MARKHAM – If you live in an older home, you’ve probably thought about replacing your garage doors for aesthetic reasons – with many contemporary styles available, who wouldn’t?
Here’s a pleasant surprise for home owners: replacing your garage door can make your home greener and more energy efficient, too. This month’s instalment of the Green Home series is all about how a well-insulated door can save on your home’s cooling and heating bills – while improving its curb appeal and home value in the process.
Who can benefit from an Insulated Garage Door?
Home owners who will see the biggest impact on their energy bills are those who heat/cool their garage, or have it connected to the main rooms of the house – through a mud room door, for example. A well-insulated garage door can also help maintain better climate control in rooms located immediately above the garage, if you have any.
According to GTA-based Dodds Garage Door Specialists, a home owner can benefit from an updated garage door even if they don’t heat/cool the garage. Here’s why:
- In an insulated garage door, the extra layer of foam backing up the exterior material will make the door much more durable and resistant to denting.
- Newer doors featuring an insulated core are also generally manufactured using more modern materials. These can include steel, fiberglass, or traditional wood. They’re also available in more modern designs, such as carriage house doors featuring elegant windows and/or handles.
How much could I save?
Scotiabank’s EcoLiving guide to insulated garage doors explains that the purchase and installation cost of an insulated door depends on the material involved – it’s about $400-640 for a single steel door. For a wooden door, the cost is generally upwards of $750.
Over the long term, though, that’s a pretty reasonable amount when you consider the savings. If you’re replacing a non-insulated garage door, the same Scotiabank guide estimates you will be able to save anywhere from $30 to $300 per month on wintertime heating. During the summer months, an insulated garage door will also keep the house cooler – resulting in less energy spent on air conditioning.
It’s important to think of your garage as a crucial part of the home’s overall building envelope – especially if the garage is attached or built-in to the house.
What’s Your Garage Door Style?
The first step should probably be deciding which material of door you want to invest in – for example, a wood door will likely require much more maintenance than steel doors would. Remember to make sure your new door includes a layer of high-quality foam insulation made from a material such as polystyrene.
Next, things get even more fun – it’s time to pick a style. According to Style at Home magazine, there are various contemporary design approaches to pick from. Here are a few of their recommendations:
- Colonial doors featuring richly panelled wood.
- Edwardian-style doors with divided-light windows and raised sections.
- Ranch-style doors with horizontal design elements, such as slats, as well as simple, balanced hardware.
Take a look around and see what’s out there – you should be able to find a garage door style that matches up gracefully with the doors and windows elsewhere around your home’s exterior.