Exterior Door Buying Guide

Get The Best Entry Door  – Energy Star Certified Exterior Doors Buying Guide – Prince William County / Woodbridge, VA

Energy Star Certified Exterior Doors Buying Guide

Did you know that doors that, you think, are well-sealed are responsible for energy loss? A recent study by the California Energy Commission reported that doors account for 11 percent of air leaks in most homes, you may want to know more about Energy Star certified exterior doors so that you can make an informed decision the next time you plan to install energy-efficient entry door systems in your home.

Your doors do not demonstrate the same level of insulation as your walls and they are a major source of air leakage. The glass in your doors may be particularly responsible for air leaks, but you should know that the solid doors can also be improved to a significant extent. Homeowners residing in places with extreme climatic conditions can particularly benefit from the use of energy-efficient doors in terms of reduced utility bills. However, if you are residing in a milder climate, you may not be able to justify your investment in terms of energy savings. You may consider investing in Energy Star doors if you are building a new home, if you are looking to install glass patio doors, or if you are stuck in a situation that demands door replacement.


Categories Of Energy Star Doors

Energy Star doors appear in three main categories with each category being based on different energy efficiency parameters.

  1. Solid Doors Without Glass: Also called opaque doors, solid doors mainly come with steel or fiberglass frames and polyurethane cores that exhibit insulating properties. The energy efficiency of solid doors is measured in terms of the U-factor which provides a rating of heat transfer per hour per square foot. Solid doors that qualify for an Energy Star certification have a U-factor less than or equal to 0.21.
  2. Doors That Have Glass Covering One-Third Its Area: Glass promotes greater heat loss compared to polyurethane core and so the door that you choose should have triple-pane glass that can meet the U-factor rating of 0.21. Doors that come with Energy Star certification have a U-factor rating of 0.27 and a solar heat gain coefficient (SHGC) of 0.30 or less. The SHGC provides a measure of the amount of solar heat that your door can block and lesser heat transfer translates into lower energy bills. However, homeowners in cold climates need doors with higher SHGC numbers.
  3. Doors That Have Glass Covering More Than One-Third Its Area: Doors with greater number of glass sections should have a U-factor less than or equal to 0.32 and an SHGC rating of 0.30 or less in order to qualify for the Energy Star program. You should ideally consider doors that come equipped with double or triple-pane glass, low e-coatings, and low-conductivity gas fills. As a matter of fact, all-glass sliding doors demonstrate low level of energy efficiency compared to swinging doors that come with magnetic strips which create a tight seal and prevent energy leakage through the gaps.

Energy Star-certified doors are slightly more expensive, but you can still recover a certain percentage of your outlay from rebates or tax credits. For doors installed between January 1, 2012 and December 31, 2016, homeowners are eligible to receive a tax credit equal to 10% of the price they have paid, up to $500 for Energy Star-certified doors. Additionally, state and local governments and utility companies may also offer rebates on Energy Star-certified doors.

End Note

You can make the most out of your investment only if you get your doors installed properly. Make sure that you hire a reputed installer who holds an A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau and have technicians who have expertise in installing your particular type of energy-efficient door.

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