What Are the Most Energy Efficient Sliding Glass Doors?

If you’re wondering what the most energy efficient sliding glass doors are, then look no further! Sliding glass doors are attractive for a reason. There’s the gorgeous influx of natural light and the quiet, smooth glide for an easy entry and exit. They are not only perfect for your home, but also for the environment. Here is a guide to the benefits, methods, and tips for getting your home the most energy efficient sliding glass doors. 

man opening sliding glass door to deck

Why Go Energy Efficient With Your Sliding Glass Doors?

Not only can sliding glass doors provide a beautiful view with seamless entry and exit from your home, but they can also serve the environment while saving you energy costs.

Protect the environment with the most energy efficient sliding glass doors. Staying energy-efficient is one of the easiest and most cost-effective ways to protect the environment. The Office of Energy Efficiency & Renewable Energy reports that energy efficiency is “one of the easiest and most cost-effective ways to combat climate change, reduce energy costs for consumers, and improve the competitiveness of U.S. businesses.” 

Reduce energy costs with the most energy-efficient sliding glass doors. Energy-efficient products will use less energy to perform the same result. This means that it will cost less to monitor the heating and cooling inside your house. In addition, energy-efficient products themselves can cost less from their industry and manufacturing plants, which also reduces fuel use and costs.

Understanding Energy Efficiency

Your home’s energy efficiency significantly impacts your monthly expenses and environmental footprint. Improving energy efficiency is crucial for several reasons:

  • Reducing Energy Bills: Energy-efficient homes use less power, leading to lower utility costs.
  • Temperature Regulation: Efficient energy use helps maintain a comfortable temperature year-round.
  • Environmental Impact: By conserving energy, you reduce your carbon footprint and contribute to a healthier planet.

Investing in energy-efficient upgrades can lead to significant improvements in all these areas.

Low energy efficiency means that a substantial portion of the energy used in your home is wasted, often escaping through doors and windows. This inefficiency results in higher energy consumption to maintain warmth and comfort.

Key areas where heat loss occurs are through exterior doors and windows. Ensuring that your sliding or patio doors are energy-efficient can dramatically reduce the energy required to heat your home.

When selecting glass doors, several factors affect their energy efficiency. Understanding these factors can help you choose the best door to enhance your home’s efficiency and comfort.

Choose the Most Energy Efficient Sliding Glass Doors

Products that are energy-efficient won’t shy away from showing it. Here are some labels to look out for as well as materials you should take into consideration to optimize energy efficiency.

Look for the ENERGY STARⓇ label. To get the most energy-efficient sliding glass doors, the key is to check the labels on your product. ENERGY STAR is a voluntary program run by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) that upholds very high energy performance standards. The ENERGY STAR symbol tells us that a product is government-backed for energy efficiency. 

Similarly, the National Fenestration Ratings Council (NFRC) label lets you compare the energy performance of doors. Also set by the EPA, the NFRC label provides performance ratings in 5 categories.

Compare R-values to find the best material. An R-value measures how well a material can insulate temperature. The higher the R-value, the more resistant the material is to heat transfer. This means less heat gain in the summer and less heat loss in the winter. Take this as an example: Fiberglass typically has an R-value of R-6 while wood typically has an R-value around an R-2. Fiberglass, steel, and wood doors would offer little insulation if left hollow. It’s thanks to the insulating foam inside a material that offers better insulation. 

Considering the door frame material. Door framing is key to keeping a well-insulated home. This is particularly important for energy efficiency. Materials with a polyurethane foam core have particularly great insulating capabilities. You can often find polyurethane foam in fiberglass doors, but steel doors can consist of this material as well. Choose the framing for your sliding glass door with intention and in the best interest for your needs. 

  • Wood – Wood framing is the most natural option, making it no surprise that its embodied energy footprint is the lowest. When compared to uninsulated steel or fiberglass doors, wood framing provides better insulation–it has a higher R-value.
  • Steel – Steel has a higher embodied energy footprint, but it also has a higher capacity for insulation. The strength of this material allows for a hollow build, which can be stuffed with insulation material. 
  • Fiberglass – Like steel, fiberglass has high insulation capabilities–especially because of its polyurethane foam. 

Tips for Achieving the Most Energy Efficient Sliding Glass Doors

Besides the labels and build of your door, there are a few additional factors that can take your doors’ energy efficiency to the next level.

Consider the number of glass panes. Our sliding doors are available in 2-panel, 3-panel, and 4-panel configurations. When choosing how many panes to use, consider the differences between the number of glass panes you use.

  • A single-pane glass insert can actually reduce your door’s energy efficiency. While adding glass inserts may enhance the beauty and natural light in your home, a single-pane glass insert can reduce the thermal performance of your door dramatically. The R-value for a quarter of an inch of glass is around 0.90. 
  • A double-paned glass is less likely to leak cold air outside during warmer temperatures, and it is more likely to keep warm air inside during cooler temperatures. 

Other insulating factors include:

  • Low e-glass coatings – Adding these coatings can either maximize solar heat gain into your home (for warmth) or limit the amount of solar heat that passes into your home (for cooling).
  • Weatherstripping – Applying weatherstripping helps your patio doors seal tightly and eliminate any drafts. At Acadian, weatherstripping is a given with our patio doors.

Ultimately, the first step when ensuring the most energy-efficient sliding glass doors is to install them correctly. Installation has a huge impact on their energy efficiency. Without installing your doors correctly, it can cause gaps in framing or fixtures that let in external air and allow heat to escape your home. 

Frequently Asked Questions About Energy-Efficient Sliding Glass Doors

What makes a sliding glass door energy-efficient?

Energy-efficient sliding glass doors are designed with advanced technologies such as low-emissivity (Low-E) glass coatings, multiple panes of glass, and insulated frames. These features work together to minimize heat transfer, keeping your home warmer in the winter and cooler in the summer.

How can energy-efficient sliding glass doors reduce my energy bills?

By reducing the amount of heat that escapes or enters through the door, energy-efficient sliding glass doors decrease the need for heating and cooling. This leads to lower energy consumption and, consequently, lower utility bills.

What are Low-E glass coatings, and why are they important?

Low-E (low-emissivity) glass coatings are thin metallic layers applied to the glass surface. They reflect infrared light, keeping heat inside during winter and outside during summer while allowing natural light to enter. This enhances energy efficiency and helps maintain a comfortable indoor temperature.

How do multiple panes of glass contribute to energy efficiency?

Sliding glass doors with double or triple panes create insulating layers of air or gas between the glass sheets. These layers act as thermal barriers, reducing heat transfer and improving the door’s overall energy efficiency.

What types of frames are best for energy-efficient sliding glass doors?

Frames made from materials with good insulating properties, such as vinyl, fiberglass, or wood composites, are ideal for energy-efficient sliding glass doors. These materials help minimize heat transfer and improve the door’s thermal performance.

How can I tell if a sliding glass door is energy-efficient?

Look for doors with an ENERGY STAR® rating, which indicates they meet strict energy efficiency guidelines set by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Additionally, check the door’s U-factor and Solar Heat Gain Coefficient (SHGC) ratings; lower values indicate better energy performance.

Can upgrading to energy-efficient sliding glass doors increase my home’s value?

Yes, investing in energy-efficient sliding glass doors can enhance your home’s value by improving its energy performance, reducing utility costs, and increasing overall comfort. Potential buyers often view these upgrades as desirable features.

Are there any incentives or rebates available for installing energy-efficient sliding glass doors?

Many utility companies, and state, and federal programs offer incentives or rebates for installing energy-efficient products, including sliding glass doors. Check with your local utility provider or visit the ENERGY STAR® website for information on available programs.

How can I maintain the energy efficiency of my sliding glass doors?

Regular maintenance is crucial for preserving energy efficiency. Ensure that the door seals are intact and free from gaps, clean the glass and frame regularly, and lubricate the tracks to ensure smooth operation. Promptly address any damage to the glass or frame to maintain optimal performance.

Get the Most Energy Efficient Sliding Glass Doors With Acadian Windows

Protect your home while protecting the environment! When replacing your patio doors, keep these tips in mind to achieve the most energy efficient sliding glass doors. Acadian Windows has the best doors in New Orleans, Louisiana, and Mississippi. From project discovery and completion, we’ll keep your home’s best interest at the forefront. Our expert employees follow a documented process that is unique to your needs. 

Your energy-efficient sliding glass doors are not too far away! To get a quote, fill out our online form and be sure to ask your sales consultant about your financing options.