It’s the largest door to the largest room of your house. We’re talking about your garage door, of course. And if your garage door is like many, it might be one of the biggest sources of heat loss in your home. Put another way, your garage door might be responsible for a substantial chunk of change on your energy bill each month.
Some garage doors are built to be energy-efficient, with good insulation. But many are built with little regard for conserving energy, and offer little more than a thin sheet of metal for insulation.
If your garage door is poorly insulated, you could go to a lot of trouble and expense to replace it with a well-insulated door. Or you could simply give your door an insulation-overhaul to make it much more energy-efficient. In fact, you can buy a do-it-yourself garage door insulating kit that will make the task a relatively quick and easy job.
Two Types of Garage Door Insulation Kits
Most garage insulation kits on the market use one of two types of insulation materials: reflective foil insulation or molded polystyrene panels. Both are easy to install, but the molded polystyrene will likely offer the best insulating properties.
Kits are typically designed for standard-sized doors: 9 feet by 7 feet. But if you have a non-standard-sized door, shop around a bit. Kits are also available for some non-standard door sizes.
Whatever the insulating material of the kit, installing the insulation will be a simple matter of measuring and cutting insulating panels to size.
The polystyrene sheets are rigid, and you should be able to simply pop them into place on your garage door panels. Kits that use reflective foil insulation will provide plastic clips to hold the non-rigid insulation in place.
Don’t Forget the Drafts
While you’re bringing your garage door insulation up-to-snuff, don’t forget to check for drafts around the edges of the door.
If there’s no weather-stripping around the door edges, you’ll want to install some. And if weather-stripping has already been installed, make certain that it’s in good shape. Weather-stripping that has become cracked and stiff should be replaced.
Also, consider installing a bottom seal to reduce heat loss from underneath the door. Bottom seals are strips of flexible foam, rubber or vinyl that attach to the bottom of the door. When the door is closed, the bottom seal can provide a near airtight barrier between the door and the garage floor.
It’s Not Just About Keeping Your Car Warm…
No matter how you use your garage, insulating your garage door is a smart move. That’s because an un-insulated garage door is a major source of heat loss. It doesn’t matter whether you work or play in your garage, or use it only as a place to park the car and store things.
Unless your garage is detached from your house, heat that escapes from your garage is also escaping from your home through shared walls and structural members. And that means that money is needlessly escaping from your bank account each time you pay your energy bill.