News from the Tennessee Valley State, Local and National news
FRIDAY, APRIL 20, 2007

Patio doors can save on home's energy bills

Dear Jim: We have an old sliding patio door. It is chilly near it during winter and hot during summer. There always is a draft around it and outdoor noise comes through. What type of door should I replace it with? - Ron A.

Dear Ron: The problems you describe are typical with an old sliding patio door. In a home of average efficiency, that one old sliding glass door can waste more energy than all the walls in that room combined. The discomfort near it often makes you set the thermostat higher during winter or lower during summer which further increases your utility bills.

There have been tremendous improvements in the energy efficiency, security and styling of replacement patio doors. Some new high-tech glass in these doors has an insulation valve as high as R-10 and it blocks the majority of the sun's fading ultraviolet rays. This results in a huge energy savings.

The first thing your family will notice when a new efficient patio door is installed is the reduced outdoor noise heard in the room. Noise enters a home through the glass panes and around the frame through air leaks. The new weatherstripping greatly reduces air leakage and the multipane glass with heavy inert gas between the panes blocks sound wave transmission.

Although any type of efficient door can be installed, most people replace an old sliding glass door with either another sliding door or French doors. Each has its advantages depending upon your desired balance between functionality and style.

French doors are more stylish and provide a more airtight seal. They swing open easily, but do require a large area for swinging clearance. Sliding doors are more convenient to operate and provide a more unobstructed view of the outdoors.

Most door manufacturers allow you to order almost any type of glass you want. The minimum efficiency level you should select is double-pane glass with a low-emissivity coating and argon gas between the panes.

Send inquiries to James Dulley, The Decatur Daily, 6906 Royalgreen Drive, Cincinnati, OH 45244 or visit

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