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Choosing Energy Efficient Exterior Doors

Choosing Energy Efficient Exterior Doors By AJ Fanter
HIPhome Columnist
December 31, 1969

According to the U.S. Department of Energy, installing a new exterior door will do more than improve your home's curb appeal, it can also help you to reduce your energy bills. New exterior doors not only fit better, they are now being manufactured to insulate better than older ones.

Here's a review of energy-efficiency ratings to help you choose the best exterior doors for your home.

Choosing a New Exterior Door

While looks do count, when it comes to exterior doors, one of the first things you'll want to consider is the door's energy performance ratings. You'll want to consider the following key ratings:
  • R-value: Indicates how effective the door is at insulation. Most steel or fiberglass doors have R-values between R-5 and R-6.
  • U-factor: Is the rate at which non-solar heat is conducted. Choose a door that features a low U-factor.
  • SHGC: Solar Heat Gain Coefficient refers to the amount of solar radiation that comes in through the door. The best SHGC for your door varies based on the climate you live in, the direction the door faces, and whether the door is in the shade or sunlight.
  • Air leakage: Is the rate at which air comes in around the door. When choosing a new exterior door, you'll want to choose one that features a low air leakage rating.
  • VT: Visible transmittance refers to the amount of visible light transmitted thought the door. A door that has a higher VT will allow more daylight into your home.
  • LSG: Light to Solar Gain ratio measures how effective the glass or glazing is at blocking heat gain. The higher the LSG, the more effective the door is at letting light in and blocking heat.

Armed with these key ratings, you'll be on your way to selecting the most energy-efficient exterior door for your home.


About the Author
AJ Fanter is a freelance writer based in Reno, NV.

*Before you apply any of the advice described on the Hip-home.com website, you should consider if the advice is safe and suitable for your individual home situation and consult experts as necessary to evaluate the suitability for your circumstances.
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