What R-Value for a Garage Door Do You Need?

R&S Erection of Vallejo, Inc.


Garage doors add significant value and functionality to a home. They provide quick access to storage spaces and secure space to park cars. However, a garage door with a low R-value can increase your bills and make your living spaces uncomfortable. 

What R-value for a garage door do you need? At R&S Erection of Vallejo, we assist customers with this and other questions during professional garage door installation services. You’ll find our recommendations and other in-depth information below. 

What Does R-Value Mean?

R-value refers to how well your garage door insulates your home when closed. Manufacturers and installers use the R-value to determine the thermal resistance in garage doors and their materials. They calculate this measurement by determining how moving outdoor air will affect the still air inside a closed door. 

The R-value for insulated garage doors designed for residential properties typically reaches R-14. The R-value you need depends on factors like average regional temperature throughout the year and your garage door’s location. A professional installer can help you determine which insulation level works best for your home. 

What Types of Insulation Do Garage Doors Use?

Choosing the best garage door insulation is half the battle. Most doors contain one of two types of insulating materials. Learn more about these materials below. 


You might know this substance better as “Styrofoam.” However, Styrofoam is simply one brand of polystyrene commonly used as packing materials or disposable eating ware. Garage door manufacturers also use this substance to insulate their products. 

Polystyrene typically costs less than its polyurethane alternative. However, it has half the insulating efficiency. You might use it for garage doors in unattached garages or storage buildings. 


When a garage door manufacturer starts insulating your garage door with polyurethane, they’ll fill the hollow frame with a foamy chemical compound. This substance hardens into polyurethane. Once injected, it expands to fill the space. 

Polyurethane may cost more than polystyrene. However, its impressive insulating abilities may save you money in the long run. 

Should You Aim for a Higher Rating?

When garage door installers consult with you, they’ll recommend an R-value based on:

  • Home connection: If you can access your garage directly from inside your home, you’ll need an R-value between R-7 and R-14 to maintain indoor temperatures. 
  • Local temperature patterns: Localities with more extreme temperature fluctuations can significantly influence residential heating and cooling costs. If you live in such areas, aim for a higher R-value to protect your energy efficiency. 
  • Function: Some homeowners use their garages as offices, extended living spaces, and gyms. Using your garage for such a purpose will justify effective insulation to maintain comfort. 
  • Other garage door features: R-value isn’t the only efficiency influence. Features like weather stripping and weather sealing also affect your garage door’s ability to retain temperature-controlled air. Low-efficiency features require a higher R-value. 

So, what R-value for a garage door do you need? Is higher always better? Consider the reasons why you might prefer a high-value garage door. 

Better Temperature Control

As a homeowner, you want to enjoy cool, refreshing air in the summer and cozy, warm air in the winter. If you have a garage attached to your home, you should consider a garage door with a minimum value of 11 or more. The energy efficiency in your garage door materials will impact your ability to stay comfortable throughout the year. 

Do you have an unattached garage? Shop for R-10 garage doors. This value will protect your stored belongings and vehicles from cold winter temperatures. 

Better Lifespan and Quality

A garage door with little to no insulation may not last as long as a well-insulated one. Hollow products are especially prone to denting, cracking, and other types of damage. You might need more maintenance services to ensure your door protects your home and belongings.

Garage door maintenance plays an essential role in garage safety. When the door becomes compromised, it can affect the mechanisms responsible for safely pulling it up and letting it down. If you want less hassle with maintenance and repairs, remember that higher values may require fewer services. 

Flexible Functionality

Low R-values limit your garage’s functionality. No one wants to spend time in a hot, stuffy garage in the summer. During frigid winters, you want shelter from frigid temperatures and chilled humidity. 

An uninsulated garage door will prevent you from utilizing the space. Even if you don’t currently use your garage for hobbies or other purposes, you might want to transform it in the future. A door with a high R-value of 14 or higher offers seamless, lasting flexibility. 

Less Energy Usage

Finally, think about how energy efficiency in garage door materials will affect you. A hollow or uninsulated door might work for an unattached garage with no temperature-sensitive valuables inside. However, your garage loses functionality and storage abilities at that point. 

Even if you only need space for a vehicle, you’ll still benefit from a weather-resistant, well-insulated door. Vehicles exposed to frigid or hot temperatures for long periods can gradually incur damage over time. Choose an R-value between seven and nine for improved efficiency and protection of stored belongings. 

What R-Value for a Garage Door Do You Need?

When choosing the right R-value for your needs, you might feel tempted to select a less expensive option. However, up-front expenses don’t always mean less money spent in the long term. You might save more money by purchasing a higher R-value. 

Plus, you’ll enjoy more flexibility and functionality from your garage regardless of temperature changes. Speak with a reputable garage installation service about what works best for your needs. Your technician will pinpoint the perfect efficiency value for your garage. 

Ask R&S Erection of Vallejo About the Best R-Value for Your Home

What R-value for a garage door do you need? The answer ultimately depends on how you use your garage, what you store inside it, and whether your house connects to it. R&S Erection of Vallejo can inform you about finding an appropriate R-value, how to insulate a garage door for winter, and other topics. Call 707-644-5537 to request a free estimate.