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Any garage door is available in two different ways: insulated and non-insulated. An insulated door comes in three ways, polystyrene with a vinyl back, polystyrene with a steel back and polyurethane. Polystyrene is a lower value insulative product and polyurethane has a much higher insulation value.

The level of insulation you should get depends on several factors:

First: in what direction is your door facing, north, south, east or west? A northerly door will get no direct sun, requiring less insulation for heat. An easterly door will get the cooler, rising sun, also requiring less insulation for heat. A southern and westerly facing garage door will get the most heat.

Second: is your garage (and garage roof) insulated? If it is, then you may want to have insulation. If you do projects or work out in your garage, if you want to keep the room above the garage cooler, or if your garage is facing south or west, you might want to have insulation.

Third: do you have a water heater in your garage? If you do, then according to California code, you also have vents built into the outside walls to vent the gas emanating from the water heater. Outdoor vents negate any energy efficiency value that insulation provides.

Fourth: noise. An insulated door in much quieter than a non-insulated garage door. The difference is dramatic.

Fifth: aesthetics. An insulated door is completely finished on the inside and looks clean and beautiful.

Sixth: energy efficiency. Because all the walls from the house to the garage are insulated with R19, an insulated garage door doesn’t have a huge impact on the bottom line regarding energy costs. Insulation makes a difference, but the level of affect is determined by factors 1-3.

Insulation value is determined by “R Value” a term used to determine the transfer of radiant heat. The insulation in most walls is R19. The insulation in garage doors ranges from R5 to R17. Talk to a garage door contractor today about your insulation choices!

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