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How and Why to Insulate a Garage Door

It’s not news to anyone that the garage is not the warmest part of your house. A significant amount of heat is lost through the garage. For homes with attached garages or homes situated in extremely cold climates, insulating your garage and even the garage door is an easy fix that could make a big difference in your heating bills.

The first option is clearly the easiest: simply upgrade your old garage door for a new one that already is insulated. Insulated garage doors come in a variety of styles and price ranges at your local home improvement store. Prices range from $300 - $3000, with many quality options in the $400 range.

If you already have good garage doors but they’re not insulated, installing insulation is a relatively easy job. Generally, installing the insulation your self will cost about $200. There are several varieties of insulation to choose from: you can install bat insulation, foam board insulation, or reflective insulation. Bat insulation is generally made of fiberglass, is flexible and is easy to cut to fit your garage door. Foam board insulation is more rigid and relatively thin. Reflective insulation works well for those who live in warm climates, as this reflects radiant heat. You’ll want to choose the type of insulation that best fits the type of garage door you have and also is a good match for the climate in which you live.

Experts suggest buying an inexpensive kit for ease in installation. Kits generally include smaller sized pieces of installation – you’ll still need to trim to match your garage door but it will be a much more manageable size. They also include fasteners or tape to hold the insulation in place. They may also include a utility knife or gloves. Once you’ve purchased the insulation and the kit, it’s really just a matter of cutting the insulation, securing it in place and repeating until the door is covered.

Keep in mind that your new insulation will make your garage door heavier. For a smaller door this shouldn’t be a problem, but for doors that are already heavy you may want to double check that your garage door will still open and close easily, because if your operator or motor has to strain too hard, it will wear out faster. To see how your door handles the new insulation, they recommend you test the balance of the door after installing the insulation – disconnect the operator (motor) and bring the door down to waist level. It should stay still. If it moves, or falls to the ground, you need to add more turns to your springs. Sometimes this is something you can do on your own, other times you may want to call a professional for help.

Insulating your garage door can make a significant difference on your heating and cooling bills. It adds to the soundproofing of your home and can lower your energy bills. With so many benefits at such a low cost, it’s definitely a project to consider.

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