Sliding patio doors can impact greatly on a home’s aesthetic appeal, as well as free up space and make the home appear larger than it really is. These doors have two panel sections, at least one of which can be moved. Some models are even designed to fit into wall pockets for more space. Moreover, these doors are often equipped to generate significant energy savings, especially since they:
- Let in natural light. Like sliding windows, sliding doors are designed to let loads of daylight into the home. Various glazing options are also available to homeowners to help efficiently manage energy needs.
- Are available in many energy-efficient options. Many sliding doors found on the market today use framing materials that are engineered to limit unwanted heat transfer. Some of the most energy efficient options include composites such as fiberglass and engineered wood.
Sliding doors also admit some ventilation into the home, as they can expand wider than hinged doors. Other favorable factors homeowners should consider include:
ENERGY STAR values. ENERGY STAR made changes to the way it certifies energy efficient door products this year, with a new focus on lower U-values and solar heat gain coefficient (or SHGC). Doors that have a large glass-to-frame ratio also require stricter qualification. For one thing, they should meet the required performance values for the home’s climatic conditions. So when choosing energy efficient sliding patio doors, we recommend checking ENERGY STAR’s recommended values for your specific climate zone.
Door materials. The components that make up your door are important to the overall energy performance of the door. Fiberglass and wood cores, for instance, provide extra insulation against the elements. Triple-glazing is also better than, say, single-paned glass in terms of reducing heat loss or transfer, as well as preventing premature damage. Some doors are also engineered to provide a more complete “fit” with the weatherstripping accounting for improved sealing.
So does that mean sliding patio doors are perfect for energy efficiency? Not quite. But the good news is, whatever issues they may have are manageable. Stay tuned!