Nowadays, the idea of converting the garage into a second living space or personal sanctuary (i.e., guest bedroom, workspace, yoga studio, etc.) has become pretty popular. There is, however, one thing that’s keeping many DIYers from transforming this space—it’s uninsulated.
Insulating your garage door is a great way to ensure that your garage space is comfortable enough so that you can work, play, or just hang out without freezing. (Note that insulation won’t make your garage warm and toasty, but it will help retain heat.) Adding this layer of insulation helps prevent heat from escaping, but it also blocks cold air from entering the garage so that your vehicle can stay safely stored away from freezing winter winds.
Finding the best garage door insulation kit for your home will depend on the size and type of garage door you have and what type of garage door insulation you want to use. It’s also a good ideas to consider the method of installation and how effective the insulation is in relation to your heat retention needs. Take a look at the top products below to find the best garage door insulation for your garage.
- BEST OVERALL: Reach Barrier 3009 Garage Door Insulation Kit
- BEST BANG FOR THE BUCK: US Energy Products Double Bubble Reflective Foil
- UPGRADE PICK: US Energy Products NASA TECH Garage Door Insulation
- BEST REFLECTIVE: Reflectix BP24050 24-Inch-by-50-Foot Bubble Pack
- BEST EASY INSTALL: Matador SGDIK001 Garage Door Insulation
Types of Garage Door Insulation Kits
Garage door insulation kits can come in many different types, including radiant barrier, fiberglass, foam, and cellulose.
Radiant barriers are usually inexpensive and are made of highly reflective materials, such as aluminum. This type of garage door insulation kit is used to block the radiant heat energy instead of absorbing it like fiberglass insulation. It typically features one or two layers of reflective material to create a heat barrier in addition to an “air space” layer that can be made of bubble wrap. This air space layer creates a pocket that reduces both conductive and convective heat flow (spreading and containing heat) to help keep your garage warm.
Fiberglass is commonly used to insulate homes, so it only makes sense that it can be used with your garage door to the same effect. This thick, fibrous material has a high R-value, meaning it’s ideal for insulating attics, ceilings, walls, and floors, in addition to garage doors. (R-value is determined by the thickness and the density of a material. The higher the R-value, the better the material will insulate.) The only downside of fiberglass is that it’s messy to work with.
Foam garage door insulation can be split into two categories: spray foam and rigid foam, which is also known as foam core.
- Spray foam is exactly what it sounds like: a foamy substance that you spray onto your garage door. It’s cheap and easy, but it’s not the best option for garage doors.
- Rigid foam or foam core is made from styrofoam. It’s lightweight, user-friendly, and affordable. There are three types of rigid foam used for garage door insulation, including expanded polystyrene (EPS), extruded polystyrene (XPS), and polyisocyanurate (polyiso).
Cellulose is a low thermal product that’s made entirely from organic material like plant fibers, cotton, or wood. This type of insulation can also use recycled materials such as old newspapers, cardboard, office paper, and other paper products. Cellulose also contains a fire-resistant borate treatment to help protect your home from fire.
Cellulose must be sprayed onto the garage door panels in the same way as spray foam insulation, and it provides a highly effective method of retaining your garage heat. Unfortunately, cellulose is also the most expensive garage door insulation kit type, so it may not be an option for DIYers on a budget.
Shopping Considerations for Choosing the Best Garage Door Insulation Kit
Finding the best garage door insulation kit for your home isn’t difficult once you’ve determined the type of insulation you’d like to use. Even so, there are still a few things to consider. Here are six shopping considerations to keep in mind while shopping for a garage door insulation kit.
When selecting a garage door insulation kit, you need to ensure that it’s compatible with your garage door. For instance, some insulation kits require metal channels along the garage door support frame in order to securely install the insulation. If you used the same insulation kit with a wooden garage door, you may not have a method of properly attaching the insulation.
Before purchasing a garage door insulation kit, look into its installation instructions and requirements. You wouldn’t want to accidentally buy a kit that’s for a different size or type of garage door.
The size of the garage door itself, along with the size of each individual panel, is also an important consideration. While many insulation kits come with panels that can be customized to fit your garage door, it’s better to find a product that comes close to the size you need. This way you can save money and reduce waste.
If you’ve decided to go with spray foam or cellulose, measure the space beforehand to ensure you’ll have enough spray insulation to properly insulate the entire door. Some insulation kits are designed to move with the door, while others only insulate the individual panels, allowing movement at the garage door seams.
The effectiveness of your garage door insulation kit can be estimated using two measurements: U-factor and R-value.
- U-factor and U-value are interchangeable terms used to describe the measurement of the thermal efficiency of your garage door and the rate of heat transfer, with ratings ranging from 0 to 1. These measurements are given in decimal form only and operate on a reverse scale from R-value. What this means is that the lower the U-factor, the more efficient the insulation. For example, a U-factor of 0.05 is more efficient than a U-factor of 0.10.
- R-value measures the rate of heat loss and thermal efficiency of the garage door insulation material, but it doesn’t measure the thermal efficiency of the door itself. This rating is frequently used by manufacturers and is measured on a scale that begins at 0 and typically ranges up to 16.
When you think about adding insulation to your door, you need to remember that you also add weight when doing so. If the weight of the insulation is too great, then it can affect the operation of both automatic and manual garage doors. The best way to avoid this issue is to use lightweight insulation that will not overburden or hinder the garage door.
Fiberglass and rigid foam are easy to install and don’t often cause weight issues, though radiant barriers are much lighter. Spray foam and cellulose can quickly become heavy if the layers of insulation are too thick. Always use these insulation sprays carefully to avoid over spraying your garage door.
Garage door insulation kits can be attached to your door in a variety of ways; some use clips and tape while others just tuck the insulation into the framework of the panels. Adhesives, however, can make the installation process easier and can be used with any type of garage door.
Adhesives may connect pins to the door, providing a secure base to attach the insulation panels, or they may be used to secure the insulation directly to the door without the need for additional fasteners. This type of installation method is one of the easiest, but adhesives are also difficult to remove if you want to upgrade. Even so, they’re still not as difficult to remove as spray foam.
Ease of Installation
The installation process is relatively easy regardless of the type of insulation you choose; however, spray insulation should be used only for those who are confident in your ability to moderately spray expanding foam on a vertical surface. Some insulation works well with metal doors because it can be slotted into the frame on the door without needing to be attached, glued, or fastened to anything.
From this basic install, the difficulty increases to include adhesives that can either fasten directly to the garage door or be affixed with retaining pins to the garage door. The retaining pins pierce the insulation and are secured with a retaining cap. You can also use spray foam or spray cellulose, which is very easy to apply but can be difficult to moderate in a way that allows you to have an even layering across your entire door without blocking the flexible garage door seams.
Our Top Picks
The top-rated products below were chosen for their quality, price, and customer satisfaction to help you find the best garage door insulation kit for your garage door.
The Reach Barrier 3009 is ideal for keeping your garage warm in the winter and cool in the summer. It uses reflective aluminum on the front and back, with a laminated bubble layer sandwiched in between to create an effective boundary between your garage and the fluctuating temperature outdoors. The kit comes with eight precut panels that measure 4 feet by 2 feet—perfect for standard single-car garage doors.
This kit also makes installation a breeze. All you have to do is clean your door, attach the adhesive squares, and stick the panels in place. Easy or not, you should still follow the instructions to ensure that the adhesive squares are properly spaced.
Reduce your heating bill and save money with this affordable Double Bubble Reflective Foil Insulation. It has an R-value of 4 and, according to the manufacturer, it reflects 97 percent of radiant heat. The insulation comes in a 4 foot by 10 foot roll that can be easily cut to the proper size for your door with a utility knife or scissors.
This garage door insulation kit features two layers of polyethylene air bubbles to help reduce the transmission of heat through the air layer. This is sandwiched between a reflective film of aluminum polyester designed to reflect radiant heat away from the garage door and back into the open garage space. The insulation is lightweight yet durable enough to be installed with tacks, staples, or nails if necessary.
If your garage has a two-car garage door, then a standard garage door insulation kit won’t give you the necessary amount of insulation. This two-car garage door insulation kit comes with four rolls of 2 foot by 18 foot foam core insulation. With this kit you also get a utility knife to cut the insulation to the right size, a squeegee to help prepare the garage door for installation, and heavy-duty, double-sided tape used to attach the insulation.
The premium-priced reflective white foam core has an R-value of 8, which can reduce the temperature inside the garage by 30 degrees in hot summer weather. Installation of the insulation is simple using the double-sided tape, though the kit also comes with an instruction booklet for you to follow.
A reflective insulation kit, like this radiant barrier garage door insulation kit, is an affordable method to reduce the heat transfer through your garage door, allowing you to stay warm in the winter and cool in the summer. The insulation has two reflective metallic foil outer layers that are designed to reflect radiant heat away from the door so that it cannot escape. Between these layers is a polyethylene air bubble layer that works to reduce the transmission of the heat that is not reflected by the outer layer.
This garage door insulation comes in a 2 foot by 50 foot roll that can be cut with a utility knife or scissors to the correct size for your garage door panels.
If you want to insulate your garage door, but you’re uncomfortable using adhesives or fasteners, check out this simple-to-install garage door insulation kit. The kit comes with eight polystyrene laminate panels that can be cut to the perfect size for your garage door panels. Each piece of polystyrene laminate measures 20.25 inches by 54 inches by 1.25 inches and has an R-value of 4.8.
With this insulation kit, you don’t need tape, glue, pins, or any other adhesives or fasteners. Once you’ve cut everything to size, carefully slot them in between the horizontal and vertical rails on your garage door. The insulation also has a bright white and easily washable surface so you can keep your garage looking great.
The Advantages of Insulating a Garage Door
Having a garage attached to your home or as a detached building on your property offers a secure location to store your vehicles, tools, sports gear, and yard equipment, but keeping it warm can be difficult. Whether you heat your garage via your home’s heating system or you like to pull out the old space heater from time to time, there’s no doubt you can save money by insulating the garage door. This simple upgrade helps keep heat in and cold out, reducing the amount of electricity or gas you need to warm your garage.
When you add insulation to your garage door, it also increases the weight and support of the garage door panels so that they become more durable. This update to your garage door also makes it quieter, reducing the transmission of sound through the door and the vibration of the door panels. Garage door insulation helps protect your vehicles, tools, and other items from freezing temperatures and frigid winds so that you can sleep comfortably knowing the car will start in the morning.
- Adding garage door insulation can reduce your electric bills (saving you money).
- Insulation makes garage doors more durable and quieter to operate.
- With an insulated garage door, your vehicle (and your pipes) will be better protected against frigid temperatures.
FAQs About Garage Door Insulation Kits
Before investing in a garage door insulation kit, take a look at these frequently asked questions and their answers below.
Q. How does garage door insulation work?
Garage door insulation can be attached to your garage door with fasteners, tape, adhesives, or a hardening insulation foam spray. The insulation then acts to slow the conductive and convective heat flow, preventing heat from escaping through the garage door and also blocking cold air from entering the garage.
Q. What is a good R-value for a garage door insulation kit?
Whether the R-value of a garage door insulation kit is good enough for your garage is based on several factors including the number of shared or detached walls, the heating system inside the garage (if it has one), and the average climate in your city or state. However, for most garages, an R-value of 4 to 8 is substantial for insulating your garage door, though for maximum heat retention you can get insulation with an R-value up to 16.
Q. What is included in a garage door insulation kit?
This depends on the specific manufacturer, but typically you also receive installation instructions, insulation panels, and fasteners, such as adhesive retainer pins and retainer caps, to securely attach the insulation to your garage door.
Q. How do you install garage door insulation?
You can install garage door insulation from a garage door insulation kit by following these steps.
- Vacuum the garage door to remove dust and debris. If your garage door insulation kit uses adhesive, wash the door with soapy water and dry it with a clean rag.
- Measure and attach the retainer pins to the garage door. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for exact spacing for your product.
- Measure and cut the insulation panels to fit tightly inside the garage door panels.
- Line up the insulation with the garage door panel and guide it into place. The retainer pins should pierce the insulation.
- Push the retaining cap over the pin until it snaps into place.
- Repeat steps four and five until each insulation panel has been fastened to its intended garage door panel.