Guide to Insulated Garage Doors

Guide to Insulated Garage Doors

For many homeowners, the garage is one of the primary entrances to the home. It is often also the largest entrance on your home’s exterior. Because of this, the garage can be one of the most significant problem areas for heat loss in your home, impacting your home’s energy efficiency.

One of the best ways to prevent heat loss and improve your home's energy efficiency is to upgrade to an insulated garage door. Insulated garage doors can provide several other benefits, such as quieter operation and increased overall door strength and durability. 

5 Benefits of Garage Door Insulation

Benefits of Garage Door Insulation

The benefits of installing an insulated garage door are numerous. Expect the following advantages when you install one in your home:

1. Money Savings

An insulated garage door prevents heat from escaping through your garage in the winter, meaning it may require less energy to heat your home. In warmer months and climates, insulation staves off any excess warm air from entering your garage, meaning lower cooling costs and more savings!

2. Enhanced Comfort

Because many garages are attached to the rest of the home, they can significantly impact your home’s overall comfort. For example, many garages lead into a high-traffic area of your home, such as a hallway or kitchen, making it easy for cold winter air to spread as it enters through your garage. Choosing a garage door with insulation minimizes the heat loss that occurs even while your garage door remains closed.

Adding an insulated garage door can translate to increased comfort while spending time in your garage and home. Want to see the impact for yourself? One homeowner put their new Clopay® insulated garage door to the test to see firsthand the difference insulation can make. In the figures below, the homeowner compared their old non-insulated garage door to a door with Clopay® Intellicore® insulation.

3. More Noise Control

Insulation also means your garage door operation will operate more quietly.

While you can sometimes reduce garage door noise through regular maintenance, an insulated door will dampen sound more than a non-insulated door. Insulation can also reduce outside noise. The figures below represent the difference in decibel levels between a non-insulated garage door and a residential garage door with Clopay® Intellicore® Insulation technology.

4. Better Protection

An insulated garage door can better protect your car and other belongings from extreme temperatures, moisture and pest infestations. Freezing temperatures can significantly impact your vehicle, while a lack of moisture control can lead to mold and mildew growth when it gets humid and hot outside.

5. Improved Durability

You'd be surprised to learn how much damage garage doors can endure, whether from powerful weather events or simply due to the wear and tear of raising and lowering them. It will also fare easier in warmer temperatures, meaning less warping for any metal components and a prolonged life span. 

Customer review of the importance of insulation for heat

Before Clopay® Insulated Garage Door

Date Time Temperature
Inside Garage
Inside Garage
January 17th 8:30 PM 53 ˚ 34 ˚ 19 ˚ warmer
January 20th 10:00 PM 48 ˚ 37 ˚ 11 ˚ warmer
January 21th 12:30 PM 47 ˚ 20 ˚ 27 ˚ warmer
January 24th 5:00 PM 36 ˚ 10 ˚ 26 ˚ warmer
Average - 46 ˚ 25 ˚ 21 ˚ warmer
Original garage door with wood construction. See homeowner data.

With Clopay® Intellicore® Insulated Garage Door

Date Time Temperature Inside Garage Outside Temperature Difference Inside Garage
January 25th 10:00 AM 44 ˚ 2 ˚ 42 ˚ warmer
January 27th 10:00 PM 54 ˚ 2 ˚ 52 ˚ warmer
January 28th 7:30 AM 47 ˚ -7 ˚ 53 ˚ warmer
January 29th 7:30 PM 43 ˚ -5 ˚ 48 ˚ warmer
Average - 47 ˚ -2 ˚ 49 ˚ warmer
Clopay® garage door with Intellicore® insulation installed by EZ Garage Doors & Home Exteriors, North Versailles, PA.

Better Sound Isolation

Insulation also reduces means your garage door operation will be quieter. The figures below represent the difference in decibel levels between a non-insulated garage door and a residential garage door with Clopay® Intellicore® Insulation technology.

Non-Insulated Garage Door Garage Door with Clopay Intellicore Insulation Comparison
Sound Volume (dB) 96dB 80dB Approximately 3x quieter
Decibels are measured on a logarithmic scale, which is why this 16 dB difference has such an effect on the perception of volume levels!

Comparing Insulated Garage Doors

So, what is an insulated garage door and what should you look for before deciding on one? If you are shopping for a garage door with insulation, you may see a few different numbers provided that measure the effectiveness of the insulation. Here is a brief definition of each:


R-value, or the ability to slow heat transmission, is the most widely used measurement for a garage door’s energy efficiency. A higher R-value means slower heat transmission, which ensures less cold air entering your garage in the winter and less heat in the summer. When it comes to choosing the best insulated garage doors, the higher R-value, the better!

Clopay® uses door section R-values for our garage door insulation testing, per the Door and Access Manufacturers Association guidelines provided in TDS-163. Clopay garage door R-values range from 6.3 to 20.4. These values depend on the door’s material, thickness and type of insulation. See each Collection or sell sheet for options.


Though not used as often as R-value, U-factor is another number you may see when shopping for a garage door. U-factor represents the flow of heat through a material, meaning the lower the U-factor, the better the door's insulation. Because not all residential garage door manufacturers use this factor, Clopay’s energy efficiency calculations currently focus on R-value instead.

Polystyrene vs. Polyurethane Garage Door Insulation

Polystyrene and polyurethane are the two most common types of garage door insulation. Knowing the difference between the two is necessary to compare doors and fully understand which is best for your home.

Polystyrene Garage Door Insulation

Polystyrene insulation is used in many garage doors and is the type of insulation offered in garage door insulation kits sold at major retailers. This insulation comes in the form of rigid panels of polystyrene inserted between steel layers of your garage door or placed inside your single-layer garage door and typically includes a vinyl back.

Garage doors insulated with polystyrene sandwiched between two steel layers will have a quieter operation and energy efficiency than a non-insulated door. However, they are not as energy efficient as foam-injected polyurethane.

Polyurethane Garage Door Insulation

Garage doors with polyurethane insulation are an excellent choice if you live in especially hot or cold climates and your garage door is the primary entrance to your home.

Polyurethane is an energy-efficient material used in Clopay’s proprietary Intellicore® insulation technology. This form of insulation consists of polyurethane foam injected between the door’s steel layers, which expands to fill all the door's nooks and crannies. The foam bonds to the door’s frame as it expands, further increasing the door's strength and making it less susceptible to dents.

These garage doors will deliver the highest level of sound and climate control for your home. 

Below is a breakdown of which insulation types are available for Clopay® garage door collections:

Close up of a cutaway section of door showing polystyrene insulation
Closeup of a cutaway section of garage door showing polyurethane insulation
Collection Series Polystyrene Insulation Available Intellicore® Polyurethane Insulation Available
Canyon Ridge Limited Edition - 2" Intellicore® insulation with thermal break
Canyon Ridge Ultra-Grain - 2" Intellicore® insulation with thermal break
Canyon Ridge Modern - 2" Intellicore® insulation
Coachman - 2" polystyrene or 1-3/8" polystyrene with thermal break 2" Intellicore® insulation with thermal break
Grand Harbor - 1 5/8" polystyrene insulation -
Gallery - 1-3/8" polystyrene or 1-5/16" vinyl-backed polystyrene insulation 2" or 1-3/8" Intellicore® insulation
Classic - 2" or 1-3/8" polystyrene or 1-5/16" vinyl backed polystyrene insulation 2" or 1-3/8" Intellicore® insulation
Modern Steel - 2" or 1-3/8" polystyrene; 1-5/16" 2" or 1-3/8" Intellicore® insulation
Classic™ Wood - Polystyrene insulation (Model 33 only) -
Reserve® Limited Edition Polystyrene insulation -
Reserve® Modern Polystyrene insulation -

Browse Our Insulated Garage Doors Today

Browse Our Insulated Garage Doors Today

The best insulated garage doors are the ones that enhance your comfort and provide optimal energy efficiency. When you're ready to make the upgrade, choose Clopay® for your insulated garage door.

Clopay® provides a wide selection of garage doors that will transform your home's curb appeal and protect your family and belongings. With more design and insulation options than anyone in the industry, you're sure to find an attractive, energy-efficient garage door that will last for years to come.

When you're ready to upgrade, browse our garage doors today!