When you decide to replace your garage door, you’re going to have a lot of specifications to decide on – building material, colors, windows, style, etc. One spec you’re going to come across is the overhead door’s R-value. This is an important consideration in choosing the right door for your needs. Neighborhood Garage Door Service of El Paso, TX has what you need to know to get up to speed on garage door R-values.
What exactly is it?
The R in R-value stands for “resistance.” Specifically, it rates the resistance to heat flow through your door. When you have differing temperatures inside and outside of your garage, they want to balance out. On a hot day, the heat building on your garage door wants to transfer to the other side of the door, heating up your garage. On a cold day, the heat wants to escape.
Insulation materials in your door are designed to impede that flow of heat. The R-value is an indicator of how well the materials are preventing that transfer. The higher the R-value, the more effectively they are working.
How do you calculate the R-value?
As we’ll see, the R-value is dependent on the materials used. These values have already been calculated for the most part. Therefore, it simply becomes a matter of totaling up the values of each component of the door – outer door layer, inner insulation layer, inner door layer.
Different materials have different R-values
There are two main materials used in insulating garage doors – polystyrene and polyurethane. You probably know polystyrene as styrofoam. It typically comes in sheets or panels and in installed between the inner and outer layers of the door. This does not give an airtight fit. This could mean you end up with gaps in the insulation allowing air to pass through and reducing your R-value.
Polyurethane is a spray foam. As it is sprayed into the space between the inner and outer layer of the door, it expands. This means that it fills in all the gaps, preventing air flow and therefore heat transfer. Because of this, polyurethane has a higher R-value.
What makes the R-value important?
There are several factors that will influence your decision on which R-value is right for your needs:
- Garage use – What is the primary use of your garage? If you use it as living space, a workshop, or a hang-out space, you’ll want a high level to keep the temperature comfortable.
- Local climate – If you live in a fairly temperate climate, your R-value likely won’t need to be as high because there won’t be as much heat flow going on. If you are subject to a wide range of temperatures, go with a higher value.
- Price – Be sure to compare doors that you’re looking at, taking into account the difference the R-value makes in the price.
What’s the bottom line?
Typical overhead doors have R-values of about 12-18. Basically, the higher the better. When considering a installation of a new garage door, R-value is important, but shouldn’t override other factors such as general construction quality, materials, etc. In addition to the insulating materials, make sure that other elements are also high quality – bottom seal, sealing joints, and weather stripping.
When it’s time to get that new garage door you’ve been contemplating, Neighborhood Garage Door Service of El Paso, Texas has you covered! Call our friendly staff and we’ll set up an appointment right away.