insulated garage

Insulated Garage Doors for Enhanced Energy Efficiency and Cost Savings


Every element in your home affects its energy efficiency, especially your garage door. The right garage door can play a vital role in maintaining your home’s temperature and reducing energy costs. In this guide, we’ll explore how energy-efficient insulated garage doors can save you money and lessen your home’s environmental footprint.

How Insulated Garage Doors Work

Insulated garage doors are designed to reduce the transfer of heat and cold into and out of your garage. They are made with layers of insulation material in between panels, creating a barrier against external temperatures. This insulation helps maintain a stable temperature inside the garage, thus reducing the load on your home’s heating and cooling systems.

There are two common insulated garage door construction types: insulated pan style and insulated sandwich style. 

Insulated Pan-Style Garage Doors

These doors typically consist of a single layer of steel with an added layer of insulation attached to the inside of the door panel. The insulation is usually covered with a thin panel or coating. This style offers basic insulation and is more cost-effective, but the energy efficiency and sound insulation level might be lower compared to the sandwich style.

Insulated Sandwich-Style Garage Doors

These doors are constructed with two layers of steel or other materials with insulation securely sandwiched between them. This design provides better insulation, energy efficiency, and noise reduction. Sandwich-style doors are generally more robust and offer improved durability and aesthetic options compared to pan-style doors.

In summary, while both provide insulation, the sandwich style typically offers superior insulation, durability, and overall quality compared to the pan style, which is more basic and cost-effective.

Insulation Material Choices: Knowing the Difference

Insulation in garage doors typically comes in two forms – polystyrene and polyurethane. 

Polystyrene Garage Door Insulation

Polystyrene, similar to styrofoam, comes in rigid panels installed between your garage door’s layers. It’s also commonly available for aftermarket garage door insulation kits that you’d pick up at your local Lowe’s or Home Depot. If you have a pan-style garage door, the polystyrene material will typically be placed on the interior of your garage door and covered with a vinyl back. For a sandwich-style door, polystyrene is installed between the two steel layers. While polystyrene offers better results than no insulation at all, it is not as energy efficient as foam-injected polyurethane.

Polyurethane Garage Door Insulation

Polyurethane, on the other hand, is sprayed into the door’s layers, expanding and hardening. Polyurethane generally offers a higher R-value (a measure of insulation’s effectiveness), making it a more efficient insulator than polystyrene. When injected into the door, the polyurethane expands into nooks and crannies and bonds to the door frame as it expands. This not only provides the best sound insulation and climate control, but it also enhances the strength of the door.

Energy and Cost Savings with Insulation

The primary benefit of an insulated garage door is its impact on your energy bills. By keeping your garage at a more consistent temperature, you lessen the demand on your HVAC system. This is especially beneficial if you have a room above or adjacent to the garage. Additionally, insulated doors help in:

  • Reducing energy consumption, leading to lower utility bills.
  • Enhancing the comfort of spaces near or above the garage.
  • Minimizing external noise, offering a quieter indoor environment.

Our partners at Clopay conducted a home study to demonstrate the effect of their Intellicore insulated garage doors on the temperature of garage interiors. Here’s what they found:

Outside Temperature

Temperature Inside Garage

Difference Inside Garage

Averages with Original Wood Garage Door



21° warmer

Averages with Clopay IntellicoreInsulated Garage Door



49° warmer

Find the full study and learn more in Clopay’s guide to insulated garage doors.

Weighing Benefits Against Initial Investment

While insulated garage doors may come with a higher initial cost compared to non-insulated ones, the long-term savings on energy bills make them a worthwhile investment. Homeowners can recoup the extra expense through reduced energy costs, especially in climates with extreme temperatures.

 Besides cost savings, choosing an insulated garage door is a step towards a more sustainable lifestyle. Reducing energy consumption contributes to less fossil fuel usage and greenhouse gas emissions, making your home more eco-friendly.

Making the Right Choice for Your Home

When selecting an insulated garage door, consider factors like your geographic location, the orientation of your garage, and your home’s overall insulation. For example, a garage door that gets full afternoon sun will mean a hot garage during St. Louis-area summers, especially if your home doesn’t get much shade. Consulting with a garage door expert can help you make an informed decision based on your specific needs and circumstances.

Enhance Your Home with Insulated Solutions from O’Fallon Overhead Doors

As garage door experts, we understand the importance of energy efficiency and are committed to helping you find the best solutions for your home. Connect with O’Fallon Overhead Doors today for your free, no-pressure consultation and discover how we can help transform your home’s energy footprint!