Garage door windows/solar heat


I'm wondering if anyone has experience with a garage door with southern exposure, having or adding windows for some solar heat? Or something like the big fold up bug screens with plexi-glass (actually Lexan) instead of the screen. I found a couple things on line but would love if someone here has some firsthand experience. The manufacture of the doors wants a small fortune for a panel with windows. One thought is to make a panel frame with 2x6's, wrap it with aluminum and add Lexan for the window/s.
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post on rec.woodworking. ping morris dovey in the subject line. He'll have answers.
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Tony wrote:

Try a cheap test first- make a jam-fit frame out of 2x2s covered with plastic (like a hillbilly storm window), put it outside of the overhead door on a sunny day, and open the garage door. See if it actually provides any greenhouse effect. Around here, in summer, most people leave the OH door open until after dark, to keep garage from superheating just from the un-insulated attic radiating back down into it. And in winter, they want an insulated door to keep the garage from freezing hard overnight. (Hot engine blocks and tires do an amazing job of heating an enclosed space...) Lotsa guys around here that use their garage for woodshops in summer have screened panels they set in the OH door jamb during the summer, including a judas gate, just to have a fly and skeeter-free place to work.
-- aem sends...
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aemeijers wrote:

I did do a test. The only cheap plastic I could find isn't clear, it's quite cloudy. I opened the door and stapled the plastic right to the inside of the wall. In a couple hours it went from 40 to 55 and the sun was behind the clouds half the time. I think after I insulate the 2 block walls that are above grade, and use clear Lexan or Plexiglass, it will make a huge difference. Checked price at the local glass repair place and home depot is cheaper for 4x8 sheets.
Around here, in summer, most people

My garage ceiling is insulated and yes I know how well an engine can heat the garage. In the winter I pull right in, in the summer I let it cool before pulling in... if I pull it in at all.
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That's surprising, I just got a garage door. It was $140 extra to have a panel with windows on an 18' door Didn't seem that bad to me.
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jamesgangnc wrote:

My garage door guy said it's priced much, much cheaper if it is ordered with the rest of the door. But to outright buy just that one panel, they charge out the ass.
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