation that makes a big difference. A new garage door can increase your curb appeal. It can also make your garage more useful and inviting.

One of the newest trends is to choose an energy-efficient garage door. The insulation in these doors minimizes heat loss. And modern technology means that these garage doors are available in many styles. If you’re looking for a particular design, material, or size, it’s possible to find an insulated door that fits.

What is an insulated garage door, and what can it do for your home? Read on to find out what an insulated garage door can do for your home.

1. Garage Door Insulation Saves Energy


energey efficient garage door impact energy bill Twin Cities

Most energy saving tips focus on the inside of the house. It makes sense! Insulation, energy efficient windows, and better heating systems can all reduce your energy use.

So it’s no surprise that most advice on saving energy overlooks your garage. Garages aren’t always considered part of the house. But garages often have conditioned rooms above them. Many have a door that connects directly to the house, as well.

Because garages aren’t considered living space, the construction standards are different. More gaps and air leakage is allowed. As a result, garages are one of the least energy efficient parts of your home.

This means that uninsulated garages transfer cold air to the rooms next to them. They also allow cold air into your home via gaps in the door

Adding insulation to your garage door can help you save energy. By moderating the temperature in the garage, you’re reducing the amount of energy required to heat the rest of your home.

That’s true even if your garage isn’t insulated.

In the past, people thought that an insulated garage door was unnecessary. After all, the rest of the garage is rarely insulated. The engineers at Clopay Doors decided to put this idea to the test.

They measured temperatures inside of an uninsulated garage in 20 degree weather. With a single layer door (no insulation) the temperature inside the garage was only 30 degrees. But with an insulated garage door, temperatures inside the garage climbed to 42 degrees.

Although that seems like a small jump, those twelve degrees make a big difference. Your car is less likely to sustain damage if the temperature is above freezing. The same is true for paints, sealants, and other chemicals often kept in garages.

garage door buffer zone outdoors Twin Cities

It also has a big difference on heat loss from the rest of your house. Garages tend to act as a buffer zone between the heated indoors and outdoor weather. This in-between space is warmer than the outdoors, which means that you won’t be bringing gusts of cold air directly into your home. And because your heater won’t need to work as hard, you’ll save energy.

2. Insulated Garage Doors are More Durable

Another benefit of an insulated garage door is added durability.

Insulated garage doors for both residential and commercial are constructed differently from single layer garage doors, which make them stronger. Since your door needs to stand up to cars, kids, and equipment, this added durability makes sense.

Many of today’s insulated doors are made with a steel or aluminum frame. The frame is filled with solid-core insulation, which is then sandwiched between single or dual steel panels. This style of construction creates a lightweight, energy efficient door that’s less likely to dent than older, uninsulated doors.

By contrast, older garage doors tended to be made of thin steel sheets wrapped over the panel frames. With no insulation, these panels could be easily dented by cars, items stored in the garage, and even basketballs or children’s bikes.

insulated garage door extra durability Twin Cities

These dents from daily activities meant more maintenance for homeowners. They could also lower a home’s curb appeal or value. Insulated garage doors, which contain multiple layers of insulation, steel, and aluminum, are less likely to be damaged.

Added durability increases your garage door’s lifespan in other ways, too. Because of their size, garage doors are often damaged by bad weather. Dents and scratches from wind-borne projectiles are one of the most common types of weather related damage. Insulated garage doors stand up better to these types of projectiles as well.

Simple wind, rain, and sun can also take a toll on a garage door. Cold weather can warp metal components of a door. And heat can stress door panels, particularly those made of vinyl or acrylic. Extreme temperatures can also affect lubrication, springs, and the drive mechanism of your garage door.

Insulated garage doors tend to hold less heat than uninsulated doors. They also help to maintain moderate temperatures just inside the door — where your opening mechanism is usually located. That means that these components aren’t exposed to such extreme conditions, which helps to prolong their lifespan.

3. Insulated Garage Doors are Quieter

An insulated garage door tends to be much quieter than an uninsulated garage door. Although noise dampening isn’t usually the most important factor, it’s an added benefit of an insulated door.

Many garage doors tend to produce some noise. For older garage doors, the primary offender is usually the track mechanism. Loose chains on the track tend to produce a loud, jerking noise. And worn down rollers can also grumble and squeak. Badly lubricated hinges and springs are another common contributor.

lubricate garage door 6 months Twin Cities

If your door is making a lot of noise, check these areas first. For best performance, hinges, tracks, and roller bearings should be lubricated every six months or so.

However, not all noise problems can be solved through maintenance. On some garage doors, the panels themselves vibrate and create noise. Lightweight doors without insulation tend to make the most noise.

If you have a living space directly above or next to the garage, this noise can be a nuisance. It’s particularly problematic for rooms directly above the garage.

If your garage door makes lots of noise, it may be time to consider replacing it with an insulated door. The insulation dampens most of the vibration. It can also help to dampen noise from outside the door.

Insulated doors also tend to make less noise because they’re more tightly constructed than other doors. Because each panel is made of layers of material sandwiched tightly together, there’s less loose material to make noise. And because they’re often heavier than uninsulated doors, they’re less likely to jolt or vibrate on the track.

4. Insulation Helps to Protect Your Car and Belongings


insulated garage to store car Twin Cities

Insulated garage doors can also help to protect your car. A car stored in a garage with an insulated door is less likely to be in freezing conditions. Since cold weather can affect your car in a number of ways, your insulated door can have a big impact on the life of your car.

Some of the ways that freezing weather can affect cars include:

  • Shorter battery life or dead batteries
  • Thickened transmission, engine, and brake fluids
  • Low air pressure in tires
  • Unreliable spark plugs and wiring

The lower the temperature, the less likely your car is to run properly.

Remember that experiment about whether an insulated door on an insulated garage had any effect? That insulated door raised the temperature from 30 to 42 degrees. Since car batteries are most reliable between 30 and 90 degrees, just the door can make a big difference.

That temperature difference can also prolong the life of other items. Those cans of paint in the corner of the garage? Extreme heat and cold can change its consistency. It will become unusable more quickly than if it were in a temperature-controlled space. The same is true of many fertilizers, cleaning supplies, and motor oil.

5. A Warmer Garage is More Convenient


keep garage warmer Twin Cities

Many people use their garages for more than just parking their car. If you work out in your garage or use it for hobbies, an energy-efficient door makes sense. Keeping your garage warmer makes it easier for you to do occasional activities in it.

In cold climates, like here in Minnesota, that added warmth can make a difference. Getting to and from the house is easier when you have a warmer buffer zone to pass through. If you need to carry groceries or move your children from the car to the house, it’s easier to do so in a warmer area.

If you heat your garage or use it for more than occasional activities, you may want to go a step further. The garage is usually the least energy-efficient part of a home. That’s because construction standards are different for garages than they are for living spaces. Garages generally have less insulation and more leaks than the rest of your home.

To create an energy-efficient activity space in your garage, you’ll first need to identify where you lose the most heat. Leaks between the doorframe and foundation, and around windows and doors, are usually the biggest culprit. Single-layer garage doors, particularly aluminum, also allow lots of heat to leak out.

You can fix these problems in many ways. Caulking gaps between the foundation and the frame will also make a big difference. You can add rolled insulation to the walls, or blow foam insulation into finished walls. Finally, there are weather stripping kits available for garage doors and residential doors.

Of all of the energy efficiency solutions available, an insulated door usually has the biggest impact. But choosing the right garage door can be a challenge. Read on to learn more about how to compare and choose an insulated door.

How to Choose an Energy-Efficient Garage Door

Garage door insulation can be confusing. Manufacturers can use several different types of energy efficiency ratings. Other factors, like materials, also affect how energy efficient a door is. The way that your garage door is constructed can also play a role.

Choosing Energy Efficient Materials

add curb appeal to home Twin Cities

The materials used in your garage door have a big impact on its appearance. And since a garage door can add considerable curb appeal to your home, it’s a good idea to choose a well-designed door.

The good news is that most doors, regardless of material, can be insulated. If you’re looking for an energy-efficient garage door, look for a double layer or triple layer door.

  • Single layer doors are made of just one layer, with no added insulation
  • Double layer door has an added layer of insulation, usually polystyrene
  • Triple layer doors have a thicker layer of polystyrene or polyurethane insulation, usually the most energy-efficient

If you’re choosing a single layer door, you’ll only get the insulation from the panel materials themselves. Most of these materials provide relatively little insulation.

If you’re selecting a double layer or triple layer door, most of the insulation will be done by the internal layers of polystyrene or polyurethane. That means you can choose your finish based on aesthetics instead of heat retention.

Modern garage doors usually use one of four types of materials:

Steel: The most common material for new garage doors. It’s usually chosen for its low maintenance requirements, wide variety of designs, and durability. It provides moderate insulation.

Aluminum: A lightweight alternative to steel. Aluminum can give your garage an updated, modern look. However, it’s a poor insulator.

Wood: Offers homeowners a high-end, classic look. Wood doesn’t provide much insulation, so it’s usually chosen for appearance rather than energy efficiency.

Composite Wood: Like wood, it’s generally not a good insulator. However, composite wood is often layered over steel and insulation in double and triple layer doors. It’s a popular way to get the classic appearance of wood doors with more energy efficiency.

Understanding R values for Garage Doors

Understanding how manufacturers measure insulation is one of the first steps in choosing an energy efficient garage door. In general, you’ll see one of two types of ratings used: R values or U-factors.

If you’ve been looking for an insulated garage door, you have probably seen R-ratings, or R values. This is the most common measurement for insulation in garage doors.

R value Twin Cities

An R value is a measure of how effective a material is at insulating a garage door against heat loss. An R value is determined by the thickness of insulation, and by its chemical properties. Higher R values mean that less heat passes through the door.

Different types of insulation can have different R-ratings.  A garage door with 2” thick polyurethane insulation can have a different R value than a garage door with 2” thick polystyrene insulation.

People often think that higher R values provide significantly more insulation. Many people assume that an R-16 door is twice as effective at insulating as an R-8 door. While an R-16 door will provide more effective insulation, the actual difference is only about 5 percent.

R-Value Reduction in Heat Flow
R-8 90%
R-12 93%
R-16 95%
R-20 96%
R-32 97%

When it comes to garage doors, understanding R values is even more complicated. R values can be measured in two different ways:

  • At the center of the panel, where insulation is thickest
  • For the entire door assembly

Garage doors that report the rating for the door assembly are more accurate. That’s because they take into account the frame and the space between panels.

Not all manufacturers rate their doors this way. That means that when it comes to R values, you might be comparing apples to oranges.

Many manufacturers who report the R-value for the entire door assembly have an R-value between 5 and 10. As the chart above shows, that works out to about 90 percent reduction in heat flow.

But other manufacturers choose to rate the insulation in their doors from the center of the panel. In these cases, garage doors could have R values between R-16 and R-32.

Although the center of the panel has thick insulation, it’s important to keep in mind that the entire door might have a lower insulation rating. That’s because the frame, hardware, and seals can’t be insulated in the same way as the panel.

Martin Hollaway, a green building advisor, wanted to find a way to compare the two rating systems that manufacturers use. He found that the R-value of the entire door assembly is about  one-third of those for the center of panel of that door.

So if you’re comparing doors and are confused about the R values of different garage doors, you’re not alone.

Garage door installers can help you figure out the right level of insulation for your garage door. We can also help you learn about how a specific manufacturer determines their R values. With this information, you’ll be able to compare doors more effectively.


Refference: https://www.idc-automatic.com/5-reasons-insulated-garage-door/

Belt Drive Garage Door Openers Vs. Chain Drive: Which is Better?

When it comes to garage door openers there are two types that make up more than 95% of all sales: belt drive and chain drive. They both have their advantages and disadvantages and both have their champions; people who swear one type is better than the other. But is one type of garage door opener really better than the other, or is it just a matter of personal preference? Here we’ll examine the pros and cons of each type of drive mechanism and try to determine if belt or chain drive really makes one opener better than the other.

Belt vs. Chain

Determining the Best Garage Door Opener For Your Broomfield Home

Our non-scientific comparison will try and figure out if one type of opener is clearly better than the other through a listing of their advantages and disadvantages. Belt drive first.

Belt Drive Pros

  • Noise – One of the things that makes the process of raising and lowering your garage doors a noisy experience is the chain drive mechanism. A belt drive however nearly eliminates noise from the process which is one of the main advantages it has over the chain drive. In this regard there isn’t much of a contest. Belt drive garage doors are much quieter to operate.
  • Strength – Belt drives will do a fine job of lifting practically any type of garage door. Drive belt construction has made great strides in recent decades, to the point that they’re now used on many large motorcycles; which should tell you something about their durability as well.
  • Speed – Belt drive garage doors will lift an average weight door slightly quicker than their chain counterpart. So if getting into your home a few seconds faster is important to you, you’ll want to go with a belt drive system.
  • Ease of Installation – Any drive mechanism whether chain or belt, is going to eventually need replacing. When that time comes replacing a worn or broken belt can be a significantly easier process than replacing a broken chain drive.
  • Availability – Belt drive garage door openers are available nearly everywhere you buy home improvement products. You can also purchase them through garage door installation and service companies if you like.
  • Ease of Maintenance – Belt drives do not need to be lubricated the way chain drives do.

Belt Drive Cons

  • Strength – How can the same issue be both a strength and a weakness? Because while belt drive garage door openers will typically lift the average 1 car garage door with quiet ease, they may struggle a bit when it comes to lifting heavier, 2 car garage doors, or for that matter heavy wooden doors.
  • Performance – While belt drives will operate just fine under most conditions they may slip when operating in extreme heat or during times of very high humidity.
  • Lifespan – Typically a belt will not last as long as a chain will so you’ll have to replace them more often. On the upside they usually come with a better warranty than chain drive systems.
  • Price – Belt drive garage door openers will typically set you back more than chain drive openers, but, as mentioned above, they also usually come with a better warranty.

Now let’s take a look at the pros and cons of chain drive garage door openers.

Chain Drive Pros

  • Strength – Whereas a belt drive may struggle to lift 2 car garage doors, a chain drive will have no such problems. There’s also no danger that they’ll slip in the process which means they’re slightly safer as well.
  • Dependability/Durability – Chain drives, if properly maintained, will outlast belt drives by a fair degree. They’re also good to go no matter the temperature or humidity.
  • Availability – Like belt drive systems, chain driven garage door openers are available just about anywhere. At the big box, at any home improvement center, at many hardware stores or through your local garage door installation company.
  • Price – Chain drives are by far the least expensive type of garage door opener on the market which is what makes them so widely popular.

Chain Drive Cons

  • Noise – No doubt about it, a chain drive garage door opener will make more noise than a belt drive. If your garage door is attached to the house near any of the major social areas or under a second floor bedroom this could be a problem. If the garage is detached it may not be.
  • Smoothness of Operation – Chain drive doors will sometimes lift in a slightly shaky manner due to the nature of the chain mechanism. They will also lift your door a bit slower than a belt drive opener might, though the difference of a few seconds overall isn’t much of an issue to most homeowners.
  • Maintenance – That “properly maintained” part mentioned above is important because if you don’t have your chain drive lubricated at regular intervals it can begin to rust, work unevenly and eventually fail.

Ultimately, both chain and belt drive openers have their upside so, as with a lot of things in life, it really comes down to your personal preferences. If rock solid reliability in any weather with any size door is most important to you, you’ll probably want a chain drive system. If you need or want your door to be quiet and run as smooth and fast as possible, you’ll probably want to go with belt drive garage doors. If, however, upfront cost is your only consideration then it’s chain drive all the way.

At A Better Garage Door we’ve installed innumerable chain and belt drive openers for scores of homeowners in Thornton and Broomfield. We make sure our customers are always fully informed about the pros and cons of each type of garage door opener because our goal is to make sure they get the garage door they want, not the one that provides us with the largest profit margin. If you are still unsure which type of opener would be best for your home and family, give us a call on (303) 920-2267 and talk to one of our garage door experts.

Garage Door Styles That Help Increase Home Value

Installing a replacement garage door can increase your home’s curb appeal and overall value, while helping you save
money on heating and cooling costs. 

Remodeling magazine’s 2017 Cost vs. Value Report revealed that garage door replacement is one of the best ways to increase home value. Installing a new garage door can recoup an estimated 76.9% of project costs upon resale of the home, making them one of the top home improvement projects for overall return on investment.

Whether wood or steel, aluminum or vinyl, today’s garage doors are finely crafted to withstand weather conditions for years. And with Pella’s insulation options, a new garage door can also increase your home’s energy efficiency and reduce noise.

Each door material has its benefits, but wood and steel remain favorites among customers – wood for its natural, traditional beauty, and steel for its low-maintenance durability.

Because a garage door often makes up around one-third of a home’s front exterior, it’s important to choose a door that complements your home’s architectural style. Beyond style, it’s also important to choose a garage door made of durable material that increases energy efficiency.

We’ve compiled a brief guide of our most popular offerings that will help you find the best garage door for your home.

Victorian and Colonial homes look best with carriage house doors
Pella® Architect Series® Garage Door

Victorian and Colonial Homes
A popular garage door option for Victorian and Colonial homes is the carriage house style. A custom wood carriage house door offers stunning beauty and a distinctive look, or a steel carriage house door can provide the same classic look while emphasizing affordability and durability. Decorative hardware, like iron hinges or handles, is often installed on these doors for more authentic detailing.

Enhance a craftsman home
Colesburg Pella® Garage Door

Craftsman Homes
One of the most distinguishing features of a Craftsman home is its use of double-hung wood windows and divided-light grilles. Garage doors that complement this style feature arched, divided-light windows, which allow more natural light to enter the garage.

Highlight modern, contemporary architecture with a unique wood and glass garage door
Ventura Pella® Garage Door

Contemporary and Modern Homes
Popular choices for modern garage doors include pebbled or powder-coated glass along with the sleek lines and stained wood style that defines modern doors. Choose from different materials and colors to make your door stand out from the rest of the neighborhood.

Visit your local Lowe’s to browse our more than 1,000 designs and find the Pella® garage door that fits your style and budget.

This article was written by

Nicolle Picray, Content Marketing & Social Media, Pella Windows & Doors

Nicolle Picray

A self-proclaimed Social Media Geek and DIY aficionado, Nicolle is a member of the Pella Marketing team, focused on content creation and curation. In her free time she can be found pillaging thrift shops for furniture projects, attempting to rationalize with her 4 year old daughter, and editing her husband’s honey-do list.

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