We walk through the exterior doors of our homes every day, without much thought. To us, their primary purpose is to let us in and out of the house, but doors have another job, too. Besides protecting us and our belongings, doors perform a very important job every hour of every day.
Exterior doors must separate the outside: heat, cold and wind – from the inside: air conditioned, heated, comfortable air. They have a lot of weather to keep out and some are better at it than others. The doors that perform their job well are energy efficient. So how do you know if you have an energy efficient door?
What makes a door energy efficient?
Energy Star, a government program run by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA,) uses these two primary variables to determine the energy efficiency of a door. These variables can be applied to windows and skylights as well as doors, but for the sake of this article we will focus on doors.
The U factor measures the amount of non-solar heat that passes through a door. The lower this value is, the better the door is at insulating. This means it will keep heat out during the summer and in during the winter.
Solar Heat Gain Coefficient (SHGC):
The SHGC measures the amount of solar radiation (heat from the sun) that passes through the door and is released as heat into a home. A door with a high SGHC value will do a good job of gathering heat during the winter, while a door with a low SGHC value will be better at blocking heat from the sun and maintaining cool temperatures. The optimal value of SHGC depends on the climate, positioning and outside shade around a door.
Based on the proportion of glass in a door (glazing level), Energy Star has set requirements for the U-Factor and SHGC. If a door fails to meet these requirements, it is not considered energy efficient by Energy Star.
What is an energy efficient door made of?
It is difficult to tell if a door is energy efficient just by looking at it. But if you know the materials it is made of, you can get an idea of its efficiency.
If a door has glass, it should be double or triple-paned and insulating. This reduces the transfer of heat into and out of the home.
A tighter fit with high quality weather stripping will seal the door better, reducing air leakage and improving isolation.
Efficient Core Materials
The door will ideally be made of fiberglass, wood cladding and steel with polyurethane foam core to maintain high energy efficiency.
Why should I get an energy efficient door?
The benefits of an energy efficient door are clear:
• Save money: lower your heating and electric bills
• Save energy: reduce your carbon footprint and foster a healthier environment by consuming less energy
• Comfort: enjoy a comfortable temperature in the winter and summer alike
Where do I start?
Any door that meets the energy efficiency standards set by the EPA will be marked with an Energy Star label. EXOVATIONS is a partner with Energy Star, and we have years of experience improving homes with energy efficient doors. We can help you close one door and open another, energy efficient door!
If you are interested in installing an improved door, contact us today if you are in the Atlanta, Georgia.