Keeping your home nice and toasty isn’t easy and above all else it isn’t cheap. Over winter periods large proportions of your monthly outgoings can be allocated just to gas and electric bills.
We all know that there are certain parts of the home that hemorrhage heat; the loft, walls, our windows. However a typically unknown fact is that our front doors can account for up to 12% of our home’s total heat loss. A staggering amount really.
Doors aren’t typically the first area of the home addressed when we are trying to conserve energy at home. Rightly insulating the roof/loft should come first, but following that your front door should be a serious consideration. Buying a door (much like all home improvement purchases) is fraught with decisions; colour, style, size, material etc. However the most important variable should be the U-value rating.
Not 100% sure what a U-value is? Hopefully we can shed some light on it and explain why it is so important to keeping your home warm.
What is a U-value?
U-values are the measurement of the rate of heat loss through a material. When applied to doors this basically means the lower the u-value the less heat is lost through it. Having as low a rating will mean you need to use less energy to heat the same space…
What is an acceptable U-value figure?
Since October 2010 in the UK all replacement doors should by law adhere to a U-value rating of 1.8W/m2K, which is essentially the same as window. As with all manufactured products there are variations in the quality of doors, so make sure to aim as low (close to 0) as possible.
How can you tell what U-value your new door is?
It is actually law now for door manufacturers to detail the exact U-value rating at either the point of sale (like a fridge) or provide you with a certificate post installation/purchase. Unfortunately waiting until installation leaves you at a bit of a loss. Our advice is to find a manufacturer that provides explicit details of your U-value whilst you are either configuring the door or prior to you parting with cash.
Unfortunately for most consumers, knowing about U-value ratings comes prior to purchasing when it should form a large part of your decision. Obviously your door buying decision won’t be based solely on U-values but knowing you will have to spend a little bit less every month will surely make an impact.
What makes U-value the key to keeping your home warm is that through your front door you have a relatively easy and straightforward route to improving your home’s efficiency. Compared to insulation and changing windows; fitting a new door is a quick and painless process.
Combine ease of installation with the fact that your home is your biggest opportunity to reduce your carbon footprint; and it stands to reason that in order to tackle both growing energy bills and our ever increasing carbon footprint; your front door should be your primary DIY focus.
This information relating to U-values and their application to doors is brought to you by Yale Composite Front Doors. Yale Door manufacture low U-value exterior doors which are available across the UK. Yale Door’s door configurator can tell you your exact U-value rating prior to purchase.