With energy prices at an all time high, homeowners are increasingly looking at more and more ways to reduce energy consumption within the home.
Whilst the first things that spring to mind may well be the installation of roof insulation, double glazed windows and energy efficient heating systems, one of the most overlooked areas of the home that suffers from a great amount of heat loss is the garage.
As the largest structural opening within the home, residual heat is able to escape from the space at an alarming rate. This is because the garage door panel itself will more than likely offer no insulation value whatsoever.
In addition to the heat being able to escape, the cold is also able to enter the garage space easily. This can cause real problems for homes which feature a bedroom or living space over the top of the garage. Often these rooms are harder to heat than the rest of the house. This is because the cold air is able to penetrate through the floor leading to a loss in temperature.
In a bid to reduce this, many manufacturers of garage doors now offer thermally efficient variations of traditional designs that will act as a really effective barrier to the elements.
Available in many variations and levels of insulation depending upon the homeowners budget, an insulated garage door will have a significant impact on the amount of heat lost from the home. Although available in a number of operating types, the two most common designs are insulated roller garage doors and insulated sectional garage doors.
These two door types offer the most effective design because they feature dense foam filled insulated panels that stop the heat escaping and the cold getting in. Also, because the door panel overlaps the back of the opening, the effect of cold bridging that is often found on up and over door types is reduced.
Insulated Roller Garage Doors
Although insulated roller garage doors will offer a certain degree of insulation, homeowners often specify this type of door because they are looking for a number of other benefits such as simplicity of design or space saving benefits (because the door rolls into a compact box) in addition to the insulation benefits.
Due to the design, most high quality roller doors are only able to be made with a door curtain of 18mm thick. Any thicker and the door would not be able to coil up into a box small enough to fit inside most domestic garage spaces. Due to this, insulated roller garage doors often only achieve a U Value of around 5w/m2K.
Insulated Sectional Garage Doors
For the ultimate in performance, high security insulated sectional garage doors are the only sensible choice. Featuring a 42mm thick door panel that achieves a U value of 1w/m2K this type of door will significantly reduce the amount of energy consumed within the home. Made from a number of interlocking panels that hinge together and retract back inside the garage when the door is open, meaning that some storage space may be lost. However, when you consider the cost saving benefits, most homeowners are prepared to trade the small loss of storage space.
The other thing that attracts homeowners to sectional garage doors is the fact they can be made to look like a traditional raised panel door but with all the benefits of up to date technology being combined to create a high performance door panel that will provide years of trouble free operation.
Photo by Tim Regan