Sunday, October 4, 2009

Lower your energy costs with an insulated garage door

(ARA) - A leaky, un-insulated garage door may not be an obvious culprit in rising monthly utility bills, but it’s worth a second look if you have an attached garage.

Replacing an older garage door with a new, energy-efficient model can reduce energy loss through the garage door by up to 71 percent, according to a comparison study conducted by Clopay engineers.

“Since attached garages typically share one or two common walls with the house, any hot or cold that travels through a door will ultimately affect the adjacent living areas,” says Mark Westerfield, director of product development for garage door manufacturer Clopay Building Products. “An insulated garage door can help stabilize temperatures in the garage to reduce heat losses or gains from common house walls.”

Depending on the specifics of your home and attached garage construction, a well-insulated door can help keep your unheated garage 10 to 20 degrees warmer on a cold winter day. “That can have a significant impact on the comfort of family rooms or bedrooms located above or next to the garage,” says Westerfield.

Homeowners who purchase an energy-efficient garage door now through Dec. 31, 2010, will not only save on their heating and cooling bills, they may qualify for up to $1,500 in federal tax credits, thanks to the new stimulus legislation. Certain criteria apply.

Helpful tips

More than 40 percent of the current housing stock was built prior to the era of energy efficiency, according to a report by The Joint Center for Housing Studies of Harvard University. If your garage door is a hold-over from the dark ages, here are some things to look for when making an upgrade:

* Two inch-thick, three-layer "sandwich” construction including environmentally safe, chlorofluorocarbon-free insulation layered between two sheets of heavy-duty galvanized steel.

* R-value or U-factor – these are measurements of the thermal efficiency of a door’s insulation. The higher the R-value, or the lower the U-factor, the more energy-efficient the insulation.

* Energy Tax Credit eligible – available for garage doors with a minimum factor of 0.30 installed on a homeowner’s primary residence.

* Insulation type – There are two different types of insulation used in garage doors; expanded polystyrene and polyurethane. Doors constructed using either kind qualify for the Energy Tax credit, and both are strong and durable.

* Design – Get the most out of your garage door upgrade. Choose a model that complements your home’s architectural style.

Courtesy of ARAcontent

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