A term you may encounter when you’re searching and comparing garage door styles is “R-value.” You’ll have undoubtedly noticed that different garage doors have different R-values. What exactly is it, however, and how does it affect your choice of garage doors?

What is R-Value?

Any respectable garage door service provider in Pittsburgh can tell you that R-value is the standard measure of thermal or heat flow resistance. R-value is used to rate how well a material or structure, such as your walls or garage doors, can stop the flow of heat.

The R-value is an essential factor in choosing an insulated garage door. Take note that a garage door with an appropriate R-value helps you maintain a cool temperature inside your garage during summer while keeping the place warm during the winter months.

The Higher, The Better

The thicker the material, the better it insulates your garage and the higher its R-value. Two of the most common garage door insulation materials are polystyrene or Styrofoam and polyurethane or spray foam.

Polystyrene insulators are generally thinner, more rigid, and have a lower R-value than polyurethane. They may come in the form of foam, regular plastic, or film. Homeowners who choose to insulate their garage door, rather than replace it with a pre-insulated one, often use foam board polystyrene. It has an average R-value of R-3.3 to R-6.5, depending on the thickness of the boards.

The R-value of polyurethane insulation can range from as low as R-2.5 or R-3.5  to as high as R-10 or R-11, depending on the type you use. In fact, open-cell spray foam insulation has nearly half the R-value of closed cell insulation when measured per inch.

Matching R-value with the State Climate

While having a higher R-value is recommended to maximize the insulation efficiency of your garage, it’s also important to consider the climate in your state. For Pennsylvania, which experiences extremely hot summers and extremely cold winters, a garage door with an R-value between R-14 and R-16 is best. Experts recommend those living in other northeastern states, such as New York and Connecticut, to get garage doors with the same insulation rating.

States with moderate climates, particularly those in the Southeast region, don’t need to have garage doors with values as high as states in the Northeast. An R-value of at least R-7 would be best for states like Maryland and Florida, in fact.

Benefits of a Well-insulated Garage

A well-insulated garage door helps you save energy and money. It reduces the amount of heating your house needs and lowers your utility bills by acting as a buffer zone and keeping the cold temperature from entering your house. A warmer garage in winter can also save you from avoidable car troubles and repairs. After all, the drops in temperature can cause your car’s battery to lose power faster and its transmission fluid to thicken and lose velocity, resulting in difficulty shifting gears.

Understanding R-value and applying that knowledge in choosing your new garage door can make a large difference for your home. Contact Steel City Garage Doors today for professional help and a broad selection of high-quality garage doors for all your needs.