Front Door Energy Efficiency and How to Obtain It
By Diana Smith
Your home’s front door is important in terms of design – for leaving the first impression. However, bad reactions aren’t the worst issue when it comes to old or damaged front entrances – they cause energy loss by leaking both air and heat. This is detrimental to the environment, but also harmful to your pocket. Here are some tips that can help you in making your front door energy efficient.
New weather stripping
A damaged, improperly installed, or missing weather stripping around the door’s edges is among the most common causes of energy loss.
Weather stripping stretches along each of the four sides of the door and provides a seal while the door is closed, protecting a home’s interior from the outside environment; it makes sure that dust and rain stay outside, while keeping the heat inside.
These leakages are usually too small to be easily noticed, yet add up to your heat loss which means spending more energy and wasting more money. That means that testing your door’s seal by hunting for cold spots in wintertime is the way to go – the cooler the air, the easier it is to spot a gap.
Now, all that remains is either using adhesive foam (this will last you three years at best), or using felt, which is effective, but will compress over time.
Repair the door
Although among the most common door issues, outdated weather stripping isn’t the only culprit to blame for energy and heat loss. There is actually a number of things that could be wrong with your door.
For one, although it might have perfectly fit the frame in the beginning, your door might not fit it now, as houses can settle over time, thereby causing the doors to move out of alignment with their frame. Start by cleaning the hinges and then tighten the loose screws. If this doesn’t pull the door back into alignment, perhaps you’ll need to sand down the door’s edges.
Finally, check for the caulking on the seams outside of your door frame – if it has rotted away, as it can over time, this can leave your home exposed to water. A single tube of exterior caulk is more than enough to fix this problem and there are ways to make it last longer.
Sometimes, it’s simply smarter to replace the door altogether, instead of struggling with a bunch of repairs. This is best done in cases when you’re simply losing too much heat and air. Fortunately, new doors tend to have steel skins with foam cores, as well as magnetic strips to serve as more durable weather stripping. The best part: the foam core of modern doors is usually rated in the same way as wall, floor and ceiling insulation, by using the R-value measure, which means that many new doors are fantastically insulated. A business that specializes in doors in Sydney has a huge number of interesting and energy efficient options from bifold and sliding doors to cedar and timber.
If you want to go with glass, those that are more expensive will usually have several layers of it, which is otherwise known as low-emissivity (low-E) coating and can reduce energy loss by as much as 50%. Although it will set you back around 10 to 15 percent more than regular glass panels, this investment is well worth the price. Alternatively, DIY, stick-on coatings are a cheaper option, but will last you for a limited time period (10 to 15 years).
Essentially, there is a lot you can do with regards to making your door energy efficient; probably more than you might have thought prior to reading this. Start with weather stripping, make repairs if necessary, but don’t be afraid to replace the entire thing, if it’s simply too damaged.