Doors, by their very mechanical nature, open and close, letting heated air or cooled air escape and be replaced by whatever temperature of air is outside. You might wonder what energy efficient doors do that other doors do not. Clearly, energy efficient doors open and close and let an exchange of indoor/outdoor air to occur. That is the same as any other door, to be sure, except that energy efficient doors do a lot more than just open and close.
Energy Efficient Doors Form a Tight Seal When They Close
There are usually special gaskets all the way around the outside edges of an energy efficient door. These sealing gaskets form a very tight seal when the door closes or is closed. That means that nothing escapes under, over, or around the door, even when the door is shut. Other doors have these tiny crevices all around them where you can feel a draft. An energy efficient door worth its salt prevents ALL drafts from coming and going, thus keeping your home from losing valuable heat or cooled air all year long.
Got Glass? That Is Energy Efficient Too
If you have glass in your energy efficient door, you can bet that it is double-paned glass with argon or another low-emission gas between the two panes. That prevents too much heat from sunlight from entering and causing your foyer or living room to heat up too quickly. It also maintains a constant temperature on the inside panel of the two sheets of glass that make up the window(s), which helps your home stay comfortable.
Door Handles and Hardware That Have Rubber Mounts and Backing
If you thought that the sealing gaskets all the way around the edge of the door were impressive, you should see the solution for keeping door hardware and handles from leaking air and causing drafts. There are rubber seals and rubber mounts for the door handles and locking hardware that stop any and all air flow around and through the locks. This is definitely good news for anyone who has ever seen a frozen door lock in winter and/or could not get the key into the lock to unlock the door.
The problem with that lock is that too much cold air tried to pass through leaks around and through the lock. The cold air met the warm air from the interior side of the door. It created condensation, which then froze up the door lock/key hole. These rubber mounts and rubber backings for the locks and handle hardware stop that from ever happening again.
The core of any door is made to provide the minimum amount of insulation required by building codes and by the law. While you are just skimming by with a standard door, you can surpass the building codes and the law by installing an energy efficient door instead. The cores in these doors are thicker, heavier, denser, and more resistant to extreme weather than the cores of any other door you could install. Consult a construction contractor for advice on what R-value of insulation in an energy efficient door is best for where you live.
The Energy Efficient Doors Come with Unbelievable Warranties
In construction and home improvement, you get what you pay for. If you pay $19 for a basic screen door, you can bet you will be replacing it again within a year or two, if not sooner. Pay much, much more for an energy efficient front door than the going rate, and that door will likely come with an unbelievable warranty that is worth every penny you put into your purchase.