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2 Steps to Choosing Energy-Efficient Patio Doors

Back Patio With Stone Wall
If you are looking to replace your old, unsightly patio doors with a new set of doors, then you are making a great decision. While replacing exterior doors gives you a chance to choose a brand-new design style that improves the appearance of your home, it also gives you a chance to install doors that are more energy efficient.
A lot of homes lose cooled and heated air through drafty patio doorframes and patio door windows with low R-values. Read on to learn two tips to choosing a set of energy-efficient patio doors. 

1. Choose Your Door Frame Design Wisely

The two most popular patio door styles include sliding glass doors and French doors. While there is some debate as to which style is the most energy-efficient, in reality, both types of patio doors can be very energy efficient - when designed correctly. 
For an energy-efficient French door design:
  • Ensure the two door panels meet tightly in the middle, because air leakage between these doors can be a problem.
  • Choose a fiberglass frame, which is much more energy efficient than a solid wood frame. 
  • Have weather stripping applied to the doors to help them seal tightly and eliminate drafts. 
For an energy-efficient sliding glass door design: 
  • Choose a metal frame with a plastic thermal break inside the frame, which increases its insulation value. 
  • Ensure doors are compatible with weather stripping. Older-styles of sliding glass doors were often installed without weather stripping, but weather stripping can be applied to modern door styles. 
  • Look for a sliding glass doorframe with additional thermal foam insulation inside the frame, rails, and stiles. 
To make your patio doorframe as energy efficient as possible, make sure it is installed properly. This is one of the reasons you should have a professional installation expert install your door.  

2. Choose Patio Door Glass With Special Features

Another key to ensuring your new patio door is as energy efficient as possible is choosing the right patio door glass
Select Double-Pane Glass
Be sure to choose double-pane patio door glass instead of single-pane glass. In the summer, half as much outdoor heat will pass through double-pane windows into your home; and in the winter, half as much heat will pass through the window out of your home. This can help keep your heating bills low in the winter and air-conditioning bills low in the summer.
Also, choose double-pane glass with an argon or krypton gas between the two panes of glass to increase the insulative value of the window even more.
When homeowners make the switch from single-pane to double-pane windows in their homes, they typically see a reduction in home energy usage of 24 percent in the winter and 18 percent in the summer.  
Add a Low-E Window Coating
Low-E glass is coated with a layer of fine metallic particles that reflect heat back outside in the summer and into your home in the winter. Glass professionals estimate that a Low-E coating provides added insulation to a window that is comparable to adding a full extra pane of glass to the window. 
There are two types of Low-E glass: hard coat and soft coat. Hard coat Low-E glass has a layer of fine metallic particles applied to the outer surface of the glass, while soft coat Low-E glass has a layer of metallic particles sandwiched between the two panes of a double-pane window. 
Both Low-E coatings increase window insulation, although soft coat Low-E glass typically offers a bit more insulation than hard coat Low-E glass. 
If you are replacing your patio doors, then keep these tips in mind to ensure your doors don't just improve the curb appeal of your home, but also increase its energy efficiency. Reach out to All American Glass for all of your home window and glass needs.