Doors

White Back DoorDoors 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.

Door purchases

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

Door installation

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

Existing homes

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.
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