Doors and windows typically account for nearly 30% of a house’s energy loss. New windows and doors on the market have proven to be highly energy efficient.
Energy Efficient Doors
Doors are available that feature sustainable designs, no VOCs, recycled metal and glass, and inert coatings and finishes, yet are highly durable.
Doors should be composed of over 80% recycled content, a standard that makes them ideal for builders seeking certification under the “Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design Green Building Rating System™”, or LEED, a program of the U.S. Green Building Council.
A door, for example, can be manufactured from reclaimed glulam, stile-and-rail cores that are overlaid with recycled Douglas fir. Then, during reclamation, scrap materials can be ground up and donated to agricultural operations for livestock bedding and other uses. Another operation recycles unused Douglas Fir from mills and fuses it with resins and wax to form door panels that outperform wood in tests of weather and time. Other salvaged wood typically comes from barns, fences, and outbuildings. With regard to preventing heat loss, door frames should be airtight, a result of quality construction and installation.
Energy Efficient Windows
With regard to windows, the primary consideration is energy loss. In a new house, for example, windows typically account for 15% to 30% of the total heating load and often over half of the summertime cooling load.
The 1.2 billion residential windows in the United States account for 3.2% of our national energy consumption and 9% of residential energy consumption, according to researchers at the Lawrence Berkeley Laboratory.
Vinyl is the preferred construction material due to its insulating properties and air chambers that provide a formidable barrier to heat transfer. Tests performed to the National Fenestration Rating Council (NFRC) method demonstrates the superiority of vinyl windows versus alternative framing materials.
Additionally, insulated glass with low-E coating and argon gas maximizes energy performance and minimizes sound transmission. Low-E panes block up to 75% of ultraviolet rays that can fade carpets, draperies and artwork. Argon gas, meanwhile, is six times denser than air, greatly improving thermal efficiency.
You Save Green will recommend a variety of doors to clients ensuring that they are being conservation-minded and meet requirements in the You Save Green Program.