As homeowners, we’re always looking for ways to save money and keep our houses looking great. The best thing about upgrading to energy efficient doors is they accomplish both of these, and they’re good for the environment too! If you’re considering replacing your exterior doors, here is some helpful info to help you decide on the energy-saving route.
Reasons to Upgrade
- You want to have better insulation. That standard wood door might look nice, but it can be one of the biggest energy wasters in your home. Wood expands and contracts in changing temperatures and conducts cold in winter and heat in summer. This is especially true of older doors that may not be insulated or have old weather-stripping.
- You want to save money. Energy wasting doors actually cost more than you may think. An energy efficient door can save you up to 15% on energy bills by keeping all that conditioned air in your home and keeping the elements out.
- You want to keep your home looking good. The sun blasts out UV rays that can fade and damage photos, curtains, and other nice things in your home. A door (and windows!) with a special coating over the glass can protect your valuables from harsh light.
- You want to reduce your carbon footprint. Saving energy doesn’t just cuts costs and keep your home’s climate controlled, it’s also great for the environment. One-quarter of your carbon dioxide output comes from home energy use. The more energy you save, the more your carbon footprint shrinks!
How to Choose a Door
Once you’ve decided to upgrade your exterior doors, the next step is picking a door. There are a lot of varieties to choose from. Here are just a few options to suit your needs:
- Steel with polyurethane insulation – Great for those who don’t want a lot of hassle. The steel skin often includes a magnetic strip that, when installed correctly, creates a tight seal meaning you will need no more weather-stripping.
- Wood – A newer wood door rated for energy efficiency is better than an old one. New models are typically better insulated and have better weather-stripping, but they can still conduct unwanted temperatures.
- Fiberglass – Has an insulated core and also numerous styles, including ones made to look like real wood. These are perfect for those who want the energy-saving properties of steel doors but the nicer aesthetics of wood.
Installing a Door
It’s important to install your new door correctly. Damaging it can drastically reduce its efficiency, as can installing it unevenly. Refer to a more detailed guide or consider hiring a professional if you’re unsure that you can do it yourself. That being said, a typical door installation includes the following steps:
- Removing the exterior and interior trim.
- Removing the old door.
- Preparing the doorway; making sure it is level, the right size, and watertight.
- Installing a solid foundation/support beam.
- Installing the door and making adjustments.
- Installing the trim and hardware.