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Entry Doors: Insulation, Security, Light & Durability

Exterior Door Buying Guide - The Home Depot


Exterior doors must withstand all types of weather. They must also insulate your home from heat, cold and noise, and boost energy efficiency.

  • Fiberglass and steel doors generally insulate better than wood.
  • Some doors have foam insulation within the door itself, which is particularly important for keeping a house warm in cold climates.
  • Weather-stripping around a door helps prevent drafts.
  • To cut down on heat loss, consider features such as double-paned glass.

Exterior Door Buying Guide - The Home Depot


Exterior doors are heavier than interior doors that close off rooms or closets, and they have three hinges for extra strength, compared to two hinges for interior doors.

  • Steel doors offer the greatest security against forced entry.
  • Always use a deadbolt lock on entry doors.
  • To maximize security, add door chains or install an all-metal security door over your entry door.

Exterior Door Buying Guide - The Home Depot


  • Decorative glass panels placed within a door enhance its beauty, let in natural light and allow for a view.
  • Attractive sidelights or transoms (windows set over the door itself) create a custom look.
  • Some models include low-emissivity (low-e) coatings to help filter harmful UV rays that can fade your upholstery or flooring.
  • Options include tempered, impact-resistant glass; glass that limits UV rays and glass that helps muffle sound.

Exterior Door Buying Guide - The Home Depot


  • Fiberglass doors are virtually maintenance-free; they'll never rust and offer the longest life.
  • Tough steel doors resist warping, rotting and cracking for years of life with little maintenance.
  • High-quality finishes are available to help preserve the durability and beauty of wood doors.

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