Saving Energy While Increasing Comfort
From an engineering and energy perspective, exterior doors are simply holes in a facility structure that allow outside air access, while allowing ambient air to escape. If you detect a summer breeze or winter chill sneaking through the area around the perimeter of a door- it may be time for a door replacement or insulation project. Proper installation of a new door is essential to maximizing the energy savings potential. By examining insulation and replacement options, energy loss will cease to be a facility challenge.
A New Set of Hinges
When considering major facility renovations, don’t skimp on the doors. Choosing the most energy efficient doors available is a wise investment which saves up to 15% on both heating and cooling costs while increasing comfort. Consider the energy performance rating of a door relative to climate, while keeping in mind facility design and southern exposure. If southern facing, adding a door with high efficiency windows allows more natural light to penetrate the space.
Door s are made out of a wide variety of materials. A common model of energy efficient exterior door available today has a metal outer shell (often steel) with poly foam insulation. A magnetic strip is used as weatherstripping, creating a firm, lasting seal – as opposed to the traditional rubber and metal types found in older doors. Steel and fiberglass doors tend to have much higher R values (insulating capacities), when compared to wooden and glass doors. A common 1 1/2 inch thick steel or fiberglass door can be up to five times more energy efficient than a wooden door of a similar thickness.
Round and Round We Go
In larger facilities there is a large pressure differential between the inside and outside air, making the building susceptible to extreme drafts of air penetrating a building when an exterior door is opened to the outside. The addition of a revolving door saves energy by preventing drafts of warm or cool air from penetrating a building. A revolving door allows heavy traffic flow in and out of a building while only permitting small pockets of outside air to enter the facility.
Room with a View?
Any type of glass door will likely result in reduction of insulating qualities as compared to a metal, wood or fiberglass door. Sliding glass doors are the poorest insulators of all because it is very difficult to get a tight seal when closed. However, facilities that require this type of door do have the choice of contemporary models offer great improvements over older versions. New models with three or more panes of glass, low-e (emissivity) coatings, combined with insulating gases such as argon placed in between the panes of glass are an excellent investment. Over the life of the door, the energy savings gained over older glass doors, will pay for the new door many times over.