We know that things have changed over the years and keeping up with the terms can be challenging. One such buzz word that has become newsworthy in our industry is R-Value. Everyone wants a 'good one', but few homeowners know what it means especially with respect to the garage door. Our goal is to demystify it with some simple information to help you find the right garage door for your home.
What is R-Value?
R-Value measures the thermal efficiency (resistance to heat flow or temperature conduction of a product). It is used to represent energy efficiency and stands for Resistance Value and is represented in imperial units. It is calculated by the thickness and physical properties. Simply put, a garage door with sufficient R-Value will keep heat inside the garage during winter and cool air inside during summer.
The higher the r-value the more effective the material/product is at preventing heat transfer. What we find interesting is that when interpreting the data, R-16 is NOT twice as effective as R-8. For example, R-8 equals 90% amount of heat flow reduction whereas R-12 equals 93% and R-16 is 95% amount of heat flow reduction. For frame of reference, the recommended R-value for basement insulation in North America is R12.
One interesting fact to know is R-value measures only conduction, and thus doesn't provide the whole picture. R-value doesn't take into account individual factors such as wind, humidity, and temperature changes which can cause air flow and leakages. Also not accounted for in the calculation is rising hot air and forced air from various mechanical systems in and around the home.
How do I choose the right door?
Since so many factors are involved, it is also important to choose the right garage door as well as maintain the efficiency of the whole garage. Because of this it is important to choose a garage door that is specifically built for your opening to prevent air flow leaks or excess water and humidity in. It is also important to have a smoothly operating track and operator system.
Is there more to a door than R-value? Absolutely! When you purchase a Fimbel door, you can count on weatherproofing to be addressed in the tongue and groove between sections. This is the 'Lego' feature to be sure the sections fit snug when closed, move easily when opened, and protect your garage from the elements and bugs! The weather strip at the bottom (the rubber astragal) needs to be durable and correctly positioned as it withstands ample use and endures the temperature fluctuations of the seasons. Additionally the exterior perimeter weather stripping must also be properly installed and maintained to seal out unwanted elements. Finally - having the door fit just right in the opening will help to weatherproof your garage even if it is an uneven floor that needs a door to be scribed to match. At the end of the day, without the right fit of the product and weatherproofing, the r-value is obsolete, and a snug fit is a must!
Is my home's R-Value high enough?
According to the United States Department of Energy, "just 1 in 5 homes constructed prior to 1980 are sufficiently insulated." Homes built today are required to meet certain standards for R-Value as set by the U.S. Department of Energy; however, this was not evident in homes built prior to the mid-1970's. When you boil this down, "approximately 80% of homes built before this time are in need of better insulation!" We know another buzz-word across all industries is sustainability, and we aspire to tackle this through our products and practices.
Sustainability, according to Investopedia's Definition, is defined as "meeting the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet theirs", and we couldn't agree more. With Sustainable Architecture spreading in the world of design and architecture to encompass both functional and formal, we are ready to meet you there with the right product for your garage.
Whether you find inspiration in nature, the neighborhood, or the newest concept, our goal is to offer solutions to bring your vision to life while offering beauty and durability you can count on. From Residential to Commercial and Historic to Contemporary, we rely on nearly a century of experience to craft a product built to last a lifetime and bring elegance to every environment. Whether you are the architect, the builder, or the homeowner, we truly believe that we have something that will make your life, your project, and therefore your bottom line, positively and profoundly better.
To learn more about our products, please find a dealer near you using our Dealer Locator tab on the website!