How Much Glass Should Energy Efficient Doors Have?


Many homeowners are choosing to install energy efficient doors as a part of their effort to reduce energy consumption and lower the heating and cooling costs for their home. This surge in popularity for energy efficient doors has resulted in a number of different options, including glass panes and artistic glass options for exterior doors. This has led many people to wonder if those glass options will have an effect on their overall performance of their new energy efficient doors.

How Energy Efficient Doors Work

Energy efficient doors use their raw materials, construction, draft exclusion add-ons and other features in order to be as energy efficient as possible. Historically, doors have only made a small impact on a home’s overall efficiency. This is due, in part, to how frequently they are used and because they need to be able to open and close freely. Modern technology and a new way of constructing energy efficient doors has helped make them perform much better. As a result, modern energy efficient doors are much better and can make a bigger impact than previous doors.

Many of today’s energy efficient doors are built around a core of insulation which allows the door to remain lightweight but still helps it to prevent heat loss during the winter as well as ambient or radiant heat gain during the summer. A skin of traditional material such as vinyl or wood covers the core of insulation and then additional items can be added to help increase the door’s efficiency.

Why Glass Is A Concern

When considering energy efficient doors, glass panels can be a concern because glass conducts heat and cold. While this may have been a legitimate concern in so called energy efficient doors of the past, these days, door manufacturers have learned a few lessons and put them to work to make their products more energy efficient than ever before. They have created a new generation of doors that can offer the energy efficiency of more traditional doors with the modern touch of glass accent pieces.

Modern energy efficient doors take the best of energy efficient door manufacturing and team it up with advancements made in energy efficient windows. The glass panes on high quality energy efficient doors feature the same window technology and features as the energy efficient windows in your home. This could mean anything from special reflective coatings, tints, double glazing and other features which can prevent the glass panels of your energy efficient doors from diminishing their effectiveness.

When In Doubt, Leave It Out

Of course, there are still those who feel that including any glass in energy efficient doors will diminish the door’s ability to prevent heat transfer. In this case, it’s not a problem to simply forgo the glass altogether. Glass panels and decorative inserts are a fairly recent addition to modern energy efficient doors and are the industry’s way of making these doors more appealing to a wider number of homeowners. These more decorative doors can compliment a number of house styles and also allow for artistic touches like stained or patterned glass.

However, if you decide to go ahead and install energy efficient doors that feature any kind of glass panel or fixed window, be sure you ask about how the glass is treated and set in order to help maintain the overall efficiency of the door. You can also ask about other options to boost how well your door performs. Additional features like draft exclusion hardware and special weather stripping can all help boost how well your energy efficient doors perform. Adding these extra features can help mitigate any nominal difference there is between energy efficient doors that feature glass when compared to those that don’t. However, with door manufacturers continuing to invest in newer manufacturing methods and material development, the future for energy efficient doors that feature more glass without losing any efficiency isn’t too far away.