Unless you live somewhere very near the equator, you probably own a hat. A warm one, the kind that keeps your ears from going numb when the mercury drops, the hat you can't leave for treks through the snow without.

That hat makes a big difference to your comfort. The garage door on your house is a little like that hat, only heating your home costs a lot more than the price of a hat and jacket. If the garage door you currently have is thin or worn down, more of the heat you're trying to preserve is leaking out, and that wastes energy and costs you money.

If you are looking to save some change, consider insulating your garage door. There are other benefits, too. Garage doors are safer, more appealing and add value.

Good for Safety

Many garages can be used as workspaces and may contain important heating, cooling or plumbing components for your home. Insulation is the best way to keep your family safe from any noxious fumes that might be present as the result of project work or exhaust from the family car.

Benefits of an Insulated Garage

Your garage represents a large open space, and that space holds a lot of air. If that air is significantly different in temperature from the air inside your home, it can cause your home's interior to fluctuate in temperature.

Everyone should consider insulating the walls between their main living area and garage, and you can make noticeable improvements by checking window seals and weather stripping around any exterior doors into the garage.

To really make a difference, you should install an insulated garage door. Your garage door is more than just an entry point, it replaces a huge stretch of wall and allows the most exterior air into the garage itself. Replacing it will drastically reduce the amount of energy you need to spend to keep your garage comfortable. You can even use it as another room!

Extra Perks for Projects

If you frequently spend time in your garage on projects, you have even more reason to keep its temperature stable. Allowing the garage to get cold and then using your home's heating system to warm it again will incur huge costs.

Your garage will look great after you install the new door - insulated doors tend to have a sturdier appearance than their thinner-walled counterparts. Your neighbors will appreciate it, too, because the insulation provides sound protection. Go ahead and let the kids throw a party in there - no one will hear them with your new insulated door.

Add Equity to Your Home

Garage doors make a visual statement, and if you're not happy with the way yours looks now, installing a new one offers you the chance to implement a custom design.

Installing a new garage door can usually be accomplished in about a day with help from professionals, and it offers better efficiency improvements than many popular home upgrades. If you're looking for a way to save on those heating and cooling bills, an insulated garage door might be just the thing!

Scott Huntington is a writer from central Pennsylvania. He enjoys working on his home and garden with his wife and 2 kids. Follow him on Twitter @SMHuntington