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Blog | Doors, Energy Efficiency, Windows | Sliding Your Way to Energy Efficiency and Security

Sliding Your Way to Energy Efficiency and Security

March 15th, 2010

Here at Primary Seal we get a lot of customers that come in and ask about replacing their doors. Many people, we’ve noticed, wish to have a beautiful front door with elegant glass and classy paneling. Often the doors they currently own are not terrible from an energy standpoint but they have become an eyesore. However, we rarely hear customers asking to replace their patio doors unless they feel there is something wrong with the door. Because these doors are located at the back of the house they seem to also find themselves in the back of the minds of consumers when they are planning home improvement renovations. This is unfortunate, as replacing a patio door is for the most part less expensive than a front door and can offer significant energy savings and a noticeable increase in ease of use and appearance.

The first problem with old patio doors is the frame. The majority of older patio doors are made with an aluminum or wood frame. The wood frame is prone to warping and rotting, while the aluminum frame conducts the heat and cold with little resistance. Also, the majority of older patio doors are made with several pieces of single tempered glass that offers little protection from the elements though is fairly resistant to impact. The track or sliding system of the doors is somewhat crude, making for difficult operation of the door. However, one of the biggest weaknesses of older patio doors is their lack of security. Most of the doors are equipped with primitive locking systems and were it not for the old cut off hockey stick at the bottom of the door the level of safety the older doors provide would be limited at best.

Newer patio doors have several advantages. First, a steel-reinforced vinyl frame allows for a good amount of rigidity while insulating your home from the elements. All new patio doors that Primary Seal carries are Energy Star rated for all four climate zones in North America and come standard with double pane thermal Low-E glass. The glass is also tempered for safety. Door operation is made easy by a raised track with a four-roller system that allows the door to glide effortlessly even though its weight is substantially greater than its single pane ancestors. Last but not least, security comes in several forms including a decent standard lock and options for a externally keyed lock (great for people who want to leave through the back door like those who live downtown and have their garage in the back of the house) as well as a multi-point locking system. Also, several “night-time” safety systems exist which are both elegant (no hockey sticks) and extremely resilient, not to mention inexpensive.

Often, for half the price of a front door, you can improve your energy efficiency, comfort and safety. A new sliding patio door will leave you feeling great while still leaving something in your pocket. Feel free to ask us any questions you may have about patio doors or check out our website for more information.

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