With winter on the horizon, it’s time to start getting your home ready for colder days and longer nights. What that doesn’t have to mean, however, is getting ready for higher energy bills.
One of the ways to keep costs down for this winter and the ones to follow is by investing in a winter door replacement for your home.
Doors and windows are actually one of the leading culprits for high energy bills. Homeowners new and old are often surprised by how much air leakage can affect their monthly costs.
Now, you may forever remember your parents yelling at you to shut the door because you were “letting out all the hot air” – but that’s only half the story. The other half? Even while your door is shut it could be letting out the warmth, too.
Your door’s condition is a major factor in air leakage. If your current door is not insulated, does not adequately cover the doorway, or is not well-installed, it’s time for a winter door replacement.
Today we’re diving into the details about picking the right new door for your home.
Signs Of An Excellent Winter Door Replacement
Energy Performance Ratings
Appliances aren’t the only features of your home with energy performance ratings. Doors and windows have them, too.
Comparing the energy performance ratings of doors is made easier with the help of both the National Fenestration Rating Council (NFRC) and Energy Star. The solar heat gain coefficient (SHGC) and the U-factor will be your major considerations when choosing which door to buy.
Solar Heat Gain Coefficient
The solar heat gain coefficient, or SHGC, measures the amount of solar heat that is passed through the door. This scale runs from 0.00 to 1.00, with 0.00 denoting 0% and 1.00 denoting 100%.
For instance, a door with a SHGC value of 0.38 will absorb 38% of solar heat while reflecting 62% of it. In general terms, you are looking for an SHGC number that is low. When less heat is absorbed through direct sunshine, the better.
U-factor measures the rate at which the door transmits non-solar heat, and should be on the lower end as well. This is measured on a scale of 0.00 to 2.00.
Other Winter Door Replacement Factors To Consider
Choosing a winter door replacement is about more than how it looks. It’s about how well it keeps your home insulated. To that end, another aspect to take into account when choosing a door is its R-value. This is how thermal resistance is measured.
More specifically, it is the evaluation of the door’s conductive heat flow resistance. On a scale of 0 to 5, this score should be high. Depending on the manufacturer you’re working with, the R-value and U-factor may be combined.
Air leakage, also referred to as air infiltration (AI), is just what it sounds like: the volume of air that enters a building. The unit of AI is cubic feet per minute (cfm). The industry norm is 0.3cfm, however ratings vary depending on the type of material used, how it was built, and how it was installed.
Of those three factors, the installation is most crucial. So you have a frame of reference, air leakage accounts for 25–40% of the energy used for heating and cooling.
One way to lessen air leakage is to ensure the door has been installed as firmly as possible. There should be no gaps or crevices between the door and the frame.
Winter-Ready Doors And Low-E Coatings
Low-emissivity coatings, often known as low-e coatings, are nearly invisible metal oxide layers used on glass. These coatings help heat transfer and lower glass’s U-factor. In some materials, it can also reduce light transmission.
Low-e coatings add a small premium to the price of door panes (or any glass product), but they improve the glass’s energy efficiency by 30–50%.
Choosing Your Winter Door Replacement
There are a number of factors that come into play when choosing a new door for your house. Beyond aesthetic choices, many of them are surprisingly technical.
To help you make sense of these different elements, our team at Johnson Lumber is available to guide you through this process. We’re happy to provide you with alternatives to consider and evaluate based on effectiveness and your individual tastes.
We are proud to carry quality doors from brands like: