Previously we have looked at why a garage door should really be insulated. Things like noise and warm or cool air are both often things that you want to stay put in your home or keep out of your home. For this reason you will want to insulate your garage door as best you can to save on the hassle that noise can give you and the extra bills that a poorly insulated garage door can cause you to incur. In order to look at how well your garage door is expected to insulate and how well a new door might do you need to have someway to compare the two aside from just installing the new door and waiting for your energy bill. This is where r-values come into play. R values are the numbers used to quantify what it is your garage door or any sort of insulation is really doing for your home. This helps you to compare and contrast different choices so that if your main concern is that your garage door saves you money on energy bills in the long run then you can use these numbers to make sure you are doing your best to do so. In order to really compare all the r values of your garage doors and prospective garage doors though it may make sense to take a look at how these numbers are come to and what they really mean. Sadly this means you might need to learn a bit about r values and do a bit of math. If you just can't be bothered to do some math then you are probably better off just calling up your local garage door professional and having them give you their opinions on the matter. It will save you a bit of time, but if you truly want to learn what this kind of stuff means to you as a home and garage door owner then read on.
In order for you to compare your garage door to that fancy new one you have got your eye on there is the simple math problem of figuring out which r value is higher. This can pretty much be done with some simple subtraction and most anybody should be able to get it done. After that you need to know what that difference means. Is the r value of your garage door supposed to be high or is it like a golf score? I will set your mind at ease and let you know that the higher your garage door's r value the more resistant your garage door is to heat transfer, so put simply high r values are better than low. However this doesn't really fully explain the r values that you will be seeing associated with different garage doors or other home improvements. Obviously, as I stated earlier, a higher r value is better than lower. Given that a garage door was identical in every way other than having a higher r value then the choice would be clear as to which garage door you should opt for, however that most likely won't be the case. A higher r value usually comes with different materials or a different amount of materials being used. This means that higher r values may mean heavier and more costly doors which would lead to slightly more stress being put onto the garage door opener in the long run. These are all considerations that need to be taken in order to see if one garage door is better for you home than another.
Another problem with decoding the different r values associated your garage door is the fact that a r-3 graded garage door is not half as good as a r-6 graded garage door. Because of this deciding whether or not to go with one garage door or another is more difficult to discern. In order to do this you need to really look at what one r value over another might mean for things like your energy bill which can really only come from estimates and people with extremely similar energy usage and home setups. Of course if you have got all sorts of data on your home's energy usage and are willing to sit down and crunch the numbers the r values of your garage door and your new garage door choices can be very helpful. Your garage door is such a large opening that these incremental changes to the insulation of your garage door can actually mean real money savings down the line. Of course if you aren't looking for the most cost effective r value for your garage door and are just looking to get the most environmentally friendly choice then the easy answer is the higher r value the less energy you are spending to heat your home and the more environmentally friendly your garage door is, after taking into account the materials used of it.
The cost of higher r value garage doors is something that you will inevitably have to look into in comparison to the cost of your energy bill. Thicker material used in the garage door is going to be the biggest source of improvement for insulation when it comes to garage doors and so this obviously comes with a higher price tag. In the long run though it is often such a negligible amount given the lifetime of the garage door and the savings in energy consumption. With that said if you are only planning to own your home for a few short years you may not be able to reap the long term benefits and so a cheaper and less energy efficient option may in fact be worth it; convincing your future buyers that your garage door will result in savings for them and so is worth an extra $150 is a hard sell to make in the grand scheme of things. In the end it all comes down to numbers. You can probably get a few estimates on what you will end up saving with a better insulated garage door and then compare those with the price differences in the different r values of the garage doors. Figure out which garage door will save you a bit and guess how long you plan on having your garage door and make a decision.
So I told you that there might just be a bit of math and science involved and I didn't lie, however I think minor subtraction is pretty easy to get behind. R values are an important determinant in a quality garage door and are also a somewhat complex idea to get behind, but if you just look at the bare minimum of data about them it shouldn't take too much time to figure out. Insulation is one of the really important things about a garage door especially in more extreme climates, so knowing what r value your garage door is and if there is a higher one out there for you at a reasonable price is a great way to save money and be knowledgable about your home's potential for improvement all at the same time. The most important things to learn from this article is that the higher r value the better, but that double the r value doesn't necessarily mean double the efficiency or double the insulation. If you think you know which garage door you want to upgrade to, call your local garage door technician and start spouting off r values and they will know you really mean business. If you still aren't sure what door is right for you I advise you do pretty much the same thing and see what kind of advice they have for you.