Homeowners looking for ways to make their house “green” can start by taking stock in an unlikely home commodity – the garage door. As the largest moving part on a home, the garage door plays an important role in maintaining its structural integrity and energy efficiency – two important criteria in green building design.

Long-Lasting Products, Fewer Replacements:

Sustainability is a key element of green building, and, with a life cycle of between 15 – 20 years, an investment in a durable garage door that can withstand the rigors of daily use is money well spent for a home and the environment.

“Long-lasting products significantly reduce the impact of manufacturing and building on the environment, as well as fuel costs associated with distribution, and general waste,” says Pat Lohse, vice president of marketing for garage door manufacturer Clopay Building Products. Or contact Clopay’s Authorized Dealer, Cookson Door Sales of Arizona.

Some characteristics to look for when shopping for a door that’s built to last are galvanized torsion springs, which look better and last 50% longer than the industry’s standard oil-tempered springs, heavy-gauge steel to ensure a quality appearance, dent resistance and quiet operation, a hot dipped galvanized coating topped with a baked-on paint finish that resists fading and peeling, insulation that is contoured and bonded on both sides of the door panel for improved dent resistance, strength and R-value.

Steel and composite carriage house doors are an increasingly popular alternative to traditional wood doors because they are low maintenance, insulated and won’t fade, rot, warp or crack, meaning they won’t need to be refurbished or replaced as frequently as a doors constructed from natural material.

Energy Efficiency:

An insulated garage door can reduce overall household energy consumption if the garage is attached to the home since living space is usually adjacent or above.

It has such a significant impact that the Internal Revenue Service has declared certain models eligible for an energy savings tax credit under the Energy Tax Incentives Act provided the door meets specific criteria, and was installed in an existing home from January 1, 2006 to December, 31, 2010. The maximum credit is $1,500 for materials only. Homeowners should contact their installing dealer to obtain a manufacturer’s certification if their garage door qualifies.

Clopay Building Products premium “4000” series three-layer “sandwich” doors, featuring a layer of environmentally safe, CFC-free, expanded polystyrene insulation bonded between two layers of durable 24-gauge steel are among the approved models that qualify for the tax credit.

This construction method also helps reduce noise and minimize unsightly dents and dings, one of the main reasons why homeowners choose to replace a door before it reaches its maximum life expectancy.

Tips for Choosing a Green Garage Door

  1. Choose a low-maintenance insulated steel or steel and composite door. Purchase a qualified energy efficient model from a certified manufacturer before the end of 2010 and you could be eligible for an Energy Savings tax credit. If wood is a must-have for aesthetic purposes on a home exterior, choose a manufacturer that uses naturally fallen materials or those harvested from sustainable forests.
  2. Support manufacturers who utilize recycled materials and are environmentally conscious in their manufacturing and distribution processes. For instance, find out if they use recycled materials, fuel efficient transport vehicles, or have a program in place to help reduce waste of disposable goods.