Popular outdoor writer Patrick McManus once wrote this humorous line about his experience living in a cabin as a child:
“I spent my time digging away at the logs, not realizing that the resulting cracks would let all the cold out.”
The surprise ending to the sentence gives us a good chuckle! Though it’s a bit exaggerated, quite a few people experience a drafty home that feels colder inside than outside!
It’s not fun. Why would someone put up with that?
They know that upgrades to their old, leaky entry doors are often expensive. That price tag makes them hesitate.
We get it.
At Graber Supply, we’re known for our efficient entry doors that come at an affordable price, and we’re here to tell you an upgrade is worth it.
In this article, we’ll give you nine reasons why a new entry door is a right choice. Beyond that, we’ll provide some helpful tips on choosing the perfect door for your home.
Let’s get to it!
9 Reasons To Upgrade Your Home's Front Door
The following graphic summarizes the nine reasons you need an efficient home entrance.
Keep reading after the graphic for more explanation and detail for each point!
Live in Comfort
We’re the first to acknowledge that living in comfort shouldn’t be one’s ultimate goal in life. However, if you’ve ever settled down for a movie only to feel a cold breeze on your neck, you know how annoying a drafty house can be.
You should be able to enjoy your movie without needing to get up and put on another layer of clothes.
You’re allowed to host friends without worrying that someone will be chilly.
An efficient entry door minimizes the cold drafts you feel in your house. It’s a pleasure to live in the confidence that you can control your house’s climate and live in comfort!
Beyond temperature, energy-efficient doors improve air quality in your home. They also prevent the growth of mold and reduce the amount of dust, dirt, and insects that get into your house.
Save Money on Heating & Cooling
Yes, installing a new entry door includes an upfront cost, but you reap the rewards of an efficient door for years to come!
You reduce heating costs in the winter and cooling costs in the summer. Every single month you save money after you buy an efficient entry door. It’s a win-win!
To be clear, the money you save on energy savings will take a while to pay off your new entry door. Depending on the door you buy and the door you are replacing, it could take 5-15 years to pay off the entry door.
If saving money in the long term was the only perk of getting an efficient entry door, it would be less appealing. However, this is only the beginning of the benefits of an efficient entry door!
Help the Environment
Often in life, it seems like we have to choose between thinking of ourselves first or putting other people ahead of ourselves. It's so easy to be selfish, even though we know we should care about other people.
Luckily, when you buy an efficient entry door, you help yourself while also helping the environment.
The less energy you use in your home, the more you’re doing your part to conserve the limited natural resources we have left on the planet.
Energy-efficient doors make your at-home power consumption decrease. The less power you use, the better it is for the environment.
Lower energy demands mean that power plants use fewer resources and become less dependent on fossil fuels, which are becoming increasingly scarce and costly.
An efficient entry door also helps you do your part to decrease carbon dioxide emissions.
Carbon dioxide is an airborne gas that is a byproduct of fuel consumption. When carbon dioxide is released into the air, it absorbs the sun’s heat and traps heat in our atmosphere.
When we consume too much energy, we release excess carbon into the atmosphere, and too much of the sun’s heat becomes trapped. This leads to abnormal weather patterns, rising temperatures, higher sea levels, smog, acid rain, and extreme natural disasters.
Help With Grid Efficiency
Most of us have experienced our electric provider reaching out with a note of caution about running the AC or heat too long in very warm or cold spells of weather.
Do you know why they do that?
Much of the electricity consumption in the U.S. is concentrated to a handful of hours during the year, primarily during hot summer days when everyone is running their air conditioner.
Since it's hard to efficiently store energy on a large scale, utilities must meet rising demand with more energy generation. If utility companies can’t meet the demand for energy, their customers experience blackouts or brownouts.
When you install an efficient entry door, you lower the amount of energy you need to cool or heat your home. This, in turn, works toward stabilizing the entire energy grid in your area.
Because of the benefits that efficient doors offer, some states and utility companies offer incentives for installing them.
DSIRE is a comprehensive source of information on state, local, utility, and federal incentives and policies that promote renewable energy and energy efficiency. Simply choose your state to view the policies and incentives that apply to you.
You can also find rebates for windows, doors, and skylights by using ENERGY STAR'S rebate finder.
Better Resale Value
An efficient entry door is a clever way to invest in your future.
How so? When you install a new front door, you increase the resale value of your home.
According to research commissioned by Therma-Tru Doors, the curb appeal resulting from a new front door can add as much as $24,000 to a home’s perceived value.
So, if you worried that you might move before you ever pay off your new entry door in energy savings, rest easy. The door you’ve installed should easily cover its own cost when you sell your house.
Combining efficient parts with quality results in less long-term maintenance on your entry door.
For example, steel or vinyl doors are more durable than older wooden doors. (If you love that luxurious, wooden look, you can easily order vinyl doors with wood grain imprinted on them. They look remarkably authentic!)
A weather-tight fit seals out water and air leaks, reducing energy costs and keeps bugs and other pests out that harm your home.
And if you’re anything like us, maintenance is important to you. It’s incredibly frustrating to have a long to-do list that you can’t make progress on because of home maintenance issues. When you fix things, fix them the right way so you can put them out of your mind!
Enjoy Peace of Mind
Speaking of frustration and time (or lack thereof), installing an efficient new entry door helps bring peace of mind.
You can ease your financial frustrations, maintenance issues, and more when you get a new entry door.
Moreover, you can sleep well at night, knowing you have a solid door with a good lock that deters troublemakers.
Be Proud of the Aesthetics of Your Home
A front door is a big statement piece in your home. It’s critical from both the road and the inside of your home. In fact, the decor and landscaping of many homes are designed around the shape, color, and style of the front door.
When you choose a new efficient entry door from Graber Supply, you have tons of customizable options so you can find a front door you absolutely love!
This isn’t the place to discuss every door option under the sun, but if you’d like to view our catalog of entry doors to get some fantastic ideas, take a look at our Graber Entry Door catalog below.
Meanwhile, here are a few things to consider when you are choosing the perfect front door.
- Door sidelights
- Shape and Size
- Glass (and interior glass grille)
And that’s just the beginning! If you’d like some great ideas for efficient entry doors, contact us at Graber Supply today!
What Makes An Efficient Entry Door?
Hopefully, by now you are convinced that buying an efficient door is well worth your time and effort!
But you’re probably asking, “How do I know if I’m getting an energy-efficient door?”
There is a way to know. Let’s find out what it is!
Understanding the energy qualifications for entry doors can be tricky.
Some products or factors that are considered energy-efficient in one area of the U.S. might not be energy efficient in another region. This is especially true when comparing Southern/warmer regions with Northern/cooler regions.
So, what should you be looking for when it comes to energy-efficient doors?
Performance criteria for doors are based on ratings certified by the National Fenestration Rating Council (NFRC)
The energy ratings that the NFRC gives are based on two main factors: U-Factor and SHGC.
If you aren’t sure what those things are, don’t worry - not many people do! Let’s explore each one briefly.
- U-Factor. U-factor is the rate at which a window, door, or skylight conducts non-solar heat flow. The lower the U-factor, the more energy-efficient the door is.
- SHGC. Solar heat gain coefficient (SHGC) is the fraction of solar radiation admitted through a door that is subsequently released as heat inside a home.
The lower the SHGC, the less solar heat it transmits and the greater its shading ability. A product with a high SHGC rating is more effective at collecting solar heat during the winter. A product with a low SHGC rating is more effective at reducing cooling loads during the summer by blocking heat gain from the sun.
Your home’s climate, orientation, and external shading determine the optimal SHGC for a particular door.
Each region of the U.S. has specific U-Factor and SHGC requirements that a door needs to meet to be considered Energy Efficient for that area.
Check out this map and chart to see what the requirements are in your area of the country.
Important Factors in Energy Efficient Doors
While the U-Factor and SHGC are the main energy criteria, here are several important aspects of making a door energy efficient.
- Door Insulation.
- Amount and Type of Glass
- Weatherstrip Seal
Door insulation is what is inside your door, and it is instrumental in controlling the temperature of your house. If you’ve touched an exterior door built with a hollow core (no insulation) during winter, you know it is freezing cold! That's a great way to lose the precious heat inside your home.
One thing to look at when considering door insulation is U-Value. If your door has a low U-value, it is probably well-insulated.
Solid wood or dense foam both serve as excellent insulators for entry doors. At Graber Supply, we offer polystyrene core doors, which creates excellent insulation!
The amount and type of glass in your entry door also affects efficiency. Glass is not a good insulator, so the more of it you have in your door, the less efficient it will be.
However, there are ways to make the glass in your door more energy efficient.
First of all, make sure the glass is at least double-paned. If you live in a frigid climate, you might even consider triple-paned glass.
Secondly, check to see if your door includes Low-E Glass. Low-E Glass refers to glass with a low-emissivity coating. It reduces heat gain or loss by reflecting long-wave infrared energy and improves the energy efficiency of the door.
The weatherstrip seal is the seal around the door that keeps air from leaking in and out of the house.
If your door’s weatherstrip seal is inadequate, you can buy a replacement at pretty much any hardware store. Just make sure you don’t settle for a cheap weatherstrip option.
Compression weatherstrips, in particular, guarantee a tight and effective seal, ensuring that your door is airtight.
While door insulation, glass, and the weatherstrip seal are the essential factors in ensuring an efficient door, there are plenty of other factors to consider when choosing a new entry door.
By the way, energy-efficient windows are just as important as efficient doors! If you want to know more, read our guide to replacing windows.
3 Components Of An Efficient Entry Door
You’ll also want to make sure your new entry door has the following components, as well as the above list:
Quality Door Frame
The door frame carries some of the weight of the door and will be exposed to elements to some degree.
Make sure you are purchasing an entry door with a sturdy frame. It’s critical to ensure that it’s made out of a durable material like pressure-treated wood so it can stand up to the elements.
Excellent Exterior Coating
We’re talking about entry doors here, so the door's finish will be exposed to the elements.
If the door is wood, make sure the stain/paint and epoxy are of the highest quality. You don’t want your door to peel or crack in a year or two.
If the door is steel, a rust-protecting epoxy is a must.
As a bonus, quality finishes look better too!
A threshold is the strip of wood, metal, or plastic that forms the bottom of your door. It receives a lot of wear and tear from people walking on it. It also is a critical piece in creating a good seal around your door.
We recommend making sure your door has a bumper threshold.
A bumper seal threshold is designed with a seal that presses against the door when the door is closed. Bumper seal thresholds help reduce wind, debris, and insects from entering the building.
Thanks for reading to the end of this article! You should have a good understanding of why buying an efficient entry door is worth the investment. And when it’s time to start looking for your new door, you have a few tools to help you choose the right one.
Let us know in the comments if you have any additions to make to our list of entry door benefits or factors in choosing a quality new door.
We also offer:
Don’t just take our word for it! Check out this kind review from one of our customers:
“I needed two entry doors and four storm doors, which were all oversized because our home was built in 1903. Graber Supply met that challenge with high-quality work and materials for a much lower cost than other contractors from which I received estimates. I would highly recommend them to family and friends.”
We’re confident that you can have the same experience when you partner with us. We look forward to hearing from you!