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Are Sliding Glass Doors Energy Efficient? Maintenance Tips!

“Are sliding glass doors energy efficient?” is a question that exists in the home-improvement community since most people try to approach both the aesthetics and functionality of their living spaces. Sliding doors, with their sleek design and expansive views, are undeniably charming, but do they live up to modern energy-saving standards? As energy costs rise and environmental consciousness grows, understanding the efficiency of these architectural elements has become essential. So, join this discussion to discover the nuances of sliding door efficiency with us and learn actionable tips to optimize the performance of your sliding glass door. 

Are Sliding Glass Doors Energy Efficient?

Yes, modern sliding glass doors can indeed be energy efficient, especially when designed with advanced technologies and materials.

There are certain factors that enhance and maintain the energy efficiency of your sliding glass door. Move on to the points mentioned below. 

  1. Double or Triple Pane Glass: These configurations, unlike single pane glass, trap inert gas (often argon) between the panes. This design significantly reduces heat transfer, ensuring indoor spaces remain cool in summer and warm in winter.
  2. Low-E Coating: Low-emissivity (Low-E) coatings are microscopic layers applied to the glass. They reflect infrared light, preventing heat absorption and UV rays from entering the home. Thus, you have the best of both worlds; the indoor temperature will be well-maintained while your furniture is protected from sun damage. 
  3. Weatherstripping: Effective weatherstripping around the sliding door prevents drafts and minimizes the escape of conditioned air, bolstering energy efficiency.
  4. Thermal Breaks: These are barriers within the door frame, usually made from insulating plastic, that disrupt the path of heat transfer, ensuring a higher degree of thermal insulation.
  5. Frame Material: Materials like vinyl or fiberglass have inherent insulating properties, making them more energy-efficient compared to traditional materials like aluminum.
  6. Proper Installation: Last but not least, proper installation will truly affect the energy efficiency of your sliding glass door. If it is done incorrectly, the door can malfunction, so the energy will be wasted. 

How Much Do Energy-efficient Sliding Glass Doors Cost?

Energy-efficient sliding glass doors can cost from $500 to $5,000, depending on various factors. They are as follows:

  1. Materials

  • Vinyl or fiberglass frames are generally more cost-effective than wooden or aluminum ones. However, their energy-saving benefits can justify the price.
  1. Glass Type

  • Doors with Low-E coatings or triple-pane glass might be pricier, but remember that they offer better energy efficiency.
  1. Brand and Quality

  • Premium brands or higher-end models naturally come with a heftier price tag due to their enhanced features and durability, while cheaper products have a lower price.
  1. Installation

  • Costs can also vary based on installation complexities or if custom adjustments are required.

In essence, while upfront costs for energy-efficient sliding glass doors might seem higher, the long-term energy savings can offset the initial investment, making them a value-for-money proposition.

How Can I Make My Sliding Door Energy Efficient

How Can I Make My Sliding Door Energy Efficient?

Several enhancements and modifications can make your sliding door energy efficient. So you will not have to replace the entire unit.

These are the effective steps to enhance energy efficiency.

  1. Use Thermal Curtains: Thermal or blackout curtains, when closed, can act as an insulating barrier, reducing heat transfer and maintaining indoor temperatures.
  2. Weatherstripping: Refreshing or adding weatherstripping around the door seals gaps, preventing drafts and ensuring that conditioned air stays inside.
  3. Add Window Films: Window films, especially those with Low-E properties, can be applied to the glass. The specialty of these films is that they can reflect heat and UV rays, aiding in temperature regulation.
  4. Upgrade to Double or Triple Pane Glass: If your door currently has single-pane glass, consider upgrading. Multiple panes filled with inert gas, like argon, offer superior insulation.
  5. Adjust and Maintain the Rollers: Misaligned or worn-out rollers might create gaps at the bottom, allowing drafts. So, you have to ensure that the door rolls smoothly and sits flush with the frame is crucial.
  6. Install a Draft Stopper: Placed along the bottom track, draft stoppers or door sweeps block cold air from entering and warm air from escaping.
  7. Regular Maintenance: Cleaning and lubricating the tracks, ensuring no obstructions, and periodically checking for gaps or cracks can help maintain energy efficiency. Indeed, regular maintenance is as important as adding another component. 
  8. Opt for Energy-Efficient Frames: If considering a partial upgrade, choose frames made of insulating materials like vinyl or fiberglass over aluminum.
  9. Consider Door Position: North or south-facing doors experience different sun exposures than those facing east or west. Using external shading, like awnings or pergolas, based on your door’s orientation can reduce heat intake.

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Video Credits – FHIA Remodeling – Florida’s Trusted Experts

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