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Pros and Cons: Insulated vs. Non-Insulated Garage Doors


The most commonly-asked questions when shopping for a new garage door are about insulation. Here's everything you need to know before making a purchase decision.


R-value measures the thermal efficiency of your garage door, representing its ability to block cold or hot air from entering your home. The higher the R-value, the greater the insulating power.

energy bill savings insulation fact-2

Did you know? Homeowners can save up to 20% on their annual energy bills by properly insulating and sealing their home's energy envelope.

STC ratings indicate the effectiveness of your garage door in resisting the passage of airborne sound. Higher R-values are associated with higher STC ratings. The higher the STC rating, the more effectively the material will block sound. 

what is STC rating_insulation blog image
STC = Sound Transmission Class: STC ratings measure the effectiveness of soundproofing materials, such as doors, walls, and windows. The higher the rating, the more soundproof.


polystyrene garage door section

polyurethane insulation recessed panel


The less expensive of the two, polystyrene is a popular choice among homeowners looking for a good value and basic insulation capability.


Though polyurethane is more expensive, its higher density makes it a better insulator than polystyrene. Polyurethane also adds durability to your door, making it more resistant to vibrations and shaking.



When you purchase an insulated garage door, you are paying for added layers of steel and insulation materials. There are also numerous benefits to having an insulated garage door that come with the higher price - read on to learn more.








  1. Do you have an attached garage?
  2. Do you live in an area where temperatures either a) vary drastically throughout the year, or b) are extremely hot or cold year-round?
  3. Do you use your garage as a workspace for hobbies?
  4. Do you keep any animals or pets in your garage?
  5. Are you planning on selling your home within the next 10 years?



If you answered YES to two or more of the above questions, an insulated garage door is the best option for you.

Insulation is particularly important for homes with attached garages, since your garage shares at least one wall with the rest of your house. A poorly-insulated garage door will allow hot/cold outside air into not only your garage, but your home; in turn, you'll end up spending a lot more money on heating and cooling costs. You also might want to consider an insulated door if your garage shares a wall with a bedroom, as it will be significantly quieter to operate.

If you keep pets in your garage or use it as a workspace for hobbies, an insulated garage door will help to maintain a safe and comfortable inside temperature. Personality belongings, particularly your cars, will also benefit from being stored in a more stable environment. Extreme temperatures have a negative effect on your car's fluids, battery life, tire pressure, and more.

Insulation will also facilitate with noise control - if you work with power tools, play instruments, listen to loud music, etc. in your garage, your neighbors will thank your insulated door for suppressing the noise.

Finally, if you plan to put your house on the market within the next 10 years, it is smart to invest in an insulated garage door. Insulation helps to increase home value by reducing annual energy costs, maximizing garage usability, and boosting your overall curb appeal.

Get a quote for your new insulated garage door.



If you answered NO to three or more of the above questions, you may not need to spend the extra money on an insulated garage door.

If you have a detached garage, you're probably not too concerned about the temperature inside your garage. Likewise, outside temperatures and noise will not be able to creep into your home from your garage.

You could also bypass the expense of an insulated garage door if you live in an area with a mild year-round climate, as outside elements will not have a significant impact on temperatures indoor.

Another factor to consider is how often you operate your garage door throughout the day, and if you tend to leave it open for extended periods of time. Each time the garage door opens, your home's thermal envelope is broken - insulation will not serve much value to you if your garage door is constantly being operated or is kept open for long time spans.



In general, if you can afford it, an insulated garage door is the best long-term investment. Though insulated garage doors are more expensive than non-insulated, the energy savings and year-round usability of the garage allow the insulated door to pay for itself.

Finding the perfect garage door for your home and lifestyle doesn't have to be time-consuming. Download the Residential Product Guide to learn about C.H.I.'s full product line and start your journey toward a home that leaves the neighbors in awe.

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