Picking the Best Garage Door Material for Energy Efficiency

Whether you use your garage for storage, to park your vehicle, as a workspace, or as a place to relax, you’ll want to make it as energy-efficient as possible. The garage door is an important factor in terms of energy efficiency. Luckily, there are a number of ways to make garage doors energy efficient. We’ve already written about insulating your garage door, but it is worthwhile to consider what materials are best for energy efficiency.

The best insulated garage doors have what’s called a high ‘R value’. R value is determined by the quality of insulation and the insulating properties of the door’s material itself. A truly efficient garage door will also give air little opportunity to leak in or out of the garage.

Here are a few recommendations for high R value garage doors:


steel garage door

Steel has the advantage of durability, but loses in the area of insulation. However, a garage door made of low gauge steel will have a higher R value due to its thicker characteristics. Another option is to build the door with two thin sheets of high gauge steel with a layer of insulation in between.


Aluminum garage doors are expensive to produce and install, and they have a low R value. You may end up losing money due to high energy costs if you live in a cold or wet climate. Aluminum can be difficult to insulate, though you can add insulation to the doors’ rails and stiles.


wood garage door

Wood garage doors are often installed for their beautiful facades, rather than for energy efficiency or durability. Wood can offer decent insulation but should probably be avoided in cold, wet, or humid environments.

Composite Wood

Composite or faux wood looks like real wood but has a higher R value. Furthermore, composite wood can be coupled with a steel overlay, making it durable, fashionable, and highly insulated.

Polystyrene and Polyurethane

Keep in mind that you can always increase the energy efficiency of your garage door by adding polystyrene or polyurethane foam to any type of garage door. Spraying a thick foam into all the nooks and crannies in and around the garage door can increase energy efficiency by blocking airflow.

As you decide on a new garage door you will probably weigh energy efficiency with the durability and style of the material. Think about a solid door versus a door with glass, which is also able to be insulated. Consider what kind of weather the door will endure throughout the year, and the ways you will use the garage space; for example, the amount of times you open the door. The more it’s opened, the more the outside elements come in to your garage. If your garage is not well insulated, a heavily insulated door can help conserve energy. Whatever material you choose, call Larry Myers Garage Doors for assistance with your purchase.