Are You Losing Heat Through Your Garage Door?
An attached garage is one of the least efficient areas of any home construction. In fact, many of them do not have much insulation on the exterior walls at all. Instead, builders construct the home with extra insulation only on the wall the garage shares with the house. Even with that protection, it makes sense to protect the garage as much as possible from the cold. The garage door is one of the most obvious places where a lot of home heating is lost.
The structure of the garage door itself is not conducive to keeping heat inside the garage or house. Most are made of metal, paneled wood, or composite materials and do not have much insulation in them to begin with. Some have glass windows that contribute to inefficiency. Also, the tracks surrounding the garage door are usually not sealed because the door needs to flow smoothly up and down to gain entrance to the garage and house beyond.
If you determine that you are losing heat through your garage door, there are several basic steps you can take to prevent heat loss as much as possible. These are especially useful if you work in your garage frequently or use it for storage of sensitive items.
Insulated Garage Doors
Replace your existing garage door with one that has a higher insulation rating or an energy efficiency rating instead. Different materials provide a greater benefit when it comes to saving on energy bills and maintaining a more comfortable garage as well.
Check Garage Door Windows
Make sure any glass windows installed in the garage door are undamaged and sealed well around the edges. If you really want to go the extra mile to prevent heating loss through the garage door, you could remove the glass and replace it with more solid panels, but this would not make enough of a difference to warrant the labor or expense involved. Just make sure everything is sealed as much as possible. If desired, you could affix foam boards over the windows, but this would cut down on natural light and some heat from the sun coming in.
All doors, windows, and the edges of the garage door itself should have appropriate weather-stripping installed to help prevent loss of heat through an unheated space. Make sure this is the appropriate size for whatever application you are using it for, and install it properly for maximum efficiency. Also, make sure any weather-stripping or other guards installed on the garage door do not interfere with its use.
Whether your garage is heated or not, the chance that you are losing heat through the garage door is considerable. However, there is only so much you can do to the garage door itself to improve the efficiency of your home. Instead, focus on making the garage itself as weather-tight as possible and using the right materials for the job.