Door Replacement- Keeping Bills Down
In times like these, when energy prices are skyrocketing we should think about ways through which we can achieve energy efficiency. Doing so isn’t limited to using solar energy instead of electricity from the grid. I mean, that’s the most common thing that appears in our minds whenever the aspect of energy efficiency is considered.
However, along with that, you can do something else to conserve energy and save money on rising energy bills. You can get energy-efficient doors for your house or office which can help you lead an energy-efficient lifestyle.
Why Choose Energy-Efficient Doors?
One cannot simply afford the escape of heat in cold weather or cold air in the blazing heat as this directly skyrockets energy bills. In such a situation, you’ll end up keeping your HVAC system on for extended hours which will naturally consume more energy and ultimately result in rising energy expenses. It is important to make sure your exterior doors are properly sealed and insulated. If they’re relatively old and not well insulated or installed they can cause serious temperature transfers and air leaks.
Energy-efficient doors benefit in multiple ways. Let’s look at these advantages.
- You’ll save money on your energy bills if you prevent the escape of temperature transfers and the chances of more energy consumption.
- You’ll enjoy a more consistent temperature at home thus enabling you to live freely in a comfortable space.
- It’s also good for your valuables because energy-efficient doors block ultraviolet light. There are a lot of health problems you can get from UV radiation. You can stay safe from these grave health issues as most UV rays are blocked by the glass in these doors.
- If you intend to cut your carbon footprint, energy-efficient doors are what you need. Low carbon emissions can be achieved by using energy-efficient doors specifically designed to reduce heat loss.
- You can improve overall indoor air quality as these doors reduce air leaks and drafts.
What Are Doors Made Of, And How Energy Efficient Are They?
The materials used in energy-efficient doors include fiberglass, aluminum, steel, and wood. To maintain the temperature inside each room, each door type contains a specific core that helps insulate it.
The energy efficiency of a door depends on the materials used to build it. The combination of materials prevents the loss of heat or cool air.
An R-value and U-factor measure the energy efficiency of building materials and finished doors. The U-factor evaluates the amount of heat that transmits through the door and the R-value assesses insulation. An energy-efficient door has a lower U-factor and a higher R-value. With these two figures, you may decide whether the doors fulfill Energy Star certification in your location.
Materials have different U-factors and R-values. Compared to hollow doors, wood doors have a higher R-value, offering adequate insulation. Before selecting a door material you must assess your insulation requirements.
Fiberglass comes with an R-value between R5 and R7. Fiberglass exterior doors take the lead among all the other doors as they offer maximum energy efficiency. Fiberglass itself is an energy-efficient material, but when insulated it outperforms the competition.
Aluminum or Steel
The R-value of Aluminum or Steel lies between the ranges of R5 and R6.
Exterior doors are commonly made from aluminum or steel. Heat is insulated by both of these materials so they are energy efficient. On the other hand, these materials reflect the outside temperature and conduct heat. Another downside of these types of doors is that they may get busted.
The R-value of wood lies between the ranges of R2 and R3. Wood doors take in more heat than their counterparts (fiberglass and steel) and let the easy transmission of the external temperature inside the home. Understandably, this property of wood doors makes them the least energy efficient.
Other Energy Considerations
When it comes to energy-efficient doors, the door slab is the most commonly considered area. However, looking at the frame, weather-stripping, frame insulation, and glass is equally important. It is important that all components have equal insulation, any component that does not have equal insulating properties will decrease the door’s overall U-factor and R-value.
Core Insulation and Slab Framing
A rigid polyurethane foam insulation core is typically used on metal and fiberglass doors to strengthen and insulate them. Door slabs are strengthened with metal, composite, and wood framing. Interestingly, various framing materials conduct or absorb heat differently. You should consider the overall door rating when making a purchase decision, even if these materials can impact energy efficiency on their own.
There are polyurethane foam core doors with non-solid wooden frames. There's a possibility that this type of doorway is more insulating than solid wood doors.
Glass and Glazing
It will become less energy efficient with glass in the door. Alternatively, some options can improve insulation:
- Thick glass is more efficient.
- Low conductivity gases trapped between the glasses prevent heat transfer.
- High-E (low-emissivity) glass will return outside as well as inside temperatures to the source.
- Thermal frame gaps can isolate the door from the glass, preventing temperature transfer from the glass to the door.
- An additional insulating barrier can be added by adding additional panes (glazing) of glass (2 or 3 panes) to reduce heat transmission.
Door Sweeps and Weather-Stripping
There are many types of weatherstripping and sweeps (door shoes) available in plastic, rubber, and thermoset plastic foam core. Weatherstripping and sweeps can eliminate air leaks and retain indoor temperature by sealing gaps and pockets between the frame and door.
The entry door must be installed as described by the manufacturers for instance, with caulking or foam insulation. In this way, it can ensure that the door meets Energy Star’s standards. Energy efficiency results will be compromised by incorrect installation materials.
National Fenestration Rating Council (NFRC) vs. Energy Star
Energy Star ratings indicate the energy-efficiency of a product whereas the NFRC label compares energy-efficiency items by evaluating their energy performance. You can compare energy-efficient products by looking at the NFRC's independent ratings:
Heat escape from your interior is measured by the U-factor. Heat or air conditioning is better kept indoors when a door has a low U-factor.
The higher the R-value a material has, the better its insulation and heat resistance.
By investing in energy-efficient and well-insulated doors you can reduce heat or air conditioning loss, conserve energy, and ultimately prevent continually increasing energy bills. So, if you haven’t considered replacing your doors yet, it’s time to take a closer look and make a wise investment that will pay off in the long term.