When it comes to a home’s energy efficiency, we are quick to think of utilities, our air conditioning system, and maybe even a home’s roof and windows. But what about the doors? It makes sense, this is a unit that opens and closes multiple times a day and if it’s not keeping the elements out, it is probably not keeping the air in. That’s a problem. 

As noted by the U.S. Department of Energy, your home’s exterior doors can contribute to air leakage and energy waste. But there are ways to fix those issues and even potentially earn a rebate for your efforts. Here’s what you need to know. 

Table of Contents

What is door energy-efficiency? 

Door energy-efficiency is when your exterior door can do the following:

  • Make it more difficult for heat or humidity to pass through the doorway
  • Keep heat inside during the winter and cool air inside during the summer
  • Withstand impact from the elements, including UV rays 
  • Cut energy costs
  • Regulate the temperature in your home via the door’s glass 
  • Meet the Environmental Protection Agency’s energy efficiency guidelines

As noted by Energy Star, doors are energy efficient when they utilize features like multiple glass panes, which are sometimes doubled or tripled, to help reduce heat flow. In addition, it has improved core materials like fiberglass, wood cladding and steel with a polyurethane foam core, which the company notes as “the most energy-efficient door materials available today.” Lastly, it has a tighter fit and improved weather stripping, some door frames even featuring a magnetic door frame, which helps reduce air leakage. 

When is it time for a door replacement?

As previously noted by Modernize, long-term exposure to the elements can lead to doors to warp, crack, and unable to properly shut. 

Some signs it is time for a door replacement include cracks along the edges, a worn-out weatherstrip, and feeling a draft or seeing light leak from under the door frame. In addition, there’s the matter of home security. According to USA Today, older doors are often less secure since they lack modern locks and aren’t as thick as new, energy-efficient doors, which are fabricated of tough, insulating materials such as steel. 

What’s more, new doors will deliver a high ROI when it comes time for resale. It’s been noted that curb appeal — which heavily relies on front doors — can boost a home’s value by as much as 12 percent

What are the benefits of considering door energy-efficiency? 

Though they can be more of an investment than a plain front door that lacks energy-efficiency, experts argue that an energy-efficient front door will have a better payoff in the long run. 

As noted by the Seattle Times, an energy-efficient door can last a lifetime and will better protect a home than the alternatives. 

And of course, by better preparing your home for energy efficiency now, Modernize notes your energy bill savings down the line will improve. 

Like any high-end home improvement, there’s potential for additional perks such as rebates on both a local and federal level. 

When planning an energy-efficient door project, we recommend taking the time to investigate programs, such as Energy Star, the U.S. Department of Energy, the Database of State Incentives for Renewables and Energy and Rural Energy for America for information about current programs. Make sure to also call your local city officials and check with a Modernize recommended energy auditor to have a full scope of opportunities available to you for your door energy-efficiency project. 

Next Steps

All in all, there’s a real benefit to exploring door energy-efficiency in your home. 

Besides the always exciting opportunity to change your doorway’s look and add some easy ROI boosting curb appeal, there’s the added bonus of saving money monthly on future electric bills. 

Door energy-efficiency is a serious way to address lingering problems with a home’s performance, like drafts and poor insulation — often without needing so much as a permit. 

And, as always, if the installation process seems intimidating, Modernize can help set you up with a contractor who can help make your curb appeal vision a reality.