What Charlotte Homeowners Need To Know About Replacement Entry Door Energy Efficiency - Zen Windows North Carolina
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Your Entry Door Is A Small Part Of Your Home With A HUGE Impact On Energy Efficiency & Utility Bills.

Here’s What You Need To Know Before Replacing Your Current Entry Door.

Are you a Charlotte homeowner with an entry door that’s at least 10 years old? If so, it’s probably costing you big money… and it’s likely time to consider replacing your entry door.

Older entry doors are often poorly insulated and have lost that tight fit that prevents drafts. As a result, your energy bills increase because you’re cranking up the heat during the winter and air conditioning during the summer. By choosing an energy efficient entry door in Charlotte, you ensure yourself lower energy bills and a more comfortable home.

Now, here is the big question: What, exactly, makes a replacement entry door energy efficient?

Let’s take a look…

Energy Efficient Components Of An Entry Door

It’s important to note that not all entry doors are made with the same components; however, the image below will give you a good overview of what makes an entry door energy efficient.

Entry Door Efficiency

Image Credit: energystar.gov

Notable Features:

Multiple Glass Panes: Glass in a front door can reduce its energy efficiency. That said, today’s glass for front doors is very efficient and no longer makes as large an impact on energy loss. Double and triple paned glass will reduce heat flow, as will glass with a low-e coating. Of course, door windows are optional—so if you’re in the market for a windowless door, you don’t have to concern yourself with this.

Core Materials: Modern energy efficient doors are usually filled with a foam material (called polyurethane) that adds insulation. This helps keep your home at a comfortable temperature all year round.

Tight Fit & Weather Stripping: These help prevent air leaks in the frame of your door. Consider this: A tiny 1/8″ gap around your door causes the same energy loss as drilling a 5½” hole through it. Proper weather stripping and a tight fit means you can rest easy knowing your doors are keeping your home insulated—and your energy bills low. The sweep of the door should be a compression bulb seal/fin combination. A compression bulb with three fins provides maximum protection from moisture and air infiltration.

What You Need To Know About Entry Door R-Value

R-value measures heat-flow resistance through a material. The average R-value of steel and fiberglass entry doors is between R-5 and R-6 (not including any glass in the door), though some fiberglass entry doors can carry an R-value as high as R-15. Insulation materials inside the door determine how much heat flows through it.

R-value—and how it relates to the energy efficiency of a replacement entry door—is more complex than many Charlotte homeowners think.  Different insulation materials create different R-values. For example, both polystyrene (a.k.a. Styrofoam) and polyurethane (spray foam) are used for door insulation. But polyurethane provides better protection, since it expands inside of the door (whereas polystyrene does not).

Also, R-value is not the only way to measure a door’s energy efficiency. Energy flows through your entry door in four different ways—and only one is measured by R-value! Here is a look at the four ways heat moves in and out of your door. (Warning: lots of technical terms ahead!)

  1. Conduction: This is a material’s ability to conduct heat. Conduction occurs when microscopic particles collide to create kinetic and potential energy. Conduction happens when heat moves through solid parts of the door, such as jambs, slab, rails, and sill. Thermal conduction is what R-value measures.
  2. Air Infiltration: This is how “airtight” (or not) a door is. If drafts can get in under or around the door, the door has poor air infiltration. Ways to prevent air infiltration are weather stripping and tight, straight, and clean installation of the door.
  3. Radiation: Radiation is created by the thermal motion of charged particles in an object. Radiation does not require contact between the heat source and the heated object. Radiation is heat traveling in the form of visible and non-visible light (such as the sun). In addition, low-wavelength, invisible infrared radiation can carry heat directly from warm objects to cooler objects. Infrared radiation is why you can feel the heat from your stove from feet away.
  4. Convection: You’ve heard the phrase “heat rises.” The more technical term for this is convection. Hot air rises, while cold air sinks. Insulation in a door helps keep energy flow more stable to help prevent heat loss.

Need More Info About Replacement Entry Door Efficiency In Charlotte?

If you’re in the market for a replacement entry door in the Charlotte area, make sure you invest in one that will help keep your home comfortable—and your energy bills lower—for years to come. Contact us with any questions you have. We are entry door experts who can provide you with the information you need to make the best decision for your home and budget.

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