How to Tell if a Garage Door is Insulated – 3 Simple Ways

how to tell if a garage door is insulated

Perhaps you have heard great things about insulated garage doors, and you are planning on getting yours insulated. Or maybe you paid a garage door technician to get your garage door insulated, and you want to be sure he didn’t rip you. Whatever the case may be, knowing whether your garage door is insulated or not is vital. So I did some research, and here is what I found.

Measure the temperature of your garage door on the inside of your garage, and then on the outside. If your garage door is insulated, the temperature on the outside should be higher than on the inside in hot weather conditions. In cold weather, however, the temperature should be warmer on the inside than on the outside.

Later in this post, we’ll discuss how insulated garage doors look like if they are worth the extra cost, and how to insulate your garage door properly. Now let’s take a look at the two different ways you can tell if your garage door is insulated.

How to Determine if Garage Door is Insulated

Before you go shopping for an insulation kit, it’s necessary to find out whether your garage door is insulated. You don’t want to spend money on a kit, which might be unnecessary. There are three simple ways to check if the garage door is insulated. And you’ll learn all the three methods in this section. Let’s get into it.

1. Measure Temperature of Garage Door

This, by far, is the most effective way of checking if a garage door is insulated. Because, you don’t only get to know if it’s insulated, you also find out how effective the insulation really is.

You’ll need a thermometer for this, preferably an infrared thermometer. I use the Fluke 561 HVAC Pro IR Thermometer (Amazon) for these kinds of tests. It’s been in my toolbag for years, haven’t had any problem with it, and I take it with me whenever necessary. I hand it over to my wife sometimes when she needs it for cooking (can’t go into details). It’s a nice piece of equipment to have in your arsenal.

Now get inside the garage. With the door closed, point the thermometer towards the garage door and measure the temperature. Record the temperature in a notepad, your smartphone, or just keep it in mind.

Now get outside the garage and close the door. Point the thermometer towards the garage door once again, and measure the temperature from outside.

Now compare the two results. If your garage door is hotter on the outside than on the inside when the weather is hot, then your garage door is insulated. However, if the two temperatures are the same or close in value, then your garage door is not insulated.
If your garage door is insulated, in a cold-weather season, the temperature inside the garage should be warmer than on the outside. Compare both temperatures to verify. If that is not the case, then your garage door is not insulated.

2. Check the back panel of your garage door.

This is a much simpler way to verify if your garage door is insulated or not. How is it done?

Inspect your garage door panels from the inside. If you can see the garage door’s panel design from the inside, your garage door is not insulated. If the panel design is not visible, then your garage door is insulated.

Insulated garage doors are made of two or more layers. The first layer will be the garage door panel with the designs, and the subsequent layers will be made of polystyrene or polyurethane. These are the two primary materials used for insulating garage doors. The layers are attached to the back of the first panel, which is why the garage door’s design will not be visible. The additional layers cover it.

3. Check the garage door’s specifications on the manufacturer’s website.

If you know what brand and model your garage door is, this is the perfect way to tell if your garage door is insulated.

Most garage door manufacturers have a product page on all of their garage doors. This is where they provide all the details about that particular garage door, and that includes whether that product is insulated or not.

For instance, our review of Wayne Dalton garage doors gives you details on materials used, whether the garage door is insulated or not, the R-value, the different design options available, and more. You’ll find similar information on the garage door manufacturer’s website. So, if you know the garage door manufacturer and which particular model you are working with, go find out.

What insulated garage doors look like

Generally, insulated garage doors are thicker than non-insulated doors. Here’s why.

Unlike uninsulated garage doors, insulated garage doors have two or more layers. The more the layers, the higher the insulation. Besides the first layer, every other layer will be an insulation material. There are different types of insulation used for garage doors. And the kind used by the door manufacturer will affect its thickness.

Should I insulate my garage door?

Is it worth spending that extra bucks on an insulated garage door or an insulation kit? It depends. Now let me explain.

The reason why we insulate the garage is to improve the overall thermal efficiency of our homes. A well-insulated garage door means the energy transfer from outside to your garage will be minimal. And it will save you an extra cost on heating and cooling bills. While that is true, here is the caveat.

If you use your garage to store your vehicle, you will be opening your garage door regularly. Air and heat from outside will get into your home through that big garage door opening anytime you use the door. And in my opinion, this makes it practically useless, getting your garage door insulated. Because the outside temperature will be transferred into your homes, so, in essence, the insulation will still work, but you might not notice much of a difference.

However, before you shun the idea of insulating your garage door, here is a practical reason why you might want to consider it.

If you use your garage as a recreational room for your kids, a home office, a garage gym, or any living space, insulating your garage door is an excellent idea. That is because you are less likely to open the door when you use it as a living space anyway. So energy transfer will be minimal. Also, since you will be spending some time in your garage, that heat or cold from outside might make you feel uncomfortable.

In addition, proper insulation will reduce the street noise drastically, and make your garage much quieter. This is something you will want if your garage space is your home office or study room.

How much does it cost to insulate a garage door?

The cost of insulating a garage door will depend on the size of the door. If you have an 8 foot or 9-foot single garage door, it will cost about $100, if you DIY. A double garage door will cost about $200. Obviously, this implies, the bigger the garage door, the higher the number of insulation panels you need to buy.

The choice of insulation kit you purchase will also affect the cost. Now, let me recommend two of the best garage door insulation kits on the market.

Matador Garage Door Insulation Kit

The Matador Garage Door Insulation Kit (on Amazon) is by far one of the best insulation kits on the market. Homeowners prefer this insulation kit over the others for a couple of reasons. Firstly, they are made to work with most garage doors. If you own an 8 foot or 9 foot (like most people), then you are in luck. This will work perfectly with your door.


Secondly, they are effortless to install. This insulation kit was made with the average homeowner in mind. All you’ll need to install the Matador insulation kit is a tape measure, a utility knife, and a straight edge.

Each package contains eight insulation panels, and they are made of polystyrene. The package also includes an installation manual that is easy to follow. If you are the type who prefers a video tutorial, you’ll find their video online, which shows you how to install it in a few simple steps.

For a single door, one pack will work fine. For a double garage door, you have to buy two packages.

Owens Corning Garage Door Insulation Kit

Another great option to go for is the Owens Corning Garage Door Insulation Kit (also on Amazon). This is cheaper than the Matador insulation kit, but it still performs very well for a lot of homeowners. This kit is also straightforward to install and doesn’t require any special tools.

Something to keep in mind if you decide to go with this insulation kit is, the adhesion is not that great. For it properly sticks to your door, you should use gorilla tape.

For a single garage door, one pack should be enough to insulate all panels; for a double garage door, you need to buy two of those.

Conclusion

I hope this post helped you decide whether you need to insulate your garage door or not. Do well to share if you found this useful. And be sure to leave a comment if you have any unanswered questions.

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