You may be wondering what exactly are energy efficient doors? After all, aren’t most doors opened manually? While that is the case, energy-efficient doors are not your ordinary out of the mill doors. These are called so because they help to increase the room temperature in your home. With normal doors and windows, you lose about 10 to 20 percent of heat inside as you open and close them multiple times a day. For those who live in a cold climate, these doors can help in significantly reducing energy costs over time.
At the same time, these doors can also help those who live in warm climates too as energy-efficient doors minimise loss of energy over time. So should you go for these special doors and if so, how should you go choosing the right one? Let’s dive a little deeper into the subject and find out.
What Makes a Door Energy-Efficient?
There are a few aspects that differentiate energy-efficient doors and normal doors. Some of the main ones are:
- Glass Panels – Most of these doors come with either double or triple insulated glass panels to reduce the amount of heat lost. An ordinary door with a glass panel may look like it won’t allow heat to pass but they do. Most energy-efficient doors that come with a glass panel have extra insulation to minimise loss of energy.
- Tighter Frame – Ordinary doors, once installed, may seem like they fit perfectly but there are always small gaps that constantly let the heat out and let the colder air in. Energy-efficient doors, on the other hand, come with a tighter frame or a magnetic strip to ensure that hot air can’t just flow out as it does with normal doors.
- Better Construction – Energy efficient doors are always made out of durable and thermal enhancing materials such as fiberglass, wood cladding, and steel with a foam core and so on. These materials are excellent for retaining heat and therefore help in maintaining a consistent temperature inside no matter how cold it is outside.
How to Choose Energy Efficient Doors?
Not all doors that are claimed to be energy efficient may be good for you. To ensure that you buy the right one for your needs, there are a few aspects you need to consider. They are as follows:
- Material – Different types of materials come with both advantages and disadvantages. Solid wood doors have high U-Value than uninsulated metal or fiberglass doors and they may get warped or too dry over time and can lead to cracks and gaps in them. Fiberglass and steel doors, however, are more customisable as they can be manufactured to reduce or greatly minimise drafts. They are also lightweight and durable but will have a higher energy footprint than wood doors. The best energy-efficient doors are always ones that are made using a combination of different materials.
- Glass Panels or Glazed Doors – Glass panels on a door not only enhance them visually but also let in more natural light. However, single pane glass panels are notorious for letting heat escape even if they are sealed properly. When selecting an energy-efficient door with glass panels, make sure they are argon filled and at least double or preferably triple insulated ones. Another important thing you want to look for is if the door uses Low E glass. This type of glass is excellent when it comes to insulation and can reduce the negative consequences of UV rays from the sun.
- Frame – Solid wood doors don’t come with any extra insulation as they aren’t hollow. Some of them do come with insulation capabilities but they are frightfully expensive and might not be worth the savings you make on your energy bills. Fiberglass, steel or composite wood doors, on the other hand, have a hollow frame and so are not only more affordable but can also be filled with foam for enhancing their insulation properties. Another great option to go for is a door frame that comes with magnetic strips as they are well known for greatly reducing any loss of heat due to their tight sealing.
- U Value –The U Value is what you need to look at to know how energy efficient the door is. It is used to determine the ability of a surface to transmit heat and is measured in watts per square metre Kelvin. The lower the number, the more energy-efficient it is. Double glazed doors for instance usually have a U-Value of 1.6 which is significantly better than an Oak door which has a U-Value of 3.
Why Should You Go For Energy Efficient Doors?
Here are some of the main reasons why you should consider energy-efficient doors.
- Energy Savings – If your winters are cold, then there is a good chance that you are paying more than what you need when it comes to energy bills. This is because, with normal doors, heat is constantly flowing out slowly which leads to you using more heat to maintain a good thermal temperature in your home. With energy-efficient doors, the heat will be preserved inside which in turn will lead to smaller energy bills. It may not feel like a big amount per month but over time it will add up and make for great savings.
- Tax Credits – Based on where you live, you also may be eligible for tax incentives if you install energy-efficient doors. As per some of the schemes such as the Green Homes Grant Scheme, you may be eligible to claim up to £10,000 which by itself is a great incentive and reason to install them. However, do check and see if you are eligible for it by checking on the government site.
- Comfort and Protection – Energy efficient doors not only help to retain heat but cool air too. So whether it is summer or winter, you will always be more comfortable. Humidity, for instance, can be quite damaging to your belongings over time. These doors also help to reduce the damage caused by UV rays. However, to benefit from this, you need to check and see if the door you plan to install has a low emissivity coating.
At the end of the day, energy-efficient doors provide better comfort and value than normal doors and should ideally be installed in every home. They are also a lot better for the environment and can make a significant impact if enough people use them. Not all of them will be as good as they claim. Make sure you do proper research before buying one. By understanding how these doors work and what makes them energy efficient, you will be able to spot fake ones a mile away and buy the right one for your needs.