In this guide you’ll find everything you need to know to make your garage warmer, cooler, and more energy efficient. We’ll cover everything you could possibly want to know why you need it, how to install it, and where to get it. We’ll tackle insulation kits in this version of the guide, and it will be updated to include weatherstripping and thresholds / bottom seals as well.

If there is something you would like us to include, or you find a mistake – please let us know via the form on our contact page and we’ll make it right.

Purpose of Garage Door Insulation

Let’s face it – depending on where you live, summers can be blazing hot and winters frigidly cold. With insulation installed, you’ll never be able to tell which season it is. Insulation is cheap and you’ll only have to spend about an hour of your time to receive life-long results. You’ll start to see smaller numbers on your electrical bill and you might even realize new possibilities that your garage has to offer.

Garage door insulation, seals and weatherstripping can fix all of your unwanted problems that come with the seasons, and have other benefits as well…


Matador garage door kit

 

Cleanliness

Some garages, especially older ones, or those that need a little TLC, tend to have gaps below the garage door and especially along the sides. This can lead to unwanted dirt, debris, and even water getting into your garage.

Energy efficiency

Your garage door is like a huge wall with no insulation – and it’s a wall normally made of a thin layer of metal. You are letting a huge amount of heat into and out of your home.

Varmints

  • Bugs – nothing is worse than a spider literally hanging out with you or a mosquito sapping you of precious blood while you’re trying to work or play videogames in your garage. You’ve gotta keep the garage door down, and in comes in the heat if it isn’t insulated.
  • Creepy crawlers – Snakes? Stray cats? Random deer? You never know what kind of stranger wants to come and give your garage a quick visit – or you a heart attack. Once again, down goes the door.
  • Neighbors – they don’t need to know what you’re doing. Neither do the raccoons.

Noise Levels

If you like to do woodworking or some other loud activity in your garage, it’s imperative to control sound however you can. While insulation kits are not made for sound reduction, they can reduce levels outside the garage by up to 20 db. And you can close the door on hot days and not burn up inside while you work.

Appearance

While the inside of your garage door may not be the focal point of your home decor, it can make a difference if you use your garage as an extra room for parties or a children’s play area. And if you’re like me and use it as a workshop, it just makes everything look more organized and “finished” compared to the inside of a flat steel panel.

Tax Credits

Included in the 2012 and 2013 Federal Tax Credit:

  • Tax Credit: 10% of cost up to $500 or a specific amount from $50–$300
  • Expires: December 31, 2013
  • Details: Must be an existing home & your principal residence. New construction and rentals do not qualify.

Typical bulk insulation products can qualify, such as:

  • Batts
  • Rolls
  • Blow-in fibers
  • Rigid boards
  • Expanding spray
  • Pour-in-place.

Products that air seal (reduce air leaks) can also qualify, as long as they come with a Manufacturers Certification Statement, including:

  • Weather stripping
  • Spray foam in a can, designed to air seal
  • Caulk designed to air seal
  • House wrap

Tax Credit does NOT include installation costs.
Source: EnergyStar.gov

Home resale value

This one is pretty obvious – if your garage is quieter, cleaner, and better looking your home value has to go up. Add to that the tax advantage and energy savings and this little project is a no-brainer.

Methods of garage door insulation

Completely and properly insulating your garage door isn’t just adding insulation to the door itself. You’ll have to take care of the bottom and edges as well, otherwise leaks will defeat all of your efforts.

Insulation panels

Insulation panels are comparatively cheap way to improve your already existing garage door’s insulating properties. Easy and fairly quick to install, these panels usually come in complete kits with everything you need to install them.

Weatherstripping

Weather stripping is another way to add insulating properties to an already existing garage door. Weather stripping will help seal any cracks along the edges of your garage doors, preventing not only the loss of heat/AC, but also discouraging moisture, debris, and pests from getting inside your garage.

Bottom seals

Bottom seals, like weather stripping, acts as a barrier for your garage in a place where gaps are common. The addition of a bottom seal guarantees that there will be no gap between the floor of your garage and the bottom of your garage door.

Door Insulation Kits

Garage door insulation kits include insulation panels or batting and the hardware to install it.

Tools Needed

The tools you’ll need are relatively universal and you probably have them laying around in your garage – utility knife, straight edge, tape measure, gloves etc. Most kits will come with a one year warranty and instructions to guide you through the installation process.

Types

  • Fiberglass panels
  • Panel foam
  • Reflective foil
  • Insulation foam

Fiberglass kits have eight panels for a single door. Owens Corning is a major manufacturer of fiberglass kits. The kit has 8 panels for a single door and comes equipped with a fastening structure which allows for a fast and secure method of attaching and keeping the panels in place. Installation should only require an hour or less of your time. Also, any worries about dents or tears can vanish because of the cleanable vinyl surface – and it will brighten the garage!

Panel Foam kits will give you durability and easy maintenance. This is achieved because they consist of expanded polystyrene panels with laminated plastic faces. Installation will be a breeze because of how easily the panels fit inside the door frames without having to use any tape or glue to hold it in. These kits come with enough items for a single garage door. If you’re planning on insulating a double garage or multiple garages, you’re going to need an insulation kit for every door.

Insulating Foam is brought to you from another leading manufacturer – Dow. The makeup of polystyrene in the insulation is perfect for metal doors. The surface is built with durable plastic and will fit very evenly when installing – you can also cut them to fit, if necessary. Then, you inject the foam insulation and make sure every space is filled in the door. The insulation will eliminate any possible voids by filling out to the metal of the door.

Reflective foil insulation is perfect for solid garage doors if they don’t have any sections. The insulation will cover the whole surface of the door and you can even cut it to fit specific areas if necessary. You can buy reflective foil insulation in either single or double foil types – there’s not a big difference in the money you’ll spend between the two.

Selection Criteria

R Value should be considered when you’re browsing for which kind of garage door kit to buy, but it shouldn’t be the ultimate determining factor in what you choose as your insulation.

The R-value is a measure of thermal resistance  used in the building and construction industry. Under uniform conditions it is the ratio of the temperature difference across an insulator and the heat flux (heat transfer per unit area per unit time, \dot Q_A) through it or  R = \Delta T/\dot Q_A.The R-value being discussed is the unit thermal resistance. This is used for a unit value of any particular material. It is expressed as the thickness of the material divided by the thermal conductivity. For the thermal resistance of an entire section of material, instead of the unit resistance, divide the unit thermal resistance by the area of the material. For example, if you have the unit thermal resistance of a wall, divide by the cross-sectional area of the depth of the wall to compute the thermal resistance. The unit thermal conductance of a material is denoted as C and is the reciprocal of the unit thermal resistance. This can also be called the unit surface conductance, commonly denoted by h. The higher the number, the better the building insulation’s effectiveness. (R value is 1/h.) R-value is the reciprocal of U-value.

Source: Wikipedia

 

The type of garage door will make a difference. A solid wooden door won’t be as effectively insulated with the kits that are currently available on the market. If your garage doors are equipped with a hurricane bracing, you’ll still be able to utilize panel and reflective insulation – it just might require a little more cutting and effort to reach the panels.

Matador Residential Garage Door Insulation Kit

Matador garage door kit

 
Matador door insulation kitAtlas EPS S-GDIK001 Matador Garage Door Insulation,
Universal Kit for 8-Foot and 9-Foot Metal Garage Doors, Includes 8 White Boards

Price: $95.00    Includes Free Shipping

Features:

  • Keep your garage warmer in the winter and cooler in the summer
  • Energy efficient
  • Installation is very easy
  • Surface is easy to clean
  • Comes with 8 boards for up to a 9 foot garage
  • Noise reduction

The Matador Garage Door Insulation Kit holds its promise of keeping your

garage warmer in the winter and cooler in the summer with its exceptional insulation. The kit has 8 boards and is enough to install a garage up to 9 feet. The panels are easily bendable to allow for easier installation. The polystyrene surface is also very simple to clean with minimal effort – no sophisticated cleaning techniques are required.

The Matador kits are our choice for appearance, durability and easy installation.

Matador Installation Instructions are located here on our site.

Matador insulation Kit FAQ

You can buy the Matador Kit here

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Garage door replacement panels are an attractive alternative when it just isn’t in your budget to buy a whole new garage door or when there are special circumstances that require a repair, retrofit or upgrade but not a complete replacement. Since one damaged panel can ruin the look of your entire door (and if extreme enough might even negatively impact the door’s operation and the energy efficiency of the entire garage) a replacement panel is often the ideal solution.

Consider the door insulation R value

Even if the garage door is in good repair, swapping out existing door panels with higher “R-Value” insulated replacements is typically well worth the investment. A good rule of thumb to follow is to match the panel replacement’s “R-Value” (at minimum a 12 on the standard scale is recommended) to the R-Value of the rest of your home.
garage door panels replacementGarage door insulation is an effective way to get the most use from your garage and improve the overall energy efficiency of the entire property. Bottom line—you will save significant amounts of money on heating and cooling bills! There are insulation kits available that enable the DIYer do to the job themselves—but it is also worthwhile to investigate having a professional installation done by the supplier of your replacement panels.

Whatever your reason—from functional to aesthetic considerations, replacement garage door panels are increasingly available in more colors, materials and styles than ever before, Depending on the material your garage door is made from, you can combine a repair job with a significant “eye appeal” upgrade AND improve your energy consumption all at the same time.

Finding the panels for your garage door

Before you call a dealer, make sure you hunt down the paperwork you got when the odor was installed. If you don’t have that, you’ll have to take a look at the door. Try to come up with the following:

  • Brand Name – your door’s manufacturer
  • The model number
  • Color and any significant design features
  • Door width and height of each section (panel)
  • Whether or not the panel is insulated
  • Have a camera ready – take some pictures of the panel. Most sources will have a website, and you cna email them pictures instead of reciting model numbers, etc over the phone.

Brand Name

Normally on a sticker. Look on the inside of the door, and the end of the door panels. Record all of the information on the sticker, or just take a picture of it.

Panel Info

It is usually better to measure the garage door opening rather than the panel width, but do both – it only takes a second. Now measure the panel height, and make note of the color, and whether there are any features: windows, unusual trim, etc. Insulated doors will either have a steel back or a vinyl coating over the insulation – note this as well.

NOTE: If you have managed to damage two or more panels, you may find that it is cheaper to just replace the entire door. Be sure to ask about this.

Now you’re ready to call your dealer and ask for a quote.  Be sure to get pricing for both dealer installation and delivery, and a DIY price.

Here’s a list of manufacturers with links to their websites, and phone numbers.

 

 Measure twice, buy replacement panels once

If you can’t get an exact replacement, you’ll have to go aftermarket. Any decision to swap out the existing garage door panels with replacements should begin with a careful evaluation of the scope of the project. Identify the features you intend to incorporate with your upgrade or repair and you will simplify your search for the best type of replacement for the job. You must be sure to shop for replacement panels that will work with your existing rail and garage door opening systems—you may be limited by size, weight and lift capacities of the existing hardware and mechanisms.

In general, panels constructed from metal—ideally insulated dual layer steel– are the best and most cost effective replacement option. Steel is durable and secure, not subject to rust or rot and eliminates the maintenance headaches of wooden panels. A recent innovation is the fiberglass composite door—which is lightweight and resistant to rot and mildew—but may not provide the same level of security and energy efficiency as either steel or wood.

Depending on the style of garage door, panels often slide into and out of the rails making the removal and replacement of one or two panels an ideal job suited for the DIY inclined homeowner.

You may have to remove several panels to replace one

Replacement begins by detaching the hinge from both sides of the panel being taken out. You may then slide the panel out of its rails. It should be noted that depending on the style of door it may be necessary to remove several garage door panels to get to those that require replacement. This fact may impact your decision of whether to do the work yourself or opt for professional installation.

Once the old panel has been removed, reverse the process by sliding the new panel into the track and tightening the bolts or screws holding it in place. Attach the hinges and you are done!

By understanding your options and clearly defining what you want, it is easy to find the perfect garage door replacement panels. Further you can potentially reduce your cash outlay for the project by researching any available tax credits available on energy efficiency upgrades and never forget in the case of damaged panels, to check out any existing warranty on your original door.

How to replace a Garage Door Panel

 

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