Plan Your Energy Efficient Doors Project Carefully
Energy efficient doors improve home comfort. However, homeowners must consider many options during an energy efficient door upgrade project. As a result, homeowners must consider the best U-Value and solar heat gain coefficient (SHGC) for their region.
Energy Efficient Door Ratings
For example, in a hot climate, doors that allow more heat gain result in your air conditioning system working harder (using more energy). Additionally, this means rooms on the south and west exposures of your home frequently overheat and become uncomfortable. Therefore, a door with a SHGC of less than .25 blocks more of the sun’s energy before it comes into your house. This reduces the amount of cooling needed from your air conditioner.
Conversely, in colder climates, SHGC doesn’t matter quite as much. Instead, the U-Value rating becomes more important. Therefore, in colder climate, look for the following U-values:
- .17 or less for doors with no glass area
- .25 or less for doors with less than half of the door area as glass
- .30 or less for doors with more than half of the door area as glass
Remember, the lower or smaller the U-Value rating, the less heat escapes from your home. As a result, think of low U-value doors as doors with invisible insulation in them.
Energy Efficient Doors Require Proper Installation
Proper installation makes a big difference. Why? Proper installation helps minimize the amount of external air that enters your home via the door. The amount of air leakage from doors depends greatly on the installation process. For example, if the door’s strike plate isn’t adjusted correctly, the door’s weather-stripping will not seal properly causing cold drafts to enter all winter long. It is often wise to find an experienced door installer to make sure your new doors are installed correctly to minimize air leakage and maximize energy efficiency.
In addition, the amount of air leakage coming from AROUND the door frame remains critically important. The amount of air leakage that enters a home from around a door has nothing to do with the door unit itself, but how well the door is installed. If new doors aren’t installed properly, it is quite possible you can still experience problems such as excessive air leaks, moisture problems, drafts and excessive exterior noise coming from air entering between the door unit and the rough framing of your home around your doors.
Many industry experts agree, proper installation remains one of the single most important features of new doors. Therefore, ensure you work with an experienced installer for your energy efficient door upgrade. Quality door installers know the importance of thoroughly air sealing your doors during installation. Ensure you receive the maximum benefit by leveraging low expanding spray foam.