Modern homes are very efficient in keeping the elements out. They’re built with the residential heating and cooling in mind. Whether you live in freezing temperatures or tropical heat, your home is primed to help you live comfortably. Despite all of the progress residential comfort has made, there is one part of the home that’s notorious for letting the outside seep in. That area would be your garage.
Garages lack the high-quality insulation that’s found on every other exterior wall. For this reason, you may experience significant temperature changes. Depending on the construction of your home, even rooms above the garage can feel uncomfortable. This lack of insulation isn’t just a comfort issue. It can drive up your energy bills by slowly affecting the rest of your home.
Luckily, there’s a way to address the problem head-on. A garage door insulation kit can provide some much-needed extra protection. Your garage door is the point of weakness when it comes to temperature stability. Not only are you losing valuable conditioned air each time it opens, but the design of the door leaves much to be desired. Most doors are made out of thin aluminum and have weak seals around the edges. Even when it’s closed, your garage door is slowly affecting your home’s temperature.
An insulation kit can help to prevent temperature-controlled air from escaping and outside air from getting in. It’s a cost and energy efficient option that can make a world of difference over the course of a year. These kits are much cheaper than insulating your entire garage and can be installed in just a day. Here are some kits worth trying out.
This foil insulation from US Energy Products can cover an entire 2-car garage door. The kit includes four 18-foot rolls of insulation that measure approximately 24 inches wide. The insulation has two layers of bubble foam inside the foil layers. There is no fiberglass or potentially harmful toxins to worry about. When used correctly, you can achieve an R-Value of 8. Installing the insulation is pretty easy. The kit includes all the equipment you need and the process can be done in just a few hours.
Fits 2-car garage door
Foil insulation with foam core
Includes double-sided tape, utility knife, and squeegee
Easy to install
While this NASA Tech product is also a foil insulation, only one side has aluminum. The reverse side is covered in white vinyl. This side offers a more finished look from inside your garage. Like the previous option, this insulation kit can cover an entire two-car garage door. It offers R8 insulation. Additionally, it has a Class A fire rating, providing you with even more safety and protection.
Class A fire rating
Lined with foil and vinyl
Includes installation gear
Fits double-car garage door
From SmartGARAGE is this foil insulation kit. It’s capable of reflecting as much as 97 percent of radiant heat. The foam core also creates a small pocket of air that contributes further to its insulating properties. Overall, this insulation can make your garage about 8 degrees cooler during the summer months thanks to is R6 rating. The kit includes heavy-duty double-sided tape that was specifically designed to work in extreme temperatures.
Reflects radiant heat and creates insulating air pocket
Polyethylene foam core
Acts as vapor barrier
Can provide 8-degree temperature difference
Includes double-sided tape
Lower R-Value than other options
In as little as an hour, you can install this insulation and protect your garage. The kit has pre-cut panels that are designed to fit doors that are 9 feet wide. The panels are made out of fiberglass. On one side, aluminum foil is used to reflect heat away. On the other side, white vinyl is used. The rigid insulation panels are quite tough. They’re resistant to physical damage. As an added perk, the Owens Corning kit can also reduce street noise by as much as 20 percent.
Pre-cut panels fit into door channels
Provides 20-percent noise reduction
Easy installation process
Fits 9-foot door
Like the previous option from SmartGARAGE, this kit is capable of changing the temperature in your garage pretty significantly. It does this by reflecting up to 97 percent of radiant heat. Both sides of the insulation are covered in foil. In the middle, there’s closed-cell foam that contributes to the overall R6 rating. The kit includes four rolls, which is enough to cover a single double-car garage door or two separate doors.
Can fit two garage doors
Polyethylene foam core
Includes heat and cold-resistant tape
Aluminum foil lining on both sides
This Matador insulation kit is ideal for those who want a low-maintenance option that doesn’t affect the overall look of their garage. The rigid foam boards are colored white. It fits into the recesses of the door, between the rails. As a result, it looks like just another part of the door. It’s even easy to clean. One side of the panels feature grooves that can help you bend the rigid pieces into place. In total, the kit has an R-Value of 4.8.
Rigid foam insulation
White color blends in with door
Fits between garage door rails
Lower R-Value that competitors
The Reach Barrier kit is simple and can provide light protection in any environment. It’s comprised of thin insulation panels. They’re less than a quarter of an inch thick, making the product a great option for homeowners who need something lighter. Both sides of each panel are covered in reflective polyethylene. If can block as much as 95 percent of radiant heat. Between these layers, there are small bubbles of air. In addition to improving temperature, the panels also comply with new ASTM fire codes.
Meets ASTM fire code
Very thin profile
Lined with reflective polyethylene
No foam core
This offering from Reach Barrier can cover much more than your garage door. The roll measures 24 inches wide by 125 feet long. The entire roll is comprised of air bubbles packed between two reflective foil layers. The foil is made out of polyethylene. Like the previous product, it meets fire code and is very thin. The great thing about this insulation is that it doesn’t just have to be used in your garage. It’s also suited for attics, crawl spaces, and more.
Made from 20-percent recycled material
Meets ASTM fire code
Installs with double-sided tape
Can be used in other areas of home
No foam core
Garage Door Insulation Kit Buying Guide
An insulation kit for your car garage door can be a substantial investment, so it’s important that you take time and consideration when choosing the right product. Here are some things to keep in mind when you’re looking for the best garage door insulation kit for your home.
Garage Door Design
The very first thing you should do is examine your door. Not all garage doors are made the same. Some are built as one large piece that tilts up into the ceiling while others are comprised of panels that roll into a compact cylinder. The way your door is designed will affect the type of product is best for your needs.
Insulation kits come to have pre-cut panels that make things easier during installation. They’re ideal for panelized doors that curve on a rail. You can also get insulation in one large sheet or roll to have a gapless barrier. If you don’t have much room to add bulk to the door, thinner insulation rolls are also available.
Type of Insulation
Insulation for a garage door is much different from the stuff you’ll find in your walls. It comes in many different forms and materials. If you choose to go with a rolled product, you’ll be getting reflective foil. As the name would suggest, this insulation is comprised of multiple aluminum foil layers sandwiched around polyethylene foam. You can get this insulation with two foam layers for more protection. Some types of foil insulation don’t use foam at all. Instead, manufacturers of these products opt for air bubbles. While it’s not as protective as foam, that trapped air can make a noticeable difference.
Alternatively, you can just get the polyethylene foam by itself. Sold in large sheets, this insulation requires you to get your tape measure out and perform cuts manually. While this option is quite thin, the rigid nature of the product offers great insulation levels.
Finally, there are the panel kits. As mentioned earlier, these kits have pre-cut foam boards that can be used to cover each individual garage door panel. They’re typically made of polystyrene or fiberglass that is laminated in plastic. This type of insulation is often considered to be the easiest to work with.
Once you’ve figured out which type of insulation to go with, you need to consider the R-Value of the product. The R-Value refers to the insulation’s thermal performance and ability to prevent heat transfer. Garage insulation kits can have a rating as low as R5 or as high as R9. Items with a high R-Value offer the most energy efficiency.
You may also see kits advertising their ability to reduce noise. This is a great added perk, as most garage doors aren’t capable of blocking out road noise efficiently. Typically, higher R-Values are best for noise-reduction. Though specifications can vary from brand to brand.
Insulation has a long and sordid history with public health and safety. While modern insulation methods have been tested heavily for environmental impact and the effects on human wellness, it’s always best to double check. Certain chemicals and materials have high toxicity levels, which could be dangerous for pets and kids. Always read the packaging to see if the insulation has been approved and certified for residential use.
Sometimes, even approved materials aren’t good. Fiberglass is a common material that’s you can find in most residential insulation products. While not inherently bad for one’s health, it has been known to agitate conditions like asthma or bronchitis.
Don’t forget to think about the added weight of the insulation. Depending on the particular product you choose, you may be adding several pounds to the garage door. This can put a lot of unnecessary stress on your garage door opener. If you have older equipment, you may want to keep things light so that you don’t have to pay for a replacement later on down the road.
Frequently Asked Questions
Will insulation affect the way the garage door moves?
If installed properly, insulation should not affect the door’s movements on its tracks. Panels are typically installed within the hollow portion of the metal garage door panel, keeping it out of the way of the rails. It should be able to travel on the rails normally.
Does insulation completely seal the garage?
While the best insulation will do a lot to help save on heating and cooling costs, it will not provide a complete seal. Heat can still escape through the bare walls and poor weather seals on the doors. However, door insulation will do a lot to diminish the problem.
Which type of insulation has the highest R-Value?
Generally, laminated polystyrene panels offer the highest insulation ratings. They’re also much easier to install.
Why would a homeowner choose a lower R-Value?
The price of an insulation kit is directly related to its R-Value. Higher R-Values come with a higher price tag. If you cannot afford to invest in the most protective R9 rating, you can go with something a bit lower. Having some kind of protection is better than having none at all.
Do wooden garage doors need insulation?
Wooden garage doors, while beautiful, still don’t do a great job of containing heat. They tend to be more energy-efficient than metal. However, you could still benefit from adding a layer of insulation. In most cases, a thinner product with a lower R-Value should suffice.
Are any special tools required for installation?
Installing garage door insulation is a quick and easy do-it-yourself project. However, they do require some extra tools. Many kits come with the tools included already. You may find options with a utility knife, squeegee, and tape. To supplement that gear, it’s a good idea to have a straight edge, measuring tape, and pencil.