How your doors impact your home’s efficiency and comfort
It probably goes without saying that every homeowner wants their home to be as energy efficient as possible. The benefits are meaningful and certainly well documented, but since you’re here, let’s quickly recap what the benefits of having an energy efficient home really are.
Benefits of Energy Efficient Homes
Imagine a home that’s not too cold in the winter and not to warm in the summer—it’s just right all year round. That’s a reality for many homeowners who take steps to be more energy efficient. Also, efficient homes will be quieter and more peaceful.
If you’re using your heating and cooling system more efficiently, you won’t have to use it as much, and if you’re using your heating and cooling system less, it will cost you less money. That’s logic that we, and most homeowners, can definitely get behind.
Reducing the usage of your heating and cooling system means you are consuming less energy. Consuming less energy means you’re creating less waste and expelling fewer greenhouse gasses—definitely an Earth-friendly choice!
If you’re able to manage the amount of fresh air in your home then you’re probably breathing in less manufactured, recycled air. Now, not all forced air is bad for you but it’s safe to say that fresh air is preferable.
We could keep listing benefits, but we only have so much time…
What Makes a Home Energy Efficient?
Now that we’ve established that having an energy efficient home is clearly very beneficial, the question stands: what can I do about it? We know it can be a little overwhelming to think about how to upgrade your home to be as efficient as you want it to be. Don’t worry, JELD-WEN is able to help.
One of the biggest and most effective ways to guarantee that your home is efficient is to ensure your house has a secure building envelope. This means making sure that it is either not leaking energy out or letting energy in. This energy seepage is usually found around the windows and exterior doors of your home, which makes sense since they are made of moving parts and are built to open and close. Windows play a huge role, and you can read more about the benefits of high-quality JELD-WEN tri-pane windows HERE.
Today, however, we’d like to take a look at your home’s exterior doors. Namely, if they are doing enough to keep your building envelope strong and tight. Let’s dive in!
Role of Your Entryways/Exterior Doors
Your home’s entry doors can contribute significantly to air leakage and can also waste energy through conduction. Think about how many times you open and close your back, front, or patio door in a day. Of course, it’s not just usage that allows energy to escape or enter your home. Entryways/exterior doors can be bleeding energy when they’re closed or not in use. This is especially true if they are old and worn, uninsulated, improperly installed, and/or improperly air sealed.
Does this sound like your home’s exterior doors? If it does, don’t worry. Upgrading your entry doors is an easy and simple way to strengthen your building envelope and increase your efficiency by leaps and bounds!
Selecting New Entryways/Exterior Doors
When selecting new entryway doors, there are a couple of things to keep in mind.
As you know, there are a lot of different types of doors. You generally see less variation with exterior doors, but it is important to remember that certain types of doors lend themselves to a tighter building envelope than others. Swinging doors, for example, are more efficient than sliding doors, and doors with large sections of glass are generally less efficient.
There are a variety of energy ratings used to determine the energy efficiency of exterior doors. Here are some of the most common:
This refers to the amount of energy transfer. Basically, the smaller the number the better the efficiency.
The solar heat gain coefficient (SHGC) is a ratio that shows the amount of solar energy that can pass through the product.
A value indicating a product’s resistance to energy transfer. The higher the number here, the more efficient the product!
Having the world’s most energy efficient entry door won’t do you much good if it isn’t properly weather-stripped. Weather-stripping is the protective material around your door and within the frame to protect against energy loss. Make sure you’re investing in high-quality weather-stripping and that you’re applying/installing it correctly to avoid wear and tear and maximize effect.
Most residential exterior doors in Canada are built from either steel, fiberglass, vinyl or wood. Each of these materials will offer pros and cons in terms of style, maintenance, durability, safety, and, yes, efficiency. Overall, steel and fiberglass are your best bet for efficiency.
The standard for energy efficiency, ENERGY STAR® sets strict criteria for what products earn their seal of approval. JELD-WEN is proud to be a long-time ENERGY STAR® partner. When you’re door shopping, be sure to do your research and always look for that reassuring ENERGY STAR® logo—it guarantees peace of mind!
Proper installation of your new entryway/exterior is key. We do not recommend simply leaning your door in the frame and then walking away. We DO recommend professional installation to ensure everything is secure, snug, and perfect.
Benefits of Energy Efficiency
Taking meaningful steps to make sure your home is as energy efficient as possible will provide great advantages to you in both the long and the short term. The benefits we so generously laid out in the beginning of this piece can be felt both immediately and continuously. For instance, your home will be immediately more comfortable, and the savings you see on your energy bill will keep going and going (and going).
You deserve to live in a home that is comfortable, affordable, peaceful, healthy, and Earth-friendly.
JELD-WEN is proud to offer an exciting selection of exterior doors, as well as interior doors, that meet all efficiency, style, and functional needs. We would love to help you find the right doors for you and your home!