Make your garage energy efficient. Easy install of radiant barrier insulation to garage doors.

Picture of Make your garage energy efficient. Easy install of radiant barrier insulation to garage doors.
I needed to "fix" a failed fiberglass insulation kit for garage doors from Owens Corning. Found the solution at one of the local big box home improvement stores with the Reflectix brand.

The panels in the failed fiberglass kit were only 22" wide and 60" long and needed a peel-n-stick plastic mount accessory centered to hold it in place. However it drooped and was unsightly.   

Step 1: Cleaning preparation and cutting tools.

Picture of Cleaning preparation and cutting tools.
The radiant barrier rolls were 24" x 10' . Standard size of each panel row for the garage door. I used alcohol poured into a plastic spray bottle to clean the surface for better adhesion of the Scotch Super Adhesive 77 spay (or double-sided tape). Box cutters and scissors worked well for cutting slots for door hinges and excess material length.
stroland1 year ago
Mine has been up for two-three years and it works well even in 100 plus temperature days. Nothing between the reflex-it and the panel.
ahead (author)  stroland1 year ago
Cool, literally :-)
What type of adhesive did you use? How is the adhesive holding up against the high temps?
stroland ahead1 year ago
I actually skipped adhesive. I cut mine tight enough that it stays in place by itself. It has survived so far. I bought an aerosol but realized that it might not need it so never tried. John
emachine569 months ago

Nice job. Very novel use of the product and lot easier than what I did with poly faced fiberglass blankets and Tyvek.

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capsitran01 year ago
Great Project. I just finished mine. I used contact cement as the adhesive. It worked great. All hardware on each panel was removed [one at a time] , and re-installed over the insulation to hold it in place. Exception was the bottom corner where the tension cable attaches- I just trimmed around it.

I learned that I needed to leave a gap between the insulation on each panel [top/bottom] to avoid crushing it when the door opens.
Visit Site1 year ago
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PhotoBugg1 year ago
Is this product removable??? We rent, and I want to be able to keep the garage cool/warm depending on the weather of course... I wouldn't want something that is permanent as the landlord may not like it...
ahead (author)  PhotoBugg1 year ago
Yes, if you use the spray adhesive or alternatively peel-n-stick velcro. After removing the insulation or velcro, you will need to clean the residue with a product like Goo-Gone or other adhesive remover. Do not use a stronger or permanent adhesive during installation.
rncbme1 year ago
I had a similar episode to your second picture, left door. :( If your doors have electric openers you might want to disconnect the door from the opener (Open the door and then pull the release handle that hangs at the 'top' of the door) and use a pull scale to see how many pounds pull it takes to lift the door, both before and after the insulation is installed. If there is more than a couple of pounds difference then you might want to (carefully) tighten the spring suspension until the amount of force needed to pull the door up is close to what it was before you started. This will preserve the plastic gears that are used in the electric door opener. I learned from this the hard way.
Hey rncbme just a thought.

"(carefully) tighten the spring suspension "
ahead (author)  jorricks1 year ago
Thanks for the warning. Will leave spring tensioning to the pros. I am too handsome to be disfigured ;-)
throwedoff1 year ago
If the walls of your garage are not insulated (most builders in Texas do not insulate the exterior garage walls) then you will see little benefit to insulating the garage door!
ahead (author)  throwedoff1 year ago
Because the garage doors are on the west side is why I opted to keep the fiberglass stuff for an added layer of insulation. And it is noticeably cooler now. But I expect to reapply a stronger adhesive in a couple of summers. (A small price for comfort)
jbkinn1 year ago
Have you calculated the expected change in heat loss through the door.
ahead (author)  jbkinn1 year ago
I did not directly measure the temperature before the install. But it feels noticeably cooler inside now.
Nyxius1 year ago
Ha! I used almost this same method for winter/summer proofing my freakin old windows in my bedroom.
ahead (author)  Nyxius1 year ago
Yeah, there are many applications for the material. I bought some extra to cut in the shape of my car's windshield when I need to park my vehicle in the sun for long periods to keep the interior cooler. And you can align it inside of a portable ice cooler to keep ice cold longer.
ronao761 year ago
Thank you for posting this! I have been thinking about doing this to my garage doors. With this tutorial, I believe I can do it.
ahead (author)  ronao761 year ago
I believe you can too. Even though I did it alone, an extra set of hands can make for a faster installation too
wife2johnt1 year ago
Nice instructable! However, I do have a question. I have friends that have done this to their garage doors and said this actually does not help keep their garage any warmer. How has yours done with that? We are not in a super cold region but it does get pretty cold. I'd love to have my garage a little warmer without having to use the kerosene heater or other source. But, I don't want to spend the extra money to do such a project and it not work. Any additional info would be appreciated. Thanks!
ahead (author)  wife2johnt1 year ago
Thanks. The radiant barrier primarily reflects heat on both sides. Therefore it will reflect inside-generated heat within the garage instead letting heat escape. I live in a hot climate and it reflects heat outward back to the door instead letting the latent heat from the metal door inside the garage.
Star Rider1 year ago
Good Instructable. I installed the similar insulation. Spray glue fails in Texas heat, so I had to redo this time brushed on contact glue used for counter tops. I put strips on the inside of the vertical sides and the inside of the horizontal top and bottom of door a little more work but keeps out more heat in summer and cold in winter. Also unscrewed the half of hinge on each door panel as each strip was put up, then reattached that half over the insulation before going to next horizontal panel. My garage is usually at least 20 degrees different than outside. well worth the time and effort.
ahead (author)  Star Rider1 year ago
Great tips! I will upgrade and improve the installation with your Texas tips. Thanks.
GREAT write up. You've given me the confidence do tackle this project myself this weekend. It is sorely needed!
ahead (author)  Nunyabidness1 year ago
Cool. You may also need a step ladder to reach the garage door top panel depending on heights.
And be sure to adhere insulation to the frames because there needs to be space between the door surface and insulation for maximum effeciency.
What do you mean, "...be sure to adhere insulation to the frames because there needs to be space between the door surface and insulation for maximum effeciency." I imagine there is minimal space between the fiberglass insulation and door, and fiberglass insulation and foil insulation. You are simply stacking them against each other correct?
ahead (author)  rickmillerdenver1 year ago
Yes, correct in my case I had an extra layer of fiberglass to use. These instructions are intended for those who do not have two types of insulation because it is unnecessary.

Main point: Do not adhere the radiant insulation directly on the door surface. Use the door panels framework.
graydog1111 year ago
Great job. I used 1" styrofoam that has aluminum foil on one side. It comes in 4x8 sheets and easy to cut and fit in the door sections. It must be measured, cut, and then split into 2 pieces to get it back into the panels.
bremus1 year ago
Looks good, so do you still have something else in between the Reflectix and the garage panels?
ahead (author)  bremus1 year ago
You need a bit of air space between the door surface and insulation. So be sure to adhere insulation to the door frames for maximum effeciency.

I used my failed fiberglass kit as extra insulation and support but it is not required.
Bill WW1 year ago
Nice job, great Instructable!