Doors perform a wide range of functions around the house, exterior models in particular. They are a means of protecting the interior from the outside influences and securing the valuables on the inside. When picking out a door, it’s important we look into its characteristics such as heating benefits and safety, as well as aesthetic appeal and at last, the energy-preserving potential.
Here are some guidelines to find the perfect energy-efficient door much easier.
- Energy-conserving potential
In general, quality exterior doors should be equipped with one of the latest weather-stripping methods and have a tight fit. The majority of high-end energy-preserving doors are made of fiberglass with metal elements.
These could be wood-clad or painted steel with a polyurethane foam core. In most cases these doors are sealed with a magnetic tape (like refrigerators) and no further weatherstripping is needed after a proper installation. These types of doors are at least five times more energy efficient than the regular wooden model.
To level-up your green game, you may want to look for doors that are made with recycled steel. Also, both interior and exterior doors can contain 100% recycled wood fibers. Interestingly, this material provides better insulation than standard wooden doors. Lastly, steer clear of the tropical wood veneers like mahogany that often come from non-sustainable sources.
- Window panels
Doors with window panels such as patio doors, french doors and peek-through variants have a somewhat lower energy-saving rating than the solids. However, they provide the much needed natural light for the residents and allow you to cut down on electricity for lighting.
The manufacturers are constantly trying to upgrade the glass doors offer, and in the recent years the green window technologies have been replicated into the world of energy efficient doors. This includes low-emissivity coatings, tinted glass and double panes filled with inert gas. Look for the energy-efficiency rating when shopping for new doors.
On the other hand, if you want to reuse some antique doors or repair the drafty ones, weatherstripping and storm door installation is recommended.
In short, weatherstripping refers to the placement of strips (made of various materials) around the leaky doors to improve their air seal. The heat loss is less associated with full-surface transfer and more with the cracks and crevices between the door and the wall, we learn from the people behind Doors Plus. When energy conservation is in question, caulking and weatherstripping play a bigger part than the actual materials.
To assess more precisely the current state of your house doors before any retrofitting project, let the experts perform an energy audit. In the meantime, if you can slit a paper underneath any of your doors, they’re leaking heat considerably. Lastly, avoid the toxic varnishes or enamels, and go for products with zero/low VOC (volatile organic compounds) rating.
Different types of doors
Every area in the house requires a different type of door that offers an array of specific traits:
- Storm doors are a great way to boost the efficiency of any kind of recycled or vintage doors, but they make no difference with the latest insulated models. Search for insulated metal frames and low-e type of glazing. Finally, avoid direct sunlight as this can damage the base door by creating a heat trap.
- Interior doors are generally relieved from the obligation to be fully tight and sealed, so this is an opportunity to incorporate some good recycled doors or purchase the door made out of certified sustainable wood.
- Patio doors are quite an insulating challenge and storm doors options for them are scarce, so you may want to think about replacing them with insulated outdoor models with double-paned windows. If you decide to keep them and maximize their energy-efficiency values, you can choose to coat them with low-e emissivity substance, place a solar shade or install blinds.
- Garage doors are often neglected, but they drain a great deal of heat from the house as well. Opt for aluminium and recycled steel for high green score.
Having completely energy efficient home doors is no longer a theoretical concept. Careful selection of materials and sealing methods allows you to accomplish this in entirety.
Living green is making smart, energy-efficient and sustainable choices in all aspects of our lives.