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Origin Doors

< Advice Centre

Thermal efficiency FAQs

Are bi-fold doors cold?

Since bi-fold doors consist of large panels of glass it’s natural to think they could be cooler than a traditional door or wall. However, glass is actually extremely thermally efficient – it is typically the aluminum profile that requires specialist design in order to maintain thermally efficiency.

Quality bi-fold manufacturers have invested significantly in research and development to ensure aluminum bi-fold doors keep heat inside your home.

The Energy Star-rated Origin Bi-fold Door is thermally broken with polyamide to prevent heat escaping from inside the home. This thermal break can be found inside the aluminum profile of your doors.

If fitted with double or triple glazing your home will be perfectly warm and cozy with bi-fold doors installed.

What does “thermally broken” mean?

Aluminum is a natural conductor, meaning that when the temperature is hot outside the heat can be transferred into the home, and when it’s cold the heat can be drawn out. Aluminum doors need to be fitted with a thermal break to prevent this from happening.

The thermal break separates the interior and exterior parts of the metal door frame and is made from polyamide (plastic), which is far less conductive than aluminum. This break prevents the conductive thermal energy loss and helps to keep your home warm in winter and cool in summer.

Are bi-fold doors drafty?

No, quality bi-fold doors are not drafty if installed correctly, which is why we always recommend using an Origin Accredited Partner to install your doors, who receive specialized training for Origin products.

The thermal break engineered into the Origin Bi-fold Door is just one feature that prevents drafts. A weathered threshold will tightly seal the door to prevent any cold drafts and the door has passed extensive tests for airtightness, water tightness, wind resistance and hurricane resistance.

What does U-factor mean and why does it matter?

The U-factor is a measurement used to rate thermal efficiency in the building industry. It indicates how good an insulator a certain material is. The U-factor is a major consideration when choosing your doors as it has a direct impact on how much heat your home will lose and what effective this could have on your energy bills.

The lower the U-factor, the better the insulator. When choosing bi-fold doors you should look for low U-factors, but be aware that some businesses will publish only the U-factor of the center pane because this is lower than the overall figure. What really matters is the overall U-factor of the entire bi-fold door system.

What U-factor does an Origin Bi-fold Door have?

The Origin Bi-fold Door has a U-factor of 0.34 on double-glazed doors and 0.27 on triple-glazed doors. Its great insulation has helped to reduce energy bills by an average of 12% when replacing old doors. So you not only save energy, reduce your carbon footprint and keep warm, you also save money.

Does the thermal break mean it will be too warm in summer?

No, the thermal break functions to keep warmth in when its cold outside, and cool when it’s warm outside. Without the thermal break, the aluminum would conduct heat from outside and transfer it inside; with the break installed, heat will be kept out, keeping your home nice and cool.

Double and triple glazing also helps. The space between the panes prevents the flow of heat from outside to in, because there are fewer particles within the gaps to be able to transfer the heat energy.

What glazing option is best for thermal efficiency?

Single-glazed glass is not recommended. Double glazing offers excellent thermal efficiency and meets the needs of most homes, even those location in especially hot or cold climates. Triple glazing is available, and as expected, technically offers marginally better efficiency, but will be more expensive.

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