Have you ever gone shopping for a new overhead garage door? If so, you may have heard the term “R-value” used. For instance, the description of the door would probably read something like, 15ft x 8ft, 7 R-value. This number is important, but not many people are aware of what it is, or why it should even be considered when choosing an overhead garage door. We’ve compiled a list of answers to some of the most common questions regarding the R-value—read on to find out what you need to know!
What is an R-value?
R-value is a measurement of how effective the door insulation can resist heat transfer. If temperatures on one side of a garage door are warm and the other side of the door is cold, naturally the temperatures would transfer in order to equalize energies. The higher the R-value of the garage door, the better it will be at preventing heat transfer and therefore heat loss.
How is R-value Calculated?
For a garage door, this is typically based on the building materials used. Most common building materials have already been assigned an R-value, and the door manufacturers will be able to advise you what the R-values are of their doors. FYI – overhead garage door sealing joints, bottom seals and weather stripping are also important factors in how effective your garage door is in preventing heat loss.
Why Does R-value Matter?
By knowing the R-value, you will be able to determine whether or not a garage door will be efficient at insulating your garage and home. How high an R-value you need will depend a lot on several factors:
- Is your garage used just to store your vehicles, or do you use it as a workshop or storage area as well?
- If you use it as a storage area – are the items stored temperature sensitive and are you opening and closing the internal door to the garage often?
- Are there rooms above and around the garage that would be affected by the temperature of the garage?
Heat loss or simply trying to maintain a certain temperature can get expensive, and every little thing can make a difference.
What R-value Should You Look for in a New Garage Door?
Experts recommend an R- value of between 12-18, but also advise to make sure it is a quality constructed door. If you are concerned about frequent cold weather and heat loss, use your garage door year-round, or have a number of rooms above and around the garage that you need to keep temperature controlled, you are better off choosing a high R-value overhead garage door.