How to make your door as energy efficient as possible.

Friday, 22 December 2017

As part of the latest government efforts to promote green living, all new builds need to have external doors that are compliant with the latest energy efficient regulation. This relates to something called a U-value which measures how effective a material is as an insulator. Anything with a bad U-value will enable heat to escape easily, leaving an expensive, cold home which is not very eco-friendly at all. Confusingly the U-value itself translates as the lower the better. This is why some companies opt for A+ and below as a ratings scale which makes things a lot easier to understand.
You might not believe upgrading a door will make much of a difference to a home's energy efficiency, but a lot of heat can be lost between the home and the door, particularly with older single pane doors. There are lots of doors in any one home and all provide different privacy, accessibility and visibility options. It is important to ensure that those doors are as energy efficient as possible to the benefit of your home value, heating bills, home comfort and the environment.
Here are the best ways to ensure the doors in your home are as energy efficient as possible: 

Replace Older Doors

If you purchased an old home it is likely it still has the original exterior doors. They are unlikely to have been replaced, and so they won't be as efficient as newer types. Newer doors are designed to fit better and so are more insulating. Choosing something with a good U-value will ensure your door is as efficient as possible. Certain companies use a green certified label to promote their most energy efficient doors. 

Ensure Interior Doors Fit Well

Interior doors help to trap the heat into one single space which is really useful if you choose to just heat one room. Make sure your interior doors fit well and consider installing additional glass doors or bifold doors into your home for extra privacy and heat retention. 

Keep On Top of Bad Habits

Keeping on top of bad habits in the home will help your doors be as energy efficient as possible. For example: with any glass doors letting sunlight in you should open the curtains in the day so that the light can get in during winter, and in summer keep the curtains closed during the hottest parts of the day to keep the home cool. Keep curtains shut at night to protect against window draughts. 

Add Draft-proofing

Draught-proofing around your doors can help to stop air leaking out. Your draught-proofing needs to be extremely durable with doors that are used a lot and a tension seal will help with durability. You can find tips on draught-proofing your doors and other parts of your home in this handy Energy Savings Trust video

Buy A Truly Eco-Friendly Door

Even though some doors are labelled as green or eco-friendly, this isn't always the case. In lots of marketing, green labelling is used and yet the door actually contains lead or CFC's. A truly green door will be free of CFC and will be made with various eco-friendly compounds including ingredients like calcium and zinc which have a lighter carbon-footprint. These materials are just as durable as non eco-friendly materials. You should also try to buy from a manufacturer local to you where the door is made and sold in the same location. 

Bifold Doors

Bifold doors are a great way to increase the light and warmth in your home and despite concerns or ill-founded worries about their energy efficiency, they can be just as energy efficient as a standard exterior door. Bifold doors can keep your home safe and secure all whilst adding to the aesthetics of your home and the accessibility of your outdoors space. There are some ways to ensure the doors you do buy are as eco-friendly as possible:-

Weatherproofing

By its nature, glass is not exactly as weather-proof as building materials like brick or concrete. That's not to say it can't withstand harsh weather as well as your standard exterior door though. Usually bifold doors are installed with a low threshold to ensure the weather has the least possible chance of finding its way inside. The seal between the floor and the threshold is also likely to be much more secure if it is made from rubber. This helps keep the cold and rain out and the heat in. 

Frame Materials

The material the door is made from is important. UPVC frames aren't always the best 
choice. Wooden frames tend to be more high maintenance and aluminium can cost more. In most cases you will pay more for an eco-friendly and higher quality door but you'll get a return with its efficiency and the fact it will last you a long time. 

Glass

You will want to look for low-e glass on your bifold door. Low-e means low emissivity and is a coating that reflects heat. With a good u-value door the glass is likely to be low-e, but it is worth checking. Read this handy Energy Savings Trust article about eco-friendly glass and what to look out for. 
There are many different contributory factors that have to be addressed in order to make a home as energy efficient as possible. The time and effort is well worth it in exchange for a home that is eco-friendly, efficient and comfortable to live in.