As you begin shopping for a new garage door, you have lots of decisions to make. With so many styles and materials to choose from, you have plenty of options to fall in love with. Another crucial choice is whether to invest in an insulated garage door. Most garage doors offer insulation options, and making the right selection will affect your daily comfort and energy costs. Let’s weigh the pros and cons of insulating your garage door.
The Pros and Cons of Insulated Garage Doors
The difference between insulated and uninsulated garage doors is a thick layer of foam. The foam allows the garage to retain heat in the winter and keep cooled air inside during the summer.
When homeowners compare insulated garage doors vs. non-insulated doors, the insulation almost always wins them over. They have a host of fantastic benefits!
1. They Increase Your Home’s Value
Upgrading your garage door is one of the smartest home improvements you can make. It offers an impressive return on investment, especially in Wisconsin and Minnesota. When you choose an insulated garage door, you increase your home’s value through curb appeal and energy efficiency. Insulated garage doors look sturdier and more attractive, which helps attract buyers when it’s time to sell. Since the house is more energy-efficient, buyers are willing to pay more upfront.
2. They Save Energy
Insulated garage doors seal up one of the largest gaps in your home’s thermal envelope. By keeping the heat in during the winter and out during the summer, they lessen the burden on your HVAC system. You’ll use less electricity to keep your home comfortable, saving you money. Insulating your garage door is one of the best ways to make your garage more energy-efficient.
3. They Keep Your Garage Warmer in Colder Months
An insulated garage door makes your garage considerably warmer. Some homeowners find their insulated garage doors increase their garage’s temperature by an average of 49 degrees over the outdoor temperature.
If you use your garage as a workshop or living space, you’ll be warmer and more comfortable. If you use your garage to park your vehicle, an insulated garage door is more convenient. You’ll walk into a warmer vehicle and come home to a cozier garage. It makes transporting groceries or buckling kids’ seat belts that much easier.
4. They’re Quieter
One unexpected benefit of insulation is its sound absorbency. A thick layer of insulation can shield you from nearby barking dogs and traffic. If you use power tools or listen to loud music in your garage, you won’t disturb your neighbors. Bouncing a basketball off a garage door sounds about three times quieter on an Intellicore® insulated garage door than it does on an uninsulated door.
The insulation also works to dampen the door’s sound. Insulation fills in the gaps between the door’s steel layers, which absorbs noise. It will open and close more quietly to avoid waking sleeping babies or pets and give your entire household some peace.
5. They’re More Durable
Insulation adds a thick, inner layer to your garage door, giving it more impact resistance. The foam can absorb the shock from daily openings and impacts, making the door less likely to dent.
Besides the added durability, insulation also protects the garage door opener. In a warmer garage, the motor and metal moving parts will stay in better condition and last longer.
6. They Protect Your Vehicle and Belongings
An insulated garage door protects your vehicle from extreme temperatures. Cold weather limits your battery’s capacity and could leave you with a dead battery. It also thickens fluids like antifreeze and motor oil, which could cause malfunctions. Cold air can also reduce your tire pressure. Any of these issues could shorten your vehicle’s life or send you to a mechanic.
Beside your vehicle, you more than likely store lots of temperature-sensitive materials in your garage. Things like motor oil, paint, fertilizers and cleaning chemicals can change consistency in extreme temperatures.
Damage to your vehicle and other belongings is less of a concern in a warmer garage due to having an insulated garage door versus a non-insulated door.
7. They Offer Flexible Insulation Options
When you pick an insulated garage door, you can select the garage insulation R-value that will meet your needs and budget. What is R-value? Essentially, it’s a measure of a material’s resistance to heat flow. A high R-value creates better insulation, keeping heat indoors and the cold outdoors. In the summer, it works the other way around, keeping your air conditioning inside. Garage door insulation comes in many R-values allowing you to select moderate or excellent insulation.
Disadvantages of Insulated Garage Doors
While insulated garage doors provide many benefits, they’re not for everyone. Some people don’t choose insulated doors because of downsides like these below:
1. They Cost More
The main downside to insulated garage doors is their cost. Even the most economically priced insulated garage door will cost more than a similar uninsulated model. It’s crucial to weigh the upfront investment against long-term energy savings. You could save money down the line, both through a lower energy bill and a slight boost to your home’s resale value.
2. They Don’t Benefit You If the Garage Is Open
An open insulated garage door is no different from an uninsulated one. Upgrading to an automatic opener with myQ connectivity is a fantastic way to eliminate this drawback. The myQ app turns your automatic opener into a smart device. You’ll receive alerts when you’ve left your door open and can shut the door from your phone, no matter where you are.
The Pros and Cons of Uninsulated Garage Doors
Uninsulated garage doors come in the same attractive styles as their insulated counterparts. The only difference is what you can’t see. Instead of a layer of foam insulation behind the steel, it’s hollow space. In comparing insulated vs. uninsulated garage doors, you’ll find some pros and cons to the uninsulated models.
Advantages of Uninsulated Garage Doors
Uninsulated garage doors are a smart investment for some homeowners. While they’re not for everyone, an uninsulated garage door has some plus sides.
1. They’re Less Expensive
An uninsulated garage door’s primary advantage is the lower price. When comparing insulated vs. uninsulated garage door costs, the uninsulated version of your chosen door will always cost less. For the lower price, you get fewer layers of steel and no protection from the cold. However, you’ll also pay more for electricity.
2. They’re Practical in Mild Climates
A high R-value garage door isn’t necessary for everyone. In mild climates, homeowners don’t need to turn up the heat or air conditioning quite as often. An uninsulated garage door does the job.
In Minnesota and Wisconsin, it’s a different story. In Minnesota, the average low temperature ranges from 8 to 13 degrees Fahrenheit in the coldest months. In Wisconsin, the lows often dip to 1 degree Fahrenheit in January. In these bitter winters, an insulated garage door will pay for itself in saved heating costs.
3. They Work Well for Detached Garages
The top advantages of an insulated garage door are energy efficiency and comfort. If you have a detached garage, these two benefits become less important. With a detached garage, your heating system isn’t in the same building, and the insulation will not affect your home’s energy efficiency. Your insulated garage also won’t be much warmer without a heater inside. If you use a detached garage as living or working space, or use it for storage, it might still be worth it to get an insulated garage door. It will make any space heater or heat pump more efficient.
Disadvantages of Uninsulated Garage Doors
Uninsulated garage doors have some major drawbacks to consider.
1. They’re Not Energy-Efficient
The main drawback of an uninsulated door is that it provides no heat resistance. As a result, it lets your heating and air conditioning escape outdoors. Energy waste is a significant concern for people with attached garages. If your garage is next to climate-controlled rooms in your house, the heat loss through your garage will make your HVAC system work harder.
2. They Make Your Garage Less Comfortable
Without heat flow resistance, your garage will feel much like it is outdoors, no matter the season. If you spend time in the garage, you might prefer the added comfort of insulation.
3. They May Limit Your Storage Options
With more temperature fluctuation, many of the items you store in your garage are at risk. Wood may expand and contract more dramatically, causing cracks. Moisture-sensitive items will be susceptible to more humidity, and liquids may thicken. If you use your garage for storage, an uninsulated garage won’t provide the protection you need.
4. They’re Less Durable
An uninsulated garage door is hollow. A single-layer door won’t even have an inside face. This feature means the door is more likely to dent. Continually hitting your garage floor may cause extra wear. Tapping the door with your car or a soccer ball might also leave a dent.
5. They’re Noisier
Without insulation, a steel garage door has an empty cavity inside. As the door opens, vibrations rattle and echo inside that empty chamber. While some people are content with tuning it out, others can’t ignore it. The noise might wake people up late at night or early in the morning.
Contact BlackHawk Garage Door for New Garage Doors
At BlackHawk Garage Door, we have an excellent selection of garage doors that will fit any home and budget. Whether you choose insulated or uninsulated doors, we’ll help you find a style you’ll love. For more information on the doors and insulation options we offer, contact our garage door experts online or give us a call today for your free estimate.