Understanding R-Value and What It Means When Selecting High-Speed Cold Storage Doors

r value for doors

If you are looking for high-speed cold storage doors, you might’ve heard the term “R-value.” But what exactly is the R-value, and what does it mean?

Put simply, the R-value of a door tells us how well it can resist heat transfer.

For cold storage facilities, maintaining a consistent temperature is not just a goal – it’s a necessity. A great way to make that happen is to choose high-speed doors with the right thermal resistance — a.k.a. R-value.

As it can affect your bottom line, you need to know what the R-value means, and that’s what we will explain in this post.

Let’s dive into it.

Table Of Content

1. What Is R-value?
2. Why Choose High-Speed Cold Storage Doors with a High R-value
3. Things to Consider When Choosing Cold Storage Doors with a High R-Value
4. Conclusion

What Is R-value?

The R-value of a door refers to its thermal resistance.

Initially, the term was used to measure the thermal efficiency of insulating materials. But today, it is used to rate the thermal resistance of any building material, including doors.

Building materials with higher R-values provide better insulation than those with lower R-values. That means a door with an R-30 rating is more efficient than one with an R-20 rating.

For cold storage, you need a high R-value for doors because that means better insulation and more energy savings. But in Reno, where both summers and winters can be brutal, even interior garage doors require high R-values.

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Why Choose High-Speed Cold Storage Doors with a High R-value

High-speed doors with a high R-value can let you get in and out of your cold storage quickly and without letting all the cold air escape.

With these doors, you can:

1. Maintain Consistent Temperature

High-speed cold storage doors are a smart choice if you want to maintain a consistent temperature. While traditional cold storage doors are well insulated, they are often heavy and open and close slowly. This helps the warm outdoor air sneak into your cold storage every time you open the door.

But with a rolling speed of 100 inches per second (or more), high-speed doors offer better protection against this air exchange. Plus, these doors come with sealed edges, which keep the warm air out and protect your goods.

2. Energy Efficiency

With high-speed doors closing in seconds, the indoor temperature remains stable, and your cooling system doesn’t have to work as hard. These energy-efficient doors can help you save significantly on energy bills and reduce the risk of wear and tear and unplanned downtime.

3. Keep the Traffic Moving

Modern cold storage facilities frequently have to handle heavy traffic, especially during peak seasons. But high-speed cold storage doors open and close quickly, which keeps the traffic moving smoothly and reduces the risk of delays.

4. Safety

In a busy cold storage, accidents might happen if doors are slow or difficult to operate. However, high-speed doors open and close quickly and come with safety sensors, which reduces the risk of accidents.

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Things to Consider When Choosing Cold Storage Doors with a High R-Value

You need to consider many factors when selecting high-speed cold storage doors.

They include:

1. Material

High-quality materials like insulated steel, aluminum, and fiberglass often have higher R-values and are ideal for cold storage doors. These materials can withstand the harsh conditions and heavy use typical of cold storage facilities.

2. Thickness

Thicker doors generally provide better insulation, but too much thickness can make the doors heavy and hard to operate. So, look for doors that offer sufficient insulation without being too bulky.

3. Temperature Control

There are two ways your cold storage can lose temperature control:

  • Convection is heat transfer through gases and liquids. In cold storage, the warm air from outside can get in through open doors, which leads to ice buildup and wet floors.
  • Conduction involves heat transfer through the walls and doors themselves. Poor insulation is often the culprit behind conduction in cold storage.

However, high-speed doors with a high R-value can solve both problems. These doors reduce heat transfer and save energy.

4. Safety

With hazards like ice formation, wet floors, and high traffic, cold rooms are at a higher risk of accidents. But installing doors with the following safety features can help lower your safety risks:

  • Light indicators
  • Audible alarms
  • Flexible bottom edge
  • Reversing bottom edges
  • Break away the bottom bar
  • Light curtains
  • Photo eyes
  • Emergency or manual override


High-speed cold storage doors offer the best of both worlds – they open and close quickly and provide excellent insulation. This combination helps you save money, reduce the risk of unplanned downtime, and run your facility smoothly.

The bottom line is – it’s a smart investment with long-term benefits.

Thompson Garage Doors is here to help. We specialize in quick, cost-effective, and reliable commercial and residential garage door installations.

Contact us to schedule yours!