We all know St. Louis winters can be brutal – causing many of us to look for ways to stay warm for the winter season. And while cranking the heat is sure to do the trick, installing new insulated garage doors can help keep your home warmer (without the high energy costs).
But with so many options to choose from, how do you know which doors are right for your home and which are the duds?
This guide takes a deep dive into how to find the best insulated garage doors. We’ll look at four benefits of going insulated, five factors to consider when picking out your perfect door, and a few FAQs from homeowners like you.
Ready to warm up? Let’s go.
Table of Contents
- Why Do You Need an Insulated Garage at All?
- What to Consider When Choosing Between Insulated Garage Doors
- Frequently Asked Questions
- Your Source for Insulated Garage Doors in O’Fallon
Why Do You Need an Insulated Garage at All?
Insulated garage doors tend to cost a bit more than other models. They’re also heavier, meaning they’re tougher to install, whether you’re tackling the project yourself or working with a contractor. And that can lead some homeowners to think they don’t need one at all.
But in reality, there are a variety of benefits to you (and your home) that insulated garage doors bring to the table.
1. A Warmer Home in Winter
The most obvious reason for installing insulated garage doors is these doors keep your home warmer if you have an attached garage.
Compared to non-insulated doors (made of singular panes of materials like steel), insulated doors sandwich insulation between two panes of material. The result, of course, is more resistance to the cold.
So, why does this help your home?
On the one hand, garages tend to share a lot of surface walls with your home. And should temperatures get exceedingly cold in there, your home is going to lose heat more rapidly through that shared wall. But if your garage stays warmer (thanks to insulated garage doors), so too does your home.
2. Less Noise
Cold isn’t the only thing insulated garage doors keep out. They can also protect surrounding rooms from noise too.
Street noise, for instance, is held at bay thanks to the insulation material sandwiched between the panes.
But on top of that, insulated panes operate much more quietly. With uninsulated doors, you’re going to hear shaking and vibrating, which will in turn shake and vibrate the tracks as it opens and closes.
3. Protect Your Vehicle & Belongings
Most Midwest residents have fallen victim to a dead battery thanks to the bitter cold at one point or another. And in St. Louis, we’re rarely spared from the sub-zero temperatures of winter.
Thanks to freezing weather, a dead battery isn’t the only downfall of a too-cold garage, though. Fluids and lubricants tend to thicken. Engines use more gas. And tires lose their pressure. On top of all that, it’s also freezing when you hop in the driver’s seat.
A warmer garage means you can minimize those nasty automotive effects in the cold.
But think about what else you store in your garage. Paints, cleaners, canned foods, drinks, automotive fluids, and plenty of other materials lose their integrity once the freezing temps descend upon them. And that can lead to a frustrating spring cleaning.
4. Longer Door Lifespan
Last but not least, an insulated garage door is a strong garage door.
Uninsulated doors are usually a single layer of material, making them more prone to dents and bends.
But insulated doors consist of three layers—a material like steel, the insulation, and another layer of the material. The result is a stronger door that can withstand blows better than uninsulated versions. And that means higher durability, a longer lifetime, and a better value for your home in the long run.
What to Consider When Choosing Between Insulated Garage Doors
R-Value (Most Important)
Courtesy of Raynor
When picking out insulated residential garage doors, the first metric you will want to look at is the R-value. This number is essentially the door’s ability to keep heat in and cold out.
R-values for garage doors range from 0 to 18, zero meaning no cold protection and 18 being highly resistant to extreme weather.
Detached garages should have an R-value of 4 and up to keep your belongings safe. For attached garages, shoot for R-values of at least 6 to 9. And for the best cold-resistance results, you’ll want an insulated door with an R-value above 12.
Polystyrene vs. Polyurethane
Another point you’ll want to consider is the type of insulation material used in the doors. Although you can get a good sense of the insulating power of the door from the R-value alone, it helps to understand the two different materials often used: polystyrene and polyurethane.
- Polystyrene – You likely already know this material by its more common name, Styrofoam. A thick sheet of polystyrene found in insulated garage doors tends to offer R-values of 5 to 10.5.
- Polyurethane – This material is essentially liquid plastic. It’s injected between the two panes and then expands to fill every nook and cranny. The result is superior insulating power that can achieve R-values of 12 to 18.
Thermal Break/Air Seal
Courtesy of Raynor
Garage doors aren’t just dumb slats of material—at least not anymore. Today, they’re infused with remarkable innovations and feats of engineering to make them more durable and weather resistant.
For instance, thermal breaks between the panes (pictured above) prevent temperature transfer between the outside and inside panes. Since the two materials never touch, the colder panes don’t drain the warmer ones of all their heat.
Don’t Forget Style
Up to this point, all we’ve talked about is the quality of the insulation. And for many, that’s concern #1. But the garage door isn’t just the gateway to the outside. It’s also a stylistic component of your home.
With the right style and color, your garage door can have a massive impact on your property’s overall look and personality. It can catch the attention of neighbors, complement the architecture of your house, brighten up exteriors, and even boost your property value.
That’s why it’s important to look at your stylistic options when shopping for insulated garage doors—not just R-values and insulation materials.
Garage Door Brand
The brand of your insulated garage doors matters, too.
Each garage door brand you see will offer slight variations compared to others, including differences in:
- Overall quality
- Insulation capabilities
- Material types
- Extra features like intelligent home compatibility
- Price points
- Style options
Beyond that, less reputable brands may lead to safety issues, especially if they aren’t installed by experts.
That’s why you should only use the most trusted brands in the biz. Brands like:
- Raynor Garage Doors
- doorLink Garage Doors
- Wayne & Dalton Garage Doors
- Clopay Garage Doors
- C.H.I. Overhead Doors
- Carriage House Door Company
Frequently Asked Questions
How Much Does an Insulated Garage Door Cost?
Insulated garage doors cost more than uninsulated ones—generally between $200 and $600 more than uninsulated models.
That being said, the range of prices varies dramatically.
For instance, HomeAdvisor points out that insulated garage doors can cost anywhere from $400 to $10,000.
Is an Insulated Garage Worth It?
For most homeowners, an insulated garage door will be worth the extra costs.
That’s because insulated garage doors offer benefits like:
- Higher energy efficiency throughout the home
- Protection of vehicle and belongings inside
- Quieter operation
- Better durability
- Longer lifespan
- Greater property value
And considering just how frigid temperatures can get in the Midwest and St. Louis area, spending a little extra to keep out the bitter winter temps leads to even more energy savings than other regions.
How Much Better Is an Insulated Garage Door?
That all depends on the quality, material, and insulating power of the garage door.
For instance, an uninsulated garage door will have an R-value (insulating power) of about 0 to 2. And over time, that means your garage won’t be much warmer than the temperature outside.
But as you increase the R-value of your garage door with insulation, your garage retains heat much more efficiently.
For instance, Justin Evans of Clopay cited a study among their engineers where an uninsulated garage door in 20-degree weather led to a space that was just 30 degrees. With an insulated garage door, the inside temperature was 42 degrees.
Gateway Door and Contracting – Your Source for Insulated Garage Doors in O’Fallon
Deciding between uninsulated and insulated garage doors is a no-brainer—especially in the bitterly cold temperatures of St. Louis.
But not all insulated doors are the same. And though they may look similar, they likely offer very different insulating capabilities.
With this guide, you’ll have all the information you need to make an informed decision about what type of insulated garage door is right for your home. And when you partner with an expert garage door installer, you can rest easy knowing your home and garage will stay warm and toasty all winter long.
At Gateway Door and Contracting, we take pride in getting the job done right the first time. Our expert technicians have in-depth knowledge of all garage door and opener brands. And since we’re not a franchise like many of our competitors, we can offer faster, friendlier, and higher-value service than the other guys.
So if you need insulated garage doors installation you can trust, get in touch today for your free estimate!