Heat loss can happen through leakages around entry doors as well as through glass in patio doors or doors with window elements. Replacing old doors can dramatically reduce heat loss and result in substantial energy savings. Doors generally have a smaller impact on your energy bills than windows, but depending on the condition of your entry doors, glass patio doors and garage doors, replacing them could add up to significant savings.
Energy Efficient Garage Doors
If your home has an attached garage, the garage door(s) will have a high impact on the thermal comfort of your garage and your home. Garage doors can be made from various materials – wood, steel, aluminum, fiberglass, vinyl, etc. and these materials will determine much of the insulation performance of the doors. Insulation will impact thermal efficiency as well as soundproofing of the garage doors. If you are planning to buy a new garage door, an insulated model may represent high energy savings for you. Simpler steel, aluminum or wood garage doors can cost you between $750 and $1500, but prices do vary and carefully comparing performance, style and price is recommended.
Energy Efficient Patio Doors
Having older or regular, inefficient patio doors can cause huge energy losses, resulting in high energy bills. Energy-efficient patio doors are a very wise investment – the energy savings will pay for the higher initial cost many times over. When replacing patio doors, look for a low emissivity (low-E) glass with a double or triple pane to reduce heat loss in winter and heat gain in summer. Good quality glass will also have thermal breaks (if it has metal frames) and preference should be given to hinged or swinging doors. This type of door is far more energy efficient than gliding or sliding doors. Sliding doors are typically energy-inefficient, since air leakage around the weather stripping is very difficult to avoid.
Energy Saving Benefits of Storm Doors
Storm doors are secondary doors that fit over primary exterior doors. They can save energy by:
- Reducing leakage through spaces around existing doors
- Creating an insulated air space between itself and the existing doors, reducing heat conduction
Storm doors will also protect the main door, reduce maintenance costs and allow for natural ventilation during warm months which will lower air conditioning costs.
Greener Interior Doors
When replacing interior doors, remember that wood can be harvested in an un-sustainable manner which contributes to forest destruction and climate change. Choose doors that are made of certified wood. Look for a seal by the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) to ensure that you’re not contributing to deforestation. Major retailers like Home Depot, IKEA or Lowe’s are offering some product lines with FSC certified wood.
Tax credits for Energy Efficient Doors
There are federal, state, and local incentives to homeowners who replace old doors with qualifying energy efficient doors. The US Federal Government is offering tax credits for energy efficient windows and doors. The incentive covers 30% of the cost, up to $1500.
Effective Installation Makes All The Difference
Whatever doors you decide to replace, have them installed by a competent professional to ensure that you will be getting maximum benefit for your investment. A poorly installed door that leaks air will waste energy, no matter how energy efficient the door is. RESNET Qualified EnergySmart contractors have been trained in energy efficiency as well as their chosen trade. Find an EnergySmart Door Contractor