Check your doors to cut drafts and utility costs
Homeowners should check their doors at least once a year to make certain the units are not leaking air, which can increase heating and cooling bills.
"Start by inspecting the weather strip around all sides of every door in your home to make sure it has not worn out," said Derek Fielding, director of product management for Therma-Tru Corp. "Stand inside near your doors on a bright day and look for daylight coming in through the door's perimeter. If you see light, that means external air and possibly moisture is coming into your home, reducing the energy efficiency of the door.
"This can be a simple fix if your foam-filled weatherstrip has lost some of its compression, flattened out or cracked. However, if you're seeing large gaps, or if the door itself feels hot or cold on the inside reflecting the temperatures outdoors, then it may be time to upgrade to a more energy efficient entry door."
Fielding recommends seeking out fiberglass entry doors that are thermally broken, meaning they insulate against both cold and heat. Steel doors can be thermally conductive and result in the transfer of temperatures quickly from the interior to the exterior, and vice versa.
"Ideally, you're looking for a fiberglass door system with components that are engineered to work together to help maximize the seal between the door and the frame," says Fielding. "We follow this principle when creating our fiberglass doors so that the systems help keep heating and air conditioning inside the house to help boost the energy efficiency of the home."
Another factor that can help keep exterior weather on the outside of the home is the material used for the core of the door. Dense polyurethane foam in fiberglass doors can help the doors achieve high thermal performance values.
"A thick polyurethane foam core essentially creates an energy-efficient entrance to the home, helping stabilize interior temperatures, Fielding said.
According to Fielding, homeowners choosing to add decorative glass to their Therma-Tru fiberglass doors can also count on energy-efficient features. The company's triple-pane construction of most doorlites and sidelites creates both a strong thermal and acoustical barrier. And, factory-coated Low-E glass, available as an option for clear glass, also delivers exceptional energy efficiency. In cold weather, the Low-E glass helps reduce the loss of heat by reflecting the heat back inside the home. In warm weather, Low-E glass reflects the sun's rays off of the glass, helping keep the interior of the home cool.
"Given how many doors we typically have in our homes --- from the main entry to side and back entrances to garage doors, it's important to annually review the efficiency of these doors," says Fielding. "Having doors that are ENERGY STAR qualified andNational Fenestration Rating Council (NFRC) certified can help save homeowners money every day on energy costs."
Read more about energy-efficient windows and doors.