While many home and building owners are already well aware of the value of quality insulation in their garage door, some may be unaware that there are a few varieties of garage door insulation to choose from. These varying types speak to a few important qualities of insulation, including their R-value (how well they resist heat flow) and several others, and knowing how they differ is helpful if you’re selecting a new garage door for any need.
At Overhead Door Company, we’re here to offer a wide range of both commercial and residential garage doors and various garage door components to our Logan and nearby Utah clients. What are the basic qualities that separate these different garage door insulation types, which types are typically available to clients today, and how should you go about making your choice? We’ll go over the answers to all of those questions in this two-part blog series.
Insulation R-Value and U-Value
We mentioned R-value above, and it’s one of two measurements that are commonly used to rate the insulation value of any type of material. The other is U-value – R-values measure how well a material can resist heat flow, while U-values measure the rate of transfer of heat between any material.
That is, materials with higher R-values tend to be better insulators, as they can resist the flow of heat more effectively. U-values, meanwhile, refer to how much heat is allowed to transfer through the material and are thus inversely proportional to R-values – the lower a material’s U-value is, the less heat will be able to transfer through it.
Our next few sections will look at the common insulation types available today, and how they fit within these qualities.
The simplest type of insulation is the single-layer variety, which involves a material that is applied as one single sheet. Popular materials for this type of insulation include bubble wrap, foam board and blankets made of fiberglass or other synthetic fabrics.
Single-layer insulation can provide an excellent R-value – usually measuring in at around R-4 to R-7 per inch of material – but a slightly lower U-value, meaning that while they are adept at keeping heat out, they can also let some in as well.
Usually used for steel or vinyl garage doors, double-layer insulation involves a two-part system where the material is applied in layers. This can typically be found on insulated steel garage doors and consists of either a foam core encased between two metal panels, or alternatively, an inner layer made from vinyl-backed fiberglass and an outer layer of aluminum foil.
Double-layer garage door insulation is typically more effective than single-layer systems, offering a higher R-value (usually around R-8 to R-11) and lower U-value.
Finally, triple layer insulation – usually made up of two layers of fiberglass or foam sandwiching an inner aluminum core – is the most effective type of insulation available.
Triple-layer garage door insulation provides extremely high R-values (up to R-17), and incredibly low U-values, making it perfect for climates with hotter summers as well as colder winters.
Knowing these three basic types of insulation and their associated qualities is the first step in selecting the right garage door for your home or business. In our next post, we’ll discuss the other factors you should take into consideration when selecting a new garage door, as well as provide tips on finding the perfect one for your needs. For more on this, or to learn about any of our garage door services for Logan clients, speak to our team at Overhead Door Company today.