Good (And Not So Good) Garage Door Materials For A Heated Garage

Posted on: 7 June 2017

If you pay to heat your garage, you need to put some thought into your garage door selection. Choose the wrong door, and you could end up losing all of your heat through cracks in the door or a poorly insulating material. Some garage door materials work really well for heated garages while others do not. Here's a closer look.

Best Option: Fiberglass Doors

Fiberglass itself is very lightweight, so manufacturers can add insulated backing to a fiberglass door without making it so heavy that it burdens your opening mechanism. Plus, fiberglass itself is not a bad insulator. The joints in fiberglass doors tend to stay tightly up against one another, even as the door ages, so you don't have to worry about your warm air leaking out through the cracks. 

Fiberglass doors come in an array of finishes, including some that are painted to look like natural wood. The fiberglass is great at blocking sound, so your garage party won't disturb the neighbors — and you won't hear them as you try to relax in the garage. 

The only real downside of fiberglass garage doors is that it can become yellowed and discolored with age. You can paint over the fiberglass if this happens.

Best Option: Wooden Doors

If you want your garage to have a rustic appeal or a traditional look, a wooden garage door is a great choice. Wood itself is a good insulator, and you can have extra insulated added to the back of the door to trap even more heat. Wooden garage doors are also a good choice if you're aiming to build a sustainable home since they're made from natural materials.

The downfall of wooden garage doors is that they require quite a lot of maintenance. You'll either need to waterproof or paint the doors every few years to prevent rot and cracks from developing. 

Okay Option: Steel Doors

Steel itself is not a great insulator (metal conducts heat), but there are steel doors that have been backed with insulation that do a good job of keeping heat inside. Steel is highly durable, and a steel garage door will last longer than most of the other options on this list. You should get several decades out of it, though you may need to have new insulation added to the back of the door eventually. 

The downfall of steel garage doors is that though they are popular, they are very heavy. If you have a large door, you will need a very powerful opening mechanism in order to raise or lower the door. This may add to your costs, especially if you were hoping to integrate your new garage door with an existing opener.

Bad Option: Aluminum Doors

Aluminum garage doors are inexpensive, lightweight, and easy to come by. However, they are not the best choice if your garage is heated. Aluminum is a great conductor of heat, so you will lose a lot of heat through an aluminum door. Though you can find insulated aluminum doors, they are not as effective at trapping in heat as the other options on this list and are only a good choice if you live in a rather mild climate and need a touch of insulation.

Aluminum is also a pretty flimsy material, so you can expect the door to accumulate dings and dents faster than one made from steel, wood, or fiberglass.

To learn more about these and other garage door materials, speak to a garage door company in your area like Affordable Garage Door Repairs. They can help you compare and contrast the insulating abilities of various doors relative to their price points.