If you want to find more ways to save energy at home, start with the front door. Energy efficient doors can have a major impact on your home energy use and while it may be tempting to purchase the most stylish or affordable door, we’ve put together a few tips to help you understand and increase the energy efficiency of your doors.
Exterior doors come in a variety of materials–each with a different amount of insulation. Old-fashioned wood doors and glass doors have the least insulation. Steel and fiberglass doors are better insulators with layers of foam in their cores.
If you don’t know whether you need energy efficient doors, consider hiring a professional to audit your home’s energy use. They can give you a precise understanding of where you can get the most value by installing new energy saving doors and windows or improving your current doors.
Door manufacturers have made tremendous advances in designing energy efficient doors that earn an ENERGY STAR® rating. You can find a variety of styles and materials in energy efficient front doors that could lower your energy bill. Here are the primary benefits of energy efficient doors:
Buying energy efficient doors does not have to involve mystery. New doors that have been through testing are labeled with their ENERGY STAR rating, their U-factor, R-factor and their Solar Heat Gain Coefficient measurement.
Learn more about ENERGY STAR ratings and the efficiency of doors at Energy.gov. You can also look for the National Fenestration Council Rating label that makes comparisons of energy ratings easy to understand. And, if you want to know about those -values, keep reading.
The U-value of a door is the rate at which heat transfers through the door. A well-insulated door has a lower U-value. A standard, one inch thick wood door has a U-value of .65 whereas a well-made fiberglass door has a U-value of .09, making it one of the most energy efficient doors you can buy.
The R-value measures a material’s resistance to heat flow. In the case of doors, higher is better. Energy efficient exterior doors with a high R-value will resist radiating heat, and thus provide better insulation.
The place where energy efficient doors matter most is on the exterior of your home. Good insulation and properly installed door weatherstripping makes a difference.
Most interior doors have no insulation at all. For some rooms that is fine, but you may wish to install an exterior insulated door in some interior locations, such as a door to an attic, that could be subject to drafts.
Before going to the expense of replacing an existing door with one of today’s more energy efficient front doors, you should see how well your current door is performing and if you have any air leaks in your home around it.
A new door can enhance the beauty and security of your home. If you make a careful choice and select an energy efficient front door, you can save enough money on your energy bill to pay for the door and its insulation.
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