When shopping for a new garage door , one of piece of information that it touted around by the manufacturers is R-Value.
R-Value is a commonly used measure of an insulation material’s ability to resist the conductions of heat flow. While this is a fine piece of information to know, how much does it affect your door and what should you know in order to make the best decision possible regarding your door?
Here are the three most important things you need to know about R-Value.
1. Published R-Values are Deceiving
When a manufacture publishes a specific R-Value for their garage door, you must take that number with a grain of salt. Why?
Because manufacturers test this under controlled conditions in a laboratory, or a static test. They test one piece of the door in its center, not the whole door through the gaps where the heat loss would be the greatest.
Architectural Testing Inc., an independent laboratory, tested R-Value on seven different installed garage doors. They found that the installed R-Value is 35% to 65% of the manufacturer’s published R-Value.
2. Doubling the R-Value doesn’t double the insulation
As R-Values get higher, the number does not have a one-to-one ratio to the amount of heat flow reduction. As you can see from the chart above, doubling your R-Value from 8 to 16 only gives you a 5% increase in heat flow reduction.
Don’t be fooled thinking that a high R-Value will give you significantly better insulation compared to a door with a slightly lower R-Value. It will be better, just not double better.
3. Don’t choose a door because of R-Value
Only looking a R-Value is a terrible way to decide which door is the right door. When considering energy efficiency, make sure you consider factors such as tightness of fit in the opening and proper seals and caulking. These all affect heat loss and should be evaluated on top of the R-Value.
Ask for the installed R-Value of the door which will give you better impression of how energy efficient the door will be. Always make sure you get professional installation of your door to ensure that your door will be as heat saving as possible.
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Giel Garage Doors services the greater Pittsburgh area selling residential garage doors. We also provide maintenance for all of the doors we sell.