Patio doors may be constructed from a broad spectrum of materials. These include glass which is the most common choice, and which may be incorporated as a solid panel or in a multitude of small panels which are set within a frame. If you reside in colder climates, you may consider having your glass double paned, insulated or specially treated such that its able to trap the heat inside your home. Alternatively, you could go for doors made from aluminum and vinyl, which tend to be cheaper options ideal for those working with a tight budget. You should however keep in mind that you get what you pay for and should therefore not expect aluminum or vinyl doors to wear as well as the glass patio doors.
You may not have notice, but your old fashioned patio door is causing you to spend unnecessary energy. Ordinary glass is a notoriously good thermal conductor. During summer months, it can let heat from the outside to travel inside. And when it is winter, it can easily radiate coldness inside and may cause drafts. More heat or cold inside the home during summer or winter translates into more use of air-conditioning or heating systems. That means more energy use and more carbon emission and more expensive electric bills. But these doors are such an elegant household feature that many home owners before are not worried about spending more money for electricity and more energy that would cause more carbon emissions. Some have advocated the use of tinted patio glass doors. While tinted glass may be a good thermal insulator, it would deprive a home owner the most valued asset of this type of door: visual transparency. A patio door that would not allow a home owner to relax inside his home to get an uninterrupted view of his garden or yard would be just the same as a standard entry door.
A visible "kitemark" on the glass is the consumers assurance that the double-glazed unit has been manufactured to British standards. The BSI has numerous standards, including: U-value verification, Window Energy Rating and Window Installation. The lower the U-value, the better the thermal performance and most local authorities will require this to be 1.8 or better to meet building regulations.
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