The amount of insulation you need in your garage door depends on your region. With the garage usually being the primary entrance to the home and with living space often above or beside it, it’s best to keep the temperature in the garage as comfortable as possible. This is especially true in very cold regions. You can choose garage doors with varying degrees of insulation to best suit your needs. The effectiveness of the insulation is expressed as an R-value*, which is its resistance to heat flow. The higher the R-value, the better the insulation in the door. For instance, Model 8300 and 8500 doors from Wayne Dalton offer high levels of insulation against extreme temperatures and have an R-value up to 14.8*. Many Wayne Dalton garage doors come with one of two types of insulation: polyurethane or polystyrene.

“R-values” have become familiar benchmarks for shoppers to compare the insulating ability of a wide range of home building products. That’s smart. But there are other things about garage door insulation that people should know. The type of insulation makes a difference. The two most common insulating materials are polyurethane and polystyrene. Polystyrene insulation is usually used in rigid sheets inserted into garage door cavities. Polyurethane is a foam that expands and bonds to surfaces when injected into the cavity. Inch for inch, polyurethane insulation is twice as effective as polystyrene.

Composite panels have structural properties. The polyurethane foam bonded to the steel section creates a composite structure with greater strength, more rigidity, improved dent-resistance and better thermal protection.

Insulating against neighborhood noise, too. The same properties that improve thermal efficiency, also give polyurethane insulation excellent acoustic properties. An insulated garage door can significantly reduce the intrusion of street noise into the home – especially important when there are bedroom or other living areas above or adjacent to the garage.

* Wayne Dalton uses a calculated door section R-value for our insulated doors.

Polyurethane foamed-in-place insulation

Our most popular polyurethane foamed-in-place insulated doors have R-values ranging from 11 to 14.8. The doors are manufactured with polyurethane foamed-in-place insulation using a patented process. Polyurethane insulation delivers twice the thermal performance of polystyrene insulation of the same thickness! It also adds strength and rigidity to the door panels and helps dampen sound transmission.

The garage doors listed below have foamed-in-place polyurethane insulation:

  • Carriage House Steel Garage Door 9700
  • Carriage House Steel Garage Door 9400
  • Classic Steel Garage Door 9100 / 9600
  • Classic Steel Garage Door 8300 / 8500
  • Designer Fiberglass Garage Door 9800 (up to 8ft.)
  • Specialty Vinyl Garage Door 8700

Expanded polystyrene insulation

Expanded polystyrene insulation offers thermal efficiency with an R-value between 3.7 and 7.4. Polystyrene insulation are rigid panels placed inside the door sections when they are manufactured.

The garage doors listed below have polystyrene insulation:

  • Carriage House Steel Garage Door 8024/8124 PE
  • Classic Steel Garage Door 8024/8124/8224 PO
  • Classic Steel Garage Door 8000 / 8100 / 8200

The core of our popular garage door models, the 9700 and 9600 provide an insulation R-value of 10, more than twice as much as common polystyrene insulation board the same thickness. It's bonded to each steel section, creating a composite structure with higher strength, greater rigidity, improved dent-resistance and better thermal protection.

To understand how R-value and heat flow are related, it is easier to think of your garage not as a single entity, but as a part of a system with the external environment. As with most everything in nature, heat will want to redistribute itself in an effort to reach a state of equilibrium, or equal temperatures on both the inside and the outside of your garage. To do this, heat must pass through the garage door to reach the other part of the system.

Door quality can impact the thermal efficiency of your home. Your garage door is typically the largest opening in your home. In the summer, heat is produced outside of your garage. Thus, it is naturally hotter outside of your garage than inside and heat will try to "get in" to even out the system. If a garage door has an R-value of 3, 1/3 of the heat will get through the door and into your garage. This does not mean that the internal temperature will be 1/3 of the external temperature, though. It just means that as more heat is produced externally, 1/3 of it will enter your garage. Insulating your garage door can help keep the heat out.

The opposite is true in the winter. Heat is produced inside your garage in the winter, either by heating or by the effects of the sun. As it is cooler on the outside of the door, heat will try to escape to the outside through the door and other parts of your garage to even out the system. If keeping your garage warm in the winter is a priority, then choose a door with a higher R-value.

Insulated Door Benefits

  • Prevent Air Leakage
  • Comfort
  • Create a comfortable environment to work in the garage year-round.
  • Better Resistance to Dents
  • Noise Reduction
  • Save Energy
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