I'm considering replacing the front door, and I'd like to know what to look for to get the most insulation. When shopping for doors, I'm not sure what I should be looking at to determine which doors will provide adequate insulation. I live in New York, so the winters can be quite cold.

What should I be looking at, to figure out if a door has adequate insulation?

  • 1
    Impossible to say what door would be 'best' for you. In general, though, simply look for 'insulated exterior doors'. They are typically steel or fiberglass exteriors with a foam-base core.
    – DA01
    Dec 17, 2012 at 3:02

1 Answer 1


All doors will come with a rated R-value or U-factor (sometimes called U-value). The higher the R-value the better the insulation. The lower the U-factor the better the insulation. Even doors that qualify for Energy Star certification come in a wide range of insulative capacity. I would simply go to your local lumber yard and speak there to a window/door salesperson. He or she will be willing to work with you to find a door or doors that fit your budget, aesthetic sensibilities, and desire for better insulated doors.

One thing to note - it doesn't matter how good the R-value of the slab if the door isn't installed properly with effective weatherstripping. Also note that at some point there will always be a compromise between the tightness of the fit and operability.

Here's a website that explains more about doors and insulation: http://www.green3dhome.com/YourHouse/Exterior/Doors.aspx

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