By following the tips below, you can begin to reduce the heat and cooling loss associated with doors, as well as ensure your doors are constructed from environmentally friendly materials.
✔ Look for the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) seal – Buying products that bear the FSC logo will help guarantee that the wood was harvested from a certified, well-managed forest. FSC certified wood is available across the globe from a variety of mills, manufacturers, and distributors.
✔ Select doors made from sustainable materials – Consider choosing a door made from a sustainable material, such as bamboo, strawboard, reclaimed wood, or FSC certified wood. Although, keep in mind that wood has a low R-value (poor insulator).
✔ Seal air leaks around doors – Sealing door air leaks can reduce heating and cooling energy costs and contribute to a healthier, more comfortable indoor environment. Good seals improve the physical comfort levels within the home by helping the home’s heating and cooling system to maintain a more consistent interior temperature. Older doors often allow heat to leave and enter your home too easily because there may be gaps around the door’s edges due to an uneven fit with your door frame. If, after examination, you discover gaps, consider buying insulation material to fill these gaps. If the gaps are large, it may be best to consider replacing the door.
A professional contractor or certified Home Energy Rater can also conduct a blower door test to help you pinpoint problem areas which may exist.
✔ Choose energy-efficient materials – Three common energy efficient materials used for doors are wood, steel, and fiberglass.
- Wood doors are beautiful but are susceptible to weather damage, are fairly expensive and have a low R-value (poor insulators).
- Steel doors are strong, affordable and resist warping. Look for steel doors that have additional foam insulation built in.
- Fiberglass doors are more expensive than steel, less expensive than wood and are resistant to warping, denting and rusting. Look for fiberglass doors that have additional foam insulation built in.
✔ Make sure your door has been properly installed – Proper installation will ensure that you have a good seal, which will prevent air from either entering or leaving your home.
✔ Install door sweeps – Door sweeps are used to seal the gap between the door and the threshold or door sill. Attached to the bottom of the door, they offer increased energy efficiency by blocking air from passing through. They also keep out debris and insects that might enter your home through cracks.
✔ Purchase a preowned door – Choosing a preowned (salvaged) door rather than a new door will reduce the total amount of new materials required for your home. Along with being more environmentally friendly, salvaged doors are often times far less expansive than new doors.
✔ Choose EnergyStar rated doors – Installing EnergyStar qualified doors can reduce your energy bills and carbon footprints by about 7-15% compared to non-qualified products.
Some of the criteria EnergyStar considers when certifying doors include:
- Multiple glass panes – Double or triple-paned insulating glass is used to reduce heat flow.
- Improved core material – Fiberglass, wood cladding, and steel with polyurethane foam core are among the most energy-efficient door materials available today.
- Tighter fit and improved weather stripping – New frames may include a magnetic strip to create a tighter seal that reduces air leakage around the edges.