With heating and cooling costs continually on the rise, more and more house owners are taking a look at areas to insulate in their homes to help keep these costs down. One of the locations regularly looked at in terms of insulating is the garage door.
The garage door is frequently viewed as a kind of window wall-- or bad wall-- it lets air in, which alters the temperature level inside the garage. When your garage is connected to the rest of your home, this, in turn, leads to temperature changes that could be prevented.
But is insulating the door truly the answer?
Types of Garage Door Insulation
Garage doors are meant to operate. They need to open and close on a regular basis, typically hinging or folding at several various points. So bat insulation or spray foam insulation aren't going to work well on the door. Yes, you may find some types that are suggested to be used in this area, but the consistent movement of the garage door will eventually cause them to flake, pull apart and fail, which means that you're looking at insulating your door again and again.
A better option is to purchase a garage door that is currently insulated. Instead of a metal door that conducts heat and cold easily, insulated doors help stop some of the energy loss from the garage. If you're intending on changing your garage door, checking out an insulated model is probably a good idea.
Reasons to Insulate the Rest of the Garage Instead
Even if you take the time to insulate your garage door, or purchase a pre-insulated door, you have a few other problems to handle in your garage.
The floor of your garage is most likely built on a slab, which suggests that it isn't really insulated and is transferring in cold air during the winter that is then transferred to your house. The concrete walls of your garage probably aren't doing your home any favors either, so even if you put in the time to insulate the garage, you probably won't notice much of an improvement on your energy expenses.
Rather, consider insulating your home from your garage. Put insulation into the ceiling of the garage so it helps stop the loss of energy to the space above. Ensure there is a lot of insulation on the interior wall of the garage where it connects to the rest of your house. By doing so, even if the temperature level fluctuates inside the garage itself, it isn't really going to affect the temperature level inside your home, or raise your energy bills.
The Exception to the Rule
While a lot of contractors will tell you to insulate the transfer points from the garage to your house itself, there are still times when you might wish to further insulate the garage door, along with the walls and flooring of the garage. If you utilize your garage as living space, rather than as storage or energy space, then you will most likely be heating up or cooling the location. So if you use your garage as a work area, craft space, or daycare, you must consider it as a part of the house, and not seal it off. In this case, the garage door is a big energy sink, which must be insulated to help keep the interior comfy, while lowering your energy costs.
The Bottom Line
If you utilize your garage as storage, you're most likely much better off leaving the door alone and insulating the walls and ceiling of your garage instead.
If you utilize your garage as living space, however, it's probably worth your while to insulate the door. Make your decision based upon your lifestyle and needs and understand you're doing your finest to keep your energy expenses down.