Garage doors can be a large factor in your home’s heat loss or gain. This can affect attached garages, garages under living space and even detached garages that have a workshop or workspace. To make your heating and cooling dollars go farther, consider adding garage door insulation. You can find aftermarket kits to add garage door insulation. You can also insulate your door with common materials found at your local home improvement center.
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Foam Garage Door Insulation
Rigid polystyrene foam is a great way to help insulate your garage door. Available at most large home centers, polystyrene foam comes in 4’ x 8’ sheets and in various thicknesses. This type of foam is easily shaped with common tools such as utility knives and handsaws.
The amount of internal insulation a garage door has will determine its overall R value. It is common for newer garage doors to have an R value of between 4 and 7. Usually the doors are insulated with a polyurethane insulation, polystyrene compound, or foam which is placed inside the internal structure of the door. Older garage doors do not usually have an R value rating.
You will most likely not want to replace a garage door which is in good shape. You can make that old garage door more energy efficient by installing a garage door insulation kits. These kits will work great with almost any kind of residential garage door. You can save a lot of money by refurbishing your old door instead of replacing it. Garage door insulation kits are available for both single and double car garages. These kits will work great with most standard garage doors. Polystyrene has good insulation properties and is used most often for these kits. Putting one of these kits in place can give your old garage door an R value of around five. You can reduce your energy costs by installing one of these kits.
To insulate a hollow or thin garage door, measure the inside of the door panel and cut the foam to fit. Affix the foam to the garage door insulation panels with heavy-duty, two-sided tape or contact cement.
A Thin Alternative
Reflective foil insulation is designed to prevent heat transfer. Created by combining foil with a thin plastic backing, reflective foil insulation is a great way to insulate older, solid doors.
To insulate your garage door with reflective foil insulation, measure and cut sheets of the foil to fit the individual panels of your door. Insulating foil can be attached to garage door panels using two-sided tape. Some manufacturers already provide this tape with the roll of foil.
Around The Edges
Even a well-insulated door can lose or gain heat. Improper installation can leave gaps around the edges. Check the weather stripping along the bottom of the door to make sure it makes a proper seal with the door closed. The weather stripping along the edges should also leave no gaps. If you can feel a draft, or can see light between the garage door and frame, adjust or replace the weather stripping as required. Be sure to caulk around any crack or crevice where air might be able to get through!
Between the Panels
If you have a newer type of garage door, especially a metal garage door, it is common to have interlocking panels. Though this does help significantly with keeping heat and cold out, air still gets between them quite easily.
It is easy and inexpensive to use window and door type 3/8" wide foam instulation strips in between the panels to help seal them. Just be sure to open and close your door and check for binding when you are done.
If your garage door has any difficulty closing, or any panels appear to be too tight, you can adjust the hinges a little to provide the clearance needed to keep the door panels from binding and maintain a good seal.
To adjust the hinges, you will see 2 bolts on top and 2 bolts on the bottom of every hinge. The bolts go through elongated holes, so just loosen these up enough to move the panel and make your minor adjustments for the gap between the garage door panels.