Energy Efficient Front Doors

Fiberglass doors offer great energy savings

Energy efficient front doors can keep your home warm in winter and cool in the summer. Now is a great time to inspect your front door for potential air leaks and fix them, or replace your front door, well before the cold weather sets in.

To determine whether you have an energy efficient front entry door, you can conduct some at home tests:

  • Feel for drafts. Using the back of your hand, move it slowly around the inside of the door opening.  The back of your hand is more sensitive than your palm and will help you quickly narrow down drafty sections.
  • Look for the light around the door. On a bright day, stand in your foyer and look for daylight flowing through the door opening. If light is coming in, so is external air. Your weatherstripping may have lost compression, or you may have a warped door or frame.
  • Alt=energy efficient doorsEnergy Efficient Front DoorsTake the touch test. Touch your door on hot days and cold days. If you feel the exterior temperatures on the inside surface, your door may not have adequate insulation. 
  • Watch the door weatherstripping. Low-quality weatherstripping can lose its compression over time, opening the door to air infiltration. Look for flat or cracked weatherstripping that is no longer doing its job.
  • Sill the deal. Your door sill and bottom sweep prevent air infiltration and water penetration. Try to slide a piece of paper under your entry door. If you can, you’ll likely need to adjust or replace your bottom sweep.
  • Check door fit. Finally, open and shut your door on both dry days and wet, humid days. If your door fits tightly on humid days, then it is probably leaking air on dry days. You may want to consider a high-performance door such as fiberglass to prevent swelling.

You can easily improve your front entry's energy efficiency by following a few basic steps: 

  • Replace the door weatherstripping. Adding new weatherstripping is a simple solution that can greatly reduce air infiltration. Your local hardware store will be able to recommend the product best suited to your application.
  • Adjust the door hinges. Loose hinges or low-quality hardware can create gaps. Tighten the screws in existing hardware or consider replacing hardware with high-quality brass or brushed steel components.
  • Level the door sill. Many times, the sill can settle, opening gaps for air. Purchase shims from your local hardware store to reset the sill so it is flush with the door bottom, and consider replacing or adjusting the bottom sweep to create a tighter seal. 
  • Upgrade the door lock. If your lock is not installed properly or isn’t the right size, it won’t keep the door seated squarely in the door frame. Carefully measure your existing lock and door, and look for high-quality brass or brushed steel replacement locks.
  • Install fiberglass doors. By installing fiberglass doors with decorative glass, you can add beautiful curb appeal to your home and have a completely energy efficient front entry—– and let the sun shine in.   
If your are ready to replace your front door, fiberglass doors from Therma-Tru® are extremely energy efficient front entry systems that offer five times the insulation of a wood door and are ENERGY STAR qualified. Plus, homeowners who purchase and install qualified styles of Therma-Tru doors are eligible for a tax credit of up to $1,500 per household through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (also known as the Economic Stimulus package).
 
Alt=energy efficient doorsenergy efficient doorsHomeowners Scott and Cat Eidsness of Auburn, Washington learned how an energy efficient front entry door was a great way to reduce yearly energy bills. The couple recently received an entry door makeover as the winners of Therma-Tru’s Ugliest Door in America Contest. The top of their original ugly door was so cracked that they could see light and feel a draft, even when the door was closed. The door’s broken windows and screens had been covered with plywood to keep out the elements.
 
Not only did the Eidsness family get rid of an entry door eyesore, they’ve reduced their yearly energy bills by as much as $450. The original drafty door had a low R-value (measure of thermal resistance), which mean the heat waltzed out the old ugly door. The bigger the R-value, the more insulated the home is. Scott and Cat’s new door more than tripled its R-value, eliminating drafts and sealing their home.
 
One way to get both beauty and energy efficiency is to choose a door from the Therma-Tru Fiber-Classic® Mahogany Collection™. The Collection includes new styles perfect for homes with popular architectural designs including Craftsman, bungalow, arts and crafts, mission and cottage motifs as well as doors suitable for Victorian and Traditional architecture, among others. The doors offer high style and the rich look and warmth of Mahogany hardwood, but at a value price compared to premium wood doors.
 
All the doors are constructed of durable fiberglass, ENERGY-STAR qualified, provide five times the insulation of a wood door and will not rot, split, crack or rot like wood, or rust, dent or ding like steel. The doors create a tight seal, creating an energy efficient envelope that stabilizes interior temperature and helps you decrease your home’s energy costs are are one of the best choices for an energy efficient front door.