May 25, 2018

The Hidden Energy Costs of Choosing the Wrong Garage Door


To the untrained eye, most garage doors can look pretty similar. That misperception is compounded when two different doors offer the same R‑value. Doesn’t that mean that they offer the same thermal protection for your garage, and should work the same way when it comes to their impact on your energy costs? Actually, that is not the case.

If you take a closer look at the available garage doors, you’ll find a wide range of factors that change how they handle energy efficiency, including thermal breaks and top‑performing weatherseals. If your garage door lacks these features, it could mean that you are actually spending more on energy costs than you should be.

For those in the market for a new garage door, it pays to know the most important factors to consider before making a purchase. We’ll run down some of those below.

Garage Door End Blocks

Garage doors are made with two pieces of steel. They are usually cut about 26 nches wide, by whatever length is needed for the garage door in question. In between these pieces, the insulation is installed. Section end blocks are used to keep the insulation in place, as well as to provide a mounting location for door hinges. Weatherstripping is applied over everything to connect the front and back sheets.

The problem is that most North American garage door manufacturers use steel end caps to connect the front and back pieces of metal. This is done for affordability and ease of installation, but it has problems. For instance, it can create a problem called thermal bridging, in which temperatures bleed into or out of the garage.

Garaga does things differently. Each section of the garage door is made individually. Wood end blocks are used because they do not transfer heat. This creates what is called a thermal break, which prevents temperature transfer.

Pay Attention to Section Joints

Each garage door section attaches to the door as a whole with section joints. These joints are often made with a metal staple, which may be glued, or may not be. In either case, the metal staple can cause thermal bridging, resulting in temperature loss within your garage.

Garaga uses a triple‑contact PVC weatherseal to connect the front and back sheets, and prevents any metal from touching. This completely eliminates the problem of thermal bridging.

Exterior Weatherstripping

The exterior of your garage door must be protected. Weatherstripping is used to achieve this. The problem is that many garage doors use inferior PVC that can become brittle and stiff, allowing heated air to leak out. Garaga uses a special double‑lipped weatherseal with an arctic‑grade status that remains pliable even at temperatures far below 0.

Protecting the Bottom of the Door

In addition to the sides and top, the bottom of your garage door should feature weatherstripping to prevent heated or cooled air from bleeding out. Garaga uses TPE‑based PVC that offers flexibility all the way down to ‑52 degrees F (‑62 degrees C).

Know What Matters

As you can see from the discussion above, there are quite a few factors that go into determining whether or not a garage door will provide substantial protection against heat and cold beyond just the R‑value. Two garage doors could have the same R‑value, and perform very differently in real life.

When comparing garage doors, it is important that you ask questions about how it is constructed, about the thermal breaks built into the door, about the quality of the materials used, and a great deal more. It’s not just about R‑values.

We welcome you to get in touch with us at any time. Call us at 717-901-4056 for Mechanicsburg area or 717-767-1419 for York area to schedule a free consultation. We’d also be happy to provide you with a quote via email if you would prefer. We pride ourselves on delivering unbiased, expert advice and guidance for anyone interested in buying a new garage door.

In addition to communicating by phone or email, we invite you to stop by our showroom. You may also be interested in using our Design Centre to test options on your home, or to view our image gallery to see results of our projects.

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