September 18, 2015

What R-Value Should My New Garage Door Have?

What R-Value Should My New Garage Door Have?

Selecting the right garage door can involve many choices like colour, size, style, windows, and operating systems. Another factor that must be considered is insulation and the garage door R‑value.

What is R‑Value?

R-value refers to measure of thermal resistance. In more basic terms, this value designates how much heat (or cold) your insulation can resist before it will cause a temperature change across the door and inside your dwelling. Higher R‑values represent more energy savings and stronger & durable garage door.

The strength of the insulation can vary by both thickness and material. Common insulation materials used in the contruction industry include:

  • cellulose
  • fiberglass
  • polystyrene
  • polyurethane

Polystyrene vs. Polyurethane

The most common garage door insulation materials are polystyrene and polyurethane. Polystyrene has been around for longer than polyurethane and has experienced a widespread use. Polystyrene is used in everything from crafts to cups and extruded polystyrene foam is used in insulation.

While shown to be an inexpensive insulator with good water resistance, this product is no longer an industry favourite due to better‑performing alternatives and its environmental impact.

Polyurethane insulation is often referred to as spray foam. Although a newer product than polystyrene, it has caught on quickly due to its high efficiency and ease of use. Pressure‑injected garage doors with polyurethane foam have R‑values between R‑12 and R‑18.

Choosing the Right Garage Door R‑Value

Choosing the right R‑value should be based on your local climate and weather conditions. Milder climates can use lower insulation but should still have at least an R‑value of 3. Harsher climates with extreme heat or cold can benefit from a stronger garage door R‑value – basically, the higher the better. If you live in the the southern of Canada, you can learn about the recommended R‑values for your specific area by checking the energy code requirements recommended by the CHMC.

Additional Considerations

Garage door R‑value is affected by more than just the insulating material, but also by the choice of door itself. A quality thermal break system, wood end blocks and exterior weather stripping will ensure that inclement weather is not leaking through around the door edges or at the intersection joints.

It’s important to get fit correctly whether your door is a new construction or a replacement entry. Improperly sealed edges will not connect to the house correctly and can undermine your door’s insulation value.

Your door exterior can also affect the entire door’s performance and look. Aluminum (with polyurethane injection) is a great garage door material as it is both light and durable. Highly moisture resistant, this exterior can stand up to the elements, yet is environmentally friendly and can be recycled at a later date.

Ready to Buy a New Garage Door?

Now that you understand more about R‑values, the next question is: where do you go to purchase a new quality garage door? And who will install it?

Automated Door Systems provides Garaga doors, one of the most trusted names in the Canadian industry. We can help you find the garage door that best suits your needs, answer any questions, and professionally install your new door. Browse through our many residential garage door options, and contact us for a free quote.

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