9 Reasons A New Home Entry Door Is The Right Choice (and how to choose the right one)!
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.”
Like McManus, you may have experienced a drafty home that feels colder inside than outside! But you also know that upgrades to your old, leaky entry doors are often expensive.
We get it.
In this article, we’ll give you nine reasons why a new entry door is a good 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
If you've ever settled down with a good book or a movie only to feel a cold breeze on your neck, you know how annoying a drafty house can be!
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 comfortably!
Beyond temperature, energy-efficient doors improve air quality in your home. They also prevent mold growth and reduce the dust, dirt, and insects that get into your house.
(If you're interested in storm doors and want more information, read our related guide to home storm doors.)
Save Money on Heating & Cooling
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. You save money every day after you install your door. That's a 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.
It would be less appealing if saving money in the long term was the only perk of getting an efficient entry door. However, this is only the beginning of the benefits of an efficient entry door!
Help the Environment
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 to conserve the limited natural resources we have left on the planet.
Energy-efficient doors cause your at-home power consumption to 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 destructive natural disasters.
Help With Grid Efficiency
Has your electric provider ever reached out with a note of caution about running the AC or heat too long in very warm or cold spells of weather?
You see, much of the electricity consumption in the U.S. is concentrated in a handful of hours during the year, primarily during hot summer days when everyone is running their air conditioner.
Since it's hard to store energy efficiently on a large scale, utilities must meet the rising demand with more energy generation. If utility companies can't meet the energy demand, their customers experience blackouts or brownouts.
Installing an efficient door that lowers your energy needs helps stabilize your local grid.
Because efficient doors offer benefits, 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
When you install a new front door, you increase the resale value of your home.
According to research commissioned by Therma-Tru Doors, the increased curb appeal from a new front door adds as much as $24,000 to a home’s perceived value.
If you are worried that you might move to a new home before you ever reap enough energy savings to pay off your new entry door, you can rest easy knowing that you'll recoup many of those costs when you sell.
Since energy-efficient doors have high-quality, efficient parts, you'll have less long-term maintenance on your entry door.
For example, steel or vinyl doors are more durable than 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 keeping bugs and other pests out that harm your home.
And if you’re anything like us, maintenance is essential 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 correctly 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.
Additionally, you can sleep well at night, knowing you have a solid door with a good lock that deters intruders and troublemakers.
For an added layer of security, consider adding a home storm door too!
Be Proud of Your Home's Beauty
A front door is a big statement piece in your home. It's critical from both the road and the inside of your home—after all, it's one of the first things guests notice about your home. In fact, the decor and landscaping of many homes are designed around the front door's shape, color, and style.
When you choose a new efficient entry door from Graber Supply, you have tons of customizable options to find a front door you absolutely love!
If you'd like to view our entry door catalog for some fantastic ideas, take a look at our Graber Entry Door catalog below.
What Makes An Efficient Entry Door?
So buying an efficient entry door is a significant investment. But how do you know if you are getting an efficient entry door?
There is a way to know. Let’s find out what it is!
Some products or factors 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 areas.
So, what should you be looking for in an energy-efficient door?
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. The 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 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 summer cooling loads by blocking sun heat gain.
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 the requirements in your area of the country.
Essential Factors in Energy-Efficient Doors
While the U-Factor and SHGC are the main energy criteria, here are several essential aspects of an energy-efficient door:
- Amount and Type of Glass
- Weatherstrip Seal
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. We offer polystyrene core doors at Graber Supply, which create excellent insulation!
The amount and type of glass in your entry door also affect its efficiency. Glass is not a good insulator, so the more 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. You might even consider triple-paned glass if you live in a really frigid climate.
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 door's energy efficiency.
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, particularly, guarantee a tight and effective seal, ensuring your door is airtight.
While door insulation, glass, and the weatherstrip seal are essential 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 door's weight and will be somewhat exposed to elements.
When purchasing your door, make sure the frame is sturdy. It's critical to ensure that it's made from durable material like pressure-treated wood to withstand the elements.
Excellent Exterior Coating
We're talking about entry doors here--the finish will likely be exposed to the elements.
If the door is wood, ensure the stain/paint and epoxy are of the highest quality. Otherwise, your door might peel and crack in a year or two.
If the door is steel, rust-protecting epoxy is essential.
As a bonus, quality finishes look better too!
The threshold is the wood, metal, or plastic strip that forms the bottom of your doorway. It receives a lot of wear and tear from people walking on it. It also creates a critical 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.
Hopefully, you now understand why efficient entry doors are 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.
We also offer the following:
If you're considering our products because you're remodeling your home, you may be interested in our blog post on 9 Things You Must Do Before Remodeling Your Home.
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 you can have the same experience when you partner with us. We look forward to hearing from you!