While you probably don't think about it often, your patio door is an important home feature. It provides convenient access to your patio or deck, has windows that allow more natural light to flood your room, and gives you an impeded view of your backyard. So it's understandable if it isn't easy for you to choose a new patio door. Before you start perusing specialty building supply stores, such as REFCO, for patio doors, take these things into consideration.
Determining what patio door style fits your needs typically comes down to functionality and aesthetics. You should choose a door style that appeals to you visually and functions well for your needs.
Sliding doors are often made using glass panels, so they are a good option for people who want to let a lot of natural light into the room. Also, if you don't have a lot of space, you should consider installing a sliding door. Because it slides open so that it's parallel to the wall, sliding doors won't interfere with things like furniture placement.
Hinged patio doors are similar to standard exterior doors. However, they have large glass panels and are often hung in pairs. There are two types of hinged patio doors: center-hung and French. Center-hung doors are hinged on either side of a centered mullion, while French doors are hinged along the side jamb, giving you an unobstructed view when open.
Folding patio doors are accordion-style doors. The panels fold as you open the door, giving you full access to the outside area. Like French doors, folding patio doors create a wide opening between your home and yard, which is ideal for people who enjoy entertaining on their patio or deck.
There are several factors that determine a patio door's energy efficiency. You can decide what factors are important to you by considering things such as door placement and the climate in your area. You should consider the following:
- The U-factor rating, which measures how well the door prevents heat from escaping your house. The lower the U-factor rating is, the better the door is at preventing heat from escaping. So, if you live in an area that's prone to cold winter weather, you should look for a patio door with a low U-factor rating.
- Whether you want to purchase a door that's made using low-emissive (Low-E) glass. Low-E glass has a thin coating over the glass that allows light to pass through the window, but reflects heat. So, if you live in an area with a hot climate or the door sits in direct sunlight all day, a door with Low-E glass is a good option.
- The Air leakage rating, which tells you the rate of air movement around the door. Patio doors that have a low air leakage rating fit to the frame tighter than those with a higher ranking, preventing unwanted drafts.
Even though there are several different factors to consider before you purchase a patio door, making your decision doesn't have to be difficult. By considering the style of the door and the way it operates and understanding the different ways doors are ranked for energy efficiency, you can easily make an informed decision.