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The importance of entry door insulation in cutting energy costs

By replacing your old and worn-out entry door and by selecting the right materials and ensuring proper installation, heating costs can be reduced significantly while at the same time contributing to the protection of the environment.

Thermal insulated external doors UK | PIRNAR

An external door plays an important role when it comes to thermal losses. Studies have shown that more energy will dissipate through poorly insulated entry doors and windows than through uninsulated walls. Because of this, an entry door is one of the key elements that should meet all of the requirements of the Energy Saving Ordinance (EnEV). By replacing your old and worn-out entry door and by selecting the right materials and ensuring proper installation, heating costs can be reduced significantly while at the same time contributing to the protection of the environment.

What makes energy efficiency so important?

Energy production is based on precious, limited natural sources from the environment. Today, 20% of the world’s population consumes as much as 75% of all resources. In Slovenia, a significant portion of energy is used for heating. When it comes to heating, energy losses constitute the largest portion of costs.

The economic use of energy and conservation are connected to the sustainable use of natural resources as well as the optimization of the ever-increasing costs of living. By reducing energy consumption particularly where such optimization does not affect the quality of living and requires no particular sacrifices to be made, each and every individual can contribute to a more optimal use of natural resources. In recent years, the efforts to improve energy efficiency have been focusing primarily on improving the reliability of energy supply and the development of alternative energy sources as well as measures for the more rational and careful use of energy. The calls for more effective energy use are becoming a constant in our everyday lives. If we don’t take a (more) responsible stance when it comes to energy use, there is legitimate concern that, in the long run, we will become unable to produce sufficient energy for all of the Earth’s inhabitants.

Energy savings don’t lead to a reduced level of comfort

Many still understand energy conservation as giving up some degree of comfort, sacrificing the current lifestyle and standard of living as well as the introduction of drastic changes into daily habits. Today, that’s a thing of the past. In practice, improved energy efficiency means that the impact or result of the improved energy function of a specific product or device should be maintained or even improved since such a product or device, as a rule, featuring improved energy efficiency is generally of higher quality compared to similar outdated products before energy optimization. Apprehension and concerns about reduced comfort are therefore completely unfounded.

Energy savings significantly impact environmental protection

In Slovenia, a significant portion of locally produced energy is still obtained from invaluable natural sources such as coal, gas and oil. The burning of these three fundamental natural sources emits carbon dioxide, which is the biggest source of detrimental environmental changes.

Because in Slovenia, heating systems in most building are powered by wood biomass, oil, electricity or gas, we have listed a number of examples of how to save a buck while at the same time contribute to environmental preservation:

  • If every house heated with gas were properly sealed and optimally thermally insulated, the conserved natural gas could be used to heat an additional four million houses on an annual basis.
  • As much as 60% households in Slovenia receive sufficient sunlight that could be used in household heating.
  • Alongside windows, old and poorly insulated entry doors are one of the main culprits for thermal losses in households, surpassing even poorly insulated walls.
  • Replacing a worn-out entry door with a new one with better insulation properties can reduce heating costs by up to 10%.

Modern, quality and energy-efficient entry doors lead to energy savings

The key function of every type of thermal insulation in buildings is to retain heat on the inside and to prevent so-called heat losses. The term heat loss categorizes the loss of the heat that escapes a building uncontrollably.

When it comes to thermal insulation, we usually first think of quality insulation, rendering, even windows; but we tend to forget about entry doors. Significant ventilation heat losses also occur as a result of poor-quality or worn-out entry doors. An entry door is a vital element of every building. The proper thermal insulation of a building may only be achieved by selecting a quality entry door made from suitable materials which also meet the highest energy standards. Only a modern, energy-efficient entry door can significantly contribute to reducing energy consumption and improve the energy efficiency of your home.

In recent years, modern trends in architecture dictate the extensive use of high quality aluminium in stand-alone houses while the material’s modern appearance and various surface finish options aren’t the only reasons for the popularity of aluminium entry doors. Aluminium is the most environmentally friendly material because it is infinitely recyclable and has the most favourable properties: it is light, corrosion resistant, suitable for accurate processing and extremely durable (won’t bend or deform even in fluctuating temperatures or because of moisture). It is practically indestructible and extremely easy to maintain. At the same time, aluminium is considered a highly energy efficient material.

Of course, for the viewpoint of the energy efficiency of buildings, it is vital that the insulation of the selected entry door corresponds to other windows and doors as well as the building itself. However, quality entry doors will come to life in all of their functionality only when professionally and properly installed.

Selecting an energy efficient door

An entry door that complements the home has a number of important functions, among other providing for the optimum thermal insulation of a house. When selecting a door, it’s important to consider its thermal insulation capacity in connection to their function.

In most cases, interior doors require no additional thermal insulation because temperature variations between individual rooms are minuscule.

This even applies, in specific cases, to entry doors in apartment buildings featuring the heating of common areas, corridors and staircases.

A completely different story are doors which delimit the inside from the outside, namely every door leading to the outside. In the case of entry doors in stand-alone houses, the temperature differences between the interior and exterior are substantial. Entry doors are major sources of thermal losses and result in substantially higher heating costs.

Thermal losses are primarily the result of poor sealing and improper entry door installation. Another source of preventable thermal losses is also the unsuitable door profile. In certain entry door models fitted with glass panels, it should be pointed out that some heat will unavoidably dissipate through them. So when opting for glass, always choose multi-layer glazing or insulated glass designed specifically to mitigate thermal losses.

If you are choosing a new entry door, find a product that offers a high degree of thermal insulation, helping you reach the return on your investment on account of lower costs and at the same time contributing to protecting the environment.

The key constituents impacting the thermal insulation of an entry door

When selecting a new entry door to help mitigate thermal losses and optimize heating costs, you should consider several factors that also affect an entry door’s heat insulation, specifically:

  • Material
  • Thickness
  • Profile
  • Jamb material
  • Jamb thickness
  • Proper sealing
  • Heat insulation properties
  • Thermal bridge

An additional seal can be provided by a high, thermally insulated sill made from aluminium or plastic, reducing thermal losses. The quality insulation of your entry door will not only improve the thermal comfort of your home, but also reduce your heating bill.

Understanding thermal insulation markings of individual entry doors

An entry door’s thermal insulation capacity is expressed by the thermal transmittance rate (Ud). The recommended thermal transmittance rates of front doors measure between Ud 0.54W/m2 and up to 1.3W/m2. A lower Ud value constitutes better thermal insulation. Of course, the values also depend on the size and dimension of individual entry door models.

All Pirnar entry doors boast high thermal efficiency, featuring the world’s first solution offering maximum thermal insulation developed in-house. Our doors offer the lowest thermal transmittance rates – as low as U = 0.54W/m2.

Alongside energy conservation, a door’s acoustic insulation is just as important

In recent years, there has been plenty of talk about environmental awareness in connection to thermal insulation. However, acoustic insulation is mentioned far more rarely, even though acoustic comfort is of vital importance to both health and wellbeing.

Namely, the quick pace of living has brought drastic change to the modern acoustic environment that surrounds us. All of a sudden, we have found ourselves in an environment where we are surrounded by a myriad of sounds and noises from the urban environment. Noise intrudes our homes not only from the street, but also from other neighbouring apartments. Our primary habitats no longer offer the needed relaxations, peace and comfort.

Noise pollution is made up of irritating, undesired sounds that negatively affect our acoustic comfort. Daily and lasting exposure to environmental noise will have a detrimental impact on health. The quality of living is reduced, which in turn negatively affects our general wellbeing. Studies have shown that our health is also impacted by the noise that we don’t actually perceive consciously. Noise oscillates through our living areas, spreads through the air and enters walls, the ceiling as well as the floor. This means that a building’s acoustic insulation boils down particularly to wall thickness. Namely, massive walls are better at reflecting sound. However, noise also spreads through doors and windows, so their roles in a building’s acoustic insulation are not to be taken lightly. Alongside thermal insulation, a quality entry door also provides maximum acoustic protection. A similar fundamental rule that applies to walls also holds true for entry doors: a massive wall is better at reflecting sound while the door’s insulation is also impacted by its base weight – the best sound insulation properties are guaranteed by heavy, massive or double-leaf doors.

Particular attention should also be devoted to the correct and professional door installation; if not installed correctly, even the most prestigious door won’t guarantee the expected results.

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