If you’ve got a spacious garage, you can count yourself lucky. You can keep your cars protected from the elements, use it for storage, or turn it into another room of your house.
To truly take advantage of the space, though, you need garage door insulation. In this article, we’ll run you through the reasons why you should insulate your garage and how to do it yourself.
The Perks of Garage Door Insulation
Without insulation, garages are absolutely brutal to step foot in. In the summer, they’re boiling hot and in the winter they’re mortuary-cold. Insulation can correct these issues and as well as pay off in a variety of different ways.
Insulation Saves Money
We all know that having proper insulation, efficient heating and cooling systems, and well-sealed windows are crucial when it comes to keeping your energy costs down.
Given this, it’s strange that we all seem to neglect our garages. Most people will enter and exit their garage several times a day. Each time they do, they transfer hot or cold air (depending on the season) into your home, which raises your energy costs.
Insulation, however, will keep the temperature in your garage at a normal level, allowing it to sit at the same equilibrium the rest of your house is at.
Insulation Makes Rooms Quieter
Garage door insulation isn’t just good at keeping unwanted air out of your garage, it can deflect unwanted sound as well. If you’re looking to turn your garage into a movie den or a video game lounge, you’re going to want to keep the sounds of your surrounding neighborhood out.
Your normal, creaky, aluminum garage door isn’t going to do that.
Insulation Protects Your Belongings
If you live in a cold climate, you know how tough it can be to start an old car when the engine is cold. Putting your vehicle in an uninsulated garage will only marginally benefit your car if the temperatures are below freezing. Insulation, however, will do wonders.
It’s not just your car you need to worry about either. Hot weather conditions can create all sorts of problems for whatever you’re storing in your garage. It can melt plastic, produce mold, and rot stored foods. With insulation, you never have to worry about any of this.
How to Insulate Your Garage Door
If this all sounds good to you, then it’s time to actually get crackin’. Let’s run you through the steps of installing garage door insulation.
First, you have to pick the type of material you wish to use for your insulation. There are 3 options.
Batt insulation is the stuff you’re probably most familiar with. It’s the pink, cotton-candy looking stuff that is used to insulate the exterior walls of most houses.
It’s typically made of fiberglass and has a paper or foil backing to seal it against the wall or garage door you’re adhering it to. It gets the job done and it’s pretty cheap too.
Foam Board Insulation
Foam board insulation is a good choice if you don’t want to add too much width or bulk to your garage door. Batt insulation can be pretty thick and baggy-looking, but foam board insulation is only around 1-inch thick at most. The only downside is that it’s a bit more expensive. According to the Department of Energy, foam insulation can also fall victim to “thermal drift,” which is a natural phenomenon that reduces the insular qualities of the foam.
Your last option is reflective insulation. This stuff can come in flexible rolls or in boards, but either way, it is coated with a reflective aluminum material. This material is great for garages in hot climates as the shiny aluminum deflects radiant heat. If you live in a cold area, your best bet is going with something else. This is the best option if you’re in a warmer climate.
The Installation Process
No matter what insulation you end up choosing, the installation process will be the same.
Here are the materials you’ll need:
- long straight edge ruler
- tape measure
- double-stick adhesive tape
- retainer clips
- rubber gloves
- insulation panels
The first step is to add two retainer clips to each of the back panels on your garage door. To do this make two markings with your pencil, each one the same distance from the left or right side of the panel as the other. You want these markings to be centered on the panel as well.
Once the markings have been made, place a piece of adhesive tape on top of each marking. Then, you’ll place a retainer clip on each piece of tape.
Next, measure the height and width of each panel. Then, using a utility knife, cut your insulation for each panel according to their measured dimensions. Make sure to trim the insulation a bit larger than the panel itself. This will ensure that all of your insulation panels maintain a tight, cozy fit.
Once your insulation has been cut, tuck the insulation into your panels. Then, where you can feel the retainer clips, cut a small hole with your utility knife in the back of the insulation.
Push the insulation down over the retainer clips until they are poking out of the back. Then, with the second half of the retainer clips, close and lock the lips into place, and voila, you’ve got an insulated garage door!
As a disclaimer, keep in mind that with insulation, you’ll be adding weight to your garage door. Your garage door opener may begin to strain under the new weight. In this case, you may need to adjust or change out your garage door spring as well.