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Now, that as homeowners, we are all paying much more attention to energy efficiency around the home, many people are realizing that some of the older aspects of their house, however charming, are extremely wasteful in this respect and are costing us money just by existing. This can certainly be very true of older sliding glass doors (meaning anything installed before the early 90s basically).
Older sliding glass doors have a terrible tendency to allow a great deal of heat to escape, to let too much cold in in the winter and too much air conditioned cool air out in the summer, all of which can significantly impact the size of your energy bills. And yet often they look so nice it really is hard to think of replacing them.
If you are considering selling your home however energy inefficient anything can be a problem. Savvy homebuyers certainly have energy efficiency in mind and draughty doors, however good looking, will lead to one of two things; the potential buyer will be put off the home altogether, or they will lobby for a price decrease because they exist.
To avoid this some homeowners do make the decision to make the changes themselves instead, before the home goes on the market (with this and many other upgrade issues) But making your home more energy efficient does not have to mean losing all of the lovely, sales boosting aesthetic appeal that your old sliding glass doors have added to your home for so long. Here are some modern, energy efficient, alternatives that will be every bit as attractive, just not so wasteful:
Screened French Doors
The very traditional charm of French glass doors takes on a more practical edge now that many of the best options you can choose are double glazed, to help keep both heat and cool where they belong, in the house, and screened, so that you can throw them open on occasion to enjoy some fresh air and sunshine without having to fear an invasion of bugs.
The only downside of this option is that French doors do eat up rather a lot of floor space when open, so they may not be the best choice for a smaller room.
Screened Patio Glass Doors
For a smaller space, a viable, but still very visually pleasing, alternative to French glass doors are screened patio glass doors. Usually only one door in a pair is actually functional, and the other is fixed, saving floor space inside. The screen is usually a sliding one and is easy to open, while still able to keep all the nasty flying insects and creepy crawlies outside where they belong.
Sliding Glass Doors
Replace sliding glass doors with more sliding glass doors? Why not, especially if you just happen to love the look you have and really do not want to lose it. New, modern sliding glass doors are designed to be far more energy efficient than those created just a decade or so ago, usually every bit as much as standard modern replacement windows are. They also work along a sliding track that is usually a little easier to open and certainly quieter to operate than their older counterparts.
New Glass Door Installation Tips
All of these are great glass door options, but in the end they will only be truly as energy efficient as the labeling suggests if they are properly installed. The easiest way to ensure this is to have a professional window replacement company do the job for you. There are lots of great glass door options available at local home stores though,so the temptation to take on the installation of your new doors as DIY project is very great.
Installing doors of any kind is harder than it looks on the home shows though, and that is especially true when you are dealing with doors that are, in effect, usually made up of 80-90% glass. The glass used in modern doors is designed to be very tough, but it is rarely completely unbreakable, especially if a door is dropped as it is being carried. If you are going to consider installing the new doors yourself, make sure you are confident in your own handyman/handywoman abilities and that you take the time to follow the installation instructions to a tee.