Replacing your entry door is more than about curb appeal. It is about energy efficiency. An insulating door prevents air leakage, heat transfer, and wasted energy. There are a few materials to consider, but first, here are some important properties to keep in mind when shopping for a new entry door.
Properties to Look For
Thanks to the National Fenestration Rating Council (NFRC), you can use a special label to compare different doors regarding energy performance. The label allows you to compare:
- R-value: The higher the R-value, the more a material resists heat flow, and the more insulating it is.
- U-factor: Lower U-factors are associated with doors that are more effective at keeping in heat.
- Solar heat gain coefficient (SHGC): If your climate requires more cooling, look for a low SHGC, while if your climate requires heating, look for higher values.
Glass doors tend to lose more heat. However, exterior doors with glass panes can be made more efficient with low-E coatings and weatherstripping. Insulated strips can prevent air or heat from passing through spaces around the door perimeter.
Other door materials that are used include:
- Steel: Exterior doors with a steel skin often have polyurethane foam as a core insulation material. Weatherstripping helps improve efficiency as well. Steel is a good thermal insulator, although it also conducts heat all too well.
- Vinyl: Vinyl blocks external heat or cold air due to its thermal insulation properties. It tends to help maintain indoor temperatures. Also available as vinyl-cladded or wooden doors, vinyl entry doors require little maintenance.
- Wood: Wooden doors are common, despite their ability to absorb heat and promote heat flow. They are the least efficient types of doors on the market.
- Fiberglass: Compared to wood, fiberglass doors have nearly 4x the insulating R-value. Fiberglass is not a good conductor of heat. It doesn’t conduct electricity very well either. Fiberglass doors minimize heat loss and are weather resistant.
Installation vs. Energy Efficiency
When installing an entry door, you want it to be as snug a fit as possible. The door should seal tightly when closed and swing without much effort. Most doors are pre-hung, meaning wood or steel frames are already attached. This adds the challenge of removing an existing doorframe first and ensuring the frame fits the opening as squarely as possible.
Expanding foam caulking should be added to the interior trim before the door frame is installed. The foam will block outside air from getting into your home from around the seals.
Window World of Boston Doors
Window World of Boston offers a series of entry doors designed to improve energy efficiency. They feature composite rails at the top and bottom to block moisture, plus the durability and rot-, dent-, and rust-resistance of fiberglass. In fact, every part is rot-resistant thanks to Thru-N-Thru Technology. Our doors are built for security and increased stability and rigidity.
The four types we offer are:
- Classic-Craft: Looks like real wood without the maintenance requirements.
- Fiber-Classic: Combines strength with the style of embossed oak or mahogany.
- Smooth-Star: A strong, modern-looking door with a smooth, ready-to-paint finish.
- Profiles: Made of strong 24-gauge steel and can match many architectural styles.
Located in Shrewsbury, Pembroke, and Woburn, Window World of Boston specializes in high-quality products, attention to detail, and customer care. Our business and products have received numerous accreditations. For more information about our energy efficient entry doors, installations services, and financing, contact us today or request a free estimate online.