Are French Doors Energy Efficient?
When looking to install energy efficient doors in your home, French doors are one of the most common options for homeowners. Their glass and muntin construction makes them a great addition to any home looking to add a touch of beauty and elegance. They let in a lot of light through the panes, and can open fully when you need to increase ventilation or allow access for large items.
Because of the large space occupied by French doors, your choice of new doors can have a dramatic effect on the energy consumption of your home. Here are some things to keep in mind:
Energy efficient construction
French doors are constructed using different materials and designs, some of which provide better efficiency than others. Most doors today are made using a combination of high performance fibreglass and double-paned or 1-inch thick Low-E glass that improves solar heat transmission by around four times that of regular glass construction.
There are different types of soft and hard coat Low-E Insulated glass available for patio doors with R rating ranging from 2.45 to 4.35.
- Soft coat
- Hard coat
- Argon-filled hard coat
- Argon-filled soft coat
Considering that standard, single-panel glass panels have an R rating of 0.85, French doors fitted with any kind of low-E glass significantly improve the efficiency of your home.
Besides fibreglass, you can purchase French doors built from engineered wood fiber. However, avoid solid wood doors as they have poor insulating properties. Engineered wood, on the other hand, is energy efficient and environmentally friendly.
Hinged, swinging French doors are great for maximizing ventilation and access. To prevent air leakage between the door and its frame, modern doors are fitted with weatherstripping that forms a tight seal against outside air and water. The seal also prevents energy in your home from escaping through the cracks.
You can further improve the efficiency of your French doors by applying temporary sealer during the cold months, since you won’t need to open the doors fully during winter.
Keep in mind that any poorly installed doors are just as inefficient as old doors. They lose a lot of energy and make the rooms drafty and uncomfortable. Properly designed and installed French doors will increase the efficiency of your home, protect your family from the elements, and allow you to enjoy the stylishness of your new doors year round.