Doors are generally not the energy guzzlers that windows are, simply because there are far fewer of them in a house. But a door can still lose a lot of heat, so making good buying choices on new exterior doors and ensuring all existing doors are well maintained will pay climate change dividends.
There are a number of factors to consider when purchasing and installing doors into a new home or when replacing doors in an existing home.
When shopping for a new door, choose the most energy-efficient model you can. Check for:
- Cores of materials that maintain high insulating values
- Frames made from wood, vinyl or thermally broken metal
- High performance weather stripping
- Low air leakage rates (on pre-hung doors)
- High energy ratings for windows in doors
When building a new home, consider:
- the prevailing winds; place the door on the leeward side of the house
- Providing windbreaks
- Using an air lock vestibule so cold or hot air is trapped between the exterior door and the house interior
- Installing storm doors, with screen inserts for summer ventilation
To optimize energy efficiency on existing doors, ensure:
- Missing or worn weather stripping is replaced
- Strike plates are properly located
- Door frames fit the door properly
- Doors still contact the stops
- If the door is badly deteriorated, the best option may be to replace the door with a new energy efficient model.