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R-value Ratings 101: Matching Garage Doors to Climates Across America

We’ve recently talked about R-value and why it’s important for garage doors. If you missed that, here are the key takeaways:

  • R-value, or insulation rating, measures the thermal efficiency of your garage door.
  • The higher the R-value, the more thermally efficient your garage door will be.
  • A high R-value will keep heat inside the garage during winter and cool air inside during summer.
  • We recommend an insulated garage door if your garage is adjacent to a living room.
  • Insulated garage doors can help lower monthly energy costs.
  • Insulated garage doors reduce street noise coming from the outside, as well as noise coming from your garage.
  • Classic Steel Garage Doors have the highest insulation value.
  • Wood Garage Doors have the lowest insulation value.
  • Modern Glass Garage Doors have low insulation value as well, but they have an option for insulated glass panels.

Related Post: What is R-value and Why Is It Important?

Understanding R-value Ratings

We follow a four-star rating system for garage doors insulation. This rating system will help you determine which garage door best suits your climate zone.

Insulation ratings are as follows:

  • R-value 0 to 6 = 1 star (recommended for detached or non-heated garages)
  • R-value 7 to 9 = 2 stars (recommended for attached garages)
  • R-value 10 to 13 = 3 stars (recommended for heated garages)
  • R-value 14 and up = 4 stars (recommended for heated garages and if there’s a living space sharing a wall with your garage (or above the garage), or if you spend a lot of time in your garage)

Recommended R-value Ratings for Climate Zones Across America

insulated garage doors r value ratings

1-Star Insulation Value

One-star insulation rating represents garage doors with R-value of zero to six. These garage doors are ideal for any climate zone, only if you have detached or non-heated garages where insulation is not a priority. If you only use your garage for vehicle storage and it’s not sharing a wall, we recommend a lower R-value rating.

Recommended garage doors:

  • Wooden Garage Doors
  • Classic Steel Garage Doors Models 8000, 8100, & 8200 or 8024 & 8124
  • Modern Glass Garage Doors

Ideal regions:

  • Ideal for detached or non-heated garages under any climate zone

2-Star Insulation Value

Two-star insulation rating represents garage doors with R-value of seven to nine. If you have an attached, non-heated garage, opt for a garage door with R-value of at least seven. A two-star insulation rating is best for the Southeast regions with moderate climates ranging from hot and dry summers to mild winters.

Recommended garage doors:

  • Classic Steel Garage Doors Model 9100 & 9600
  • Designer Fiberglass Garage Doors

Ideal regions:

  • Southeast — North Carolina, South Carolina, Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Mississippi, Tennessee, Maryland, Virginia, West Virginia

3-Star Insulation Value

A three-star insulation rating represents garage doors with an R-value of ten to 13. A higher R-value is recommended for heated garages where insulation is a priority. This will help improve your house’s thermal efficiency, resulting in lower monthly energy costs.

We also recommend an R-value of at least 11 for attached garages in Mid or South Pacific regions, and some cities in the Northwest Pacific, where the climate is mostly rainy and cold when temperature drops.

Recommended garage doors:

  • Carriage House Garage Doors
  • Specialty Vinyl Garage Doors

Ideal regions:

  • Mid/South Pacific — West Tennessee, North Mississippi, Southern Missouri, Western Kentucky, Central, Northeast/Northwest Arkansas, Northwest Alabama, Southern Illinois
  • Northwest Pacific — Colorado, Montana

4-Star Insulation Value

Four-star insulation rating represents garage doors with the highest R-value rating of 14 and above. If your garage is adjacent to a living space or below a bedroom, cold or hot air can still pass through the garage wall and ceiling. You’ll likely adjust the temperature in your house to make it warmer or colder, increasing your monthly energy consumption. Save money on heating and cooling costs by choosing a garage door with an R-value of at least 14.

We recommend a highly insulated garage door if you’re living in Northeast regions where there are extreme weather variances, especially if you spend a lot of time in your garage or if you’ve converted it to a living space. To retain cold air during sunny and hot summer days, and heat during the long and snowy winter season, we recommend a garage door with an R-value of at least 16.

Recommended garage doors:

  • Classic Steel Garage Doors Model 8300 & 8500

Ideal regions:

  • Northeast — Maine, New York, New Jersey, Vermont, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Connecticut, New Hampshire, Pennsylvania

Ready for your own ingenious insulated garage door? Looking for skillful maintenance and repairs? We can make it happen. Contact your nearest NationServe location, get a Wayne Dalton garage door product quote, or request a service call today.

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