Know It All! - R-Value
Updated: Jan 28
Hello! This will be the first post in our *knowitall series - a series of blog posts dedicated to providing information in layman-friendly terms to help you make the best decisions for your family when it comes to your garage!
R-Value : In the building and construction industry, R-value is a measure of thermal resistance per unit area. The higher the R-value, the higher the level of insulation. R-values are mainly used to showcase a product's energy efficiency.
Your home gains and loses heat in three main ways : convection, conduction, and radiation.
Convection is the transfer of heat by moving air. Warm air rises, transferring heat to ceilings and higher floors.
Conduction is the transfer of heat through a solid material - walls, ceilings, floors, etc. This is the metric measured by R-value.
Radiation is the transfer of heat via electromagnetic waves, like that of the sun.
R-Value In The World Of Garage Doors
Garage doors come in a variety of degrees of insulation. When selecting a garage door, it is important to keep the necessary degree of insulation in mind.
If your garage is attached to your home, you may want to select a door with a higher R-value, of at least R-10 or R-12. This would prevent your home from losing too much heat to your garage, preserving energy and lower utility bills.
However, if you have a detached garage, you may not need an insulated door at all, or a light insulation might do the trick. If you store your car and belongings, you might want a light insulation! If your garage is a workshop or a home gym, you need higher insulation!
While the higher the R-value, the better the insulation, it is important to keep in mind that an R-16 value is NOT twice as good as an R-8 value! So when it comes to your garage door, bigger might not be better.
An R-16 value provides a 5% improvement in energy efficiency over an R-8 value. While significant, it means that the buyer needs to calculate the long-term cost benefit of a more expensive, insulated door to see which degree of insulation is most appropriate.
Additionally, a highly insulated door doesn't mean anything if it isn't appropriately weather-proofed. Weather stripping and bottom rubber in good condition seal the door, allowing its insulation to become effective. Maintenance of the weatherproofing elements is imperative.
Garage Door Insulation
Two materials are mainly used in the manufacturing of garage door insulation: polystyrene and polyurethane.
EPS : EPS stands for expanded polystyrene, a widely used insulation material better known as Styrofoam.
High Density Polystyrene may also be used. Polystyrene comes at a relatively low cost, however it needs to be reasonably thick to provide the sort of thermal protection your garage needs in Canadian climate.
Polyurethane is also known as spray foam. It is slightly more efficient than polystyrene, and still comes at a reasonable cost.
The one factor that can truly heighten the price of an insulated door is windows! Insulated glass is much more expensive than foam insulation, and as such it can raise the price of an insulated door exponentially.
Garage doors usually come insulated in one of three variants : Non-insulated, insulation glued to the steel or wood panel, or insulation sandwiched between two panels.
Please don't hesitate to comment if you have further questions regarding R-value, insulation, or energy efficiency of garage doors!
The Advantage Garage Door Team