October 27, 2017

How do I know if my garage door is really R-16, as advertised?

So, you’re thinking of buying a new garage door. You’ve done your research, Googled vigorously, and it looks as though an R‑16 garage door would be the best option. You trust the information you’ve discovered, but how do you know that the garage door you’ve chosen really provides that much insulation?

House With 2 Garage Doors in Winter

Manufacturers of garage doors measure the R‑value by taking readings at the centers of their doors in order to measure the thermal conductivity, in much the same way as would be done to measure the R‑value of a double‑paned window. Generally speaking, to get an R‑16 value, the door has to be about an inch and three quarters thick, and insulated with polyurethane foam.

So, how can you test your door?

It’s pretty simple, and you can do it by yourself. Before we get going, though, let’s consider a few things.

Is your garage attached to your house?

  • For purposes of this test, we’re going to assume that your garage is a) insulated, and b) attached to your house.
  • We’re also going to assume that the garage isn’t heated. Even if it is, the test results won’t be all that different.

Weather protection

  • We’re also going to assume that your garage door is injected with polyurethane foam, a very effective insulating material (twice as good as polystyrene).
  • We further assume that your door has weatherstripping around the exterior perimeter, and also between the door sections and at the bottom (with gaps to ensure flexibility when the temperatures go below freezing).

Now, let’s get to work and begin measuring. Ideally, you’ll do this on a cold morning, when the temperatures are below freezing. This is the best time for this sort of test.

Get in your car, and turn the key but don’t start the engine. Take a look at the outdoor temperature displayed in your driver information center. Take note of the number. Now, turn on the engine, and head out for about a 15‑minute drive. Note the temperature when you get back.

How does this help you to determine your R‑16 rating? Well, you look at the initial temperature in your garage. Let’s say, for argument’s sake, that it’s 32°F (0°C). You drive for a bit, you come back, and now your driver information center reading shows, say, -6°F. What that tells you is that you have an R‑16 garage door properly insulated and weathertight, and keeps your garage a good 30°F at minimum and warmer than the temperature outside.

You can do this same type of test in the summer, when it’s hot. An R‑16 garage door with proper weatherstripping will ensure that your garage stays cool.

If you have any doubts as to whether your garage door is properly insulated, just do the test and find out.


Looking for an R‑16 garage door?

Call us anytime at 905-569-9133. We know garage doors, and we can help you to make the best choice. If you like, we can send you a quotation via email.

We’d also be happy to come to your home, and tell you about all the products that are available to you. We can offer advice on the best solution for your particular situation. You can also get all kinds of ideas by using our Design Centre or checking out our image gallery.

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