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Are pocket doors energy efficient?

Managing the temperature of our home is not simply about being warm and comfortable, increasingly we are also looking to control our energy usage. This is helped by smart technology, which enables us to programme heating with more control and gives us the ability to match our heating needs more closely to our lifestyle. But we can also incorporate energy efficiency into our interior design, in terms of using materials which have better insulating properties and are better made. In addition, we can also incorporate innovative designs which allow us to manage space better and heat requirements, and this is where the pocket door is an ideal solution.

Energy efficiency - Pocket doors versus traditional doorsare pocket doors energy efficient?

Pocket doors have made a 21st century comeback, and that is not just because people have a hunger for quirky retro fashions, it is also because the pocket door has practical qualities which enable a more efficient use of space. People are able to use pocket doors so that smaller spaces become more useful. Because the pocket door doesn’t encroach into a room this frees up space you otherwise couldn’t use, and means the home becomes more functional and practical, and dead space becomes more useful, for example, for a downstairs toilet, a home office or an en-suite bathroom.

In terms of energy efficiency, however, the pocket door enables you to incorporate zoning into your interior design. This is where you maintain different rooms at different temperatures, and the pocket door is ideal for zoning off spaces to create a temporary barrier when you are not using that space. In the home, this could be creating a partition between a living room and a dining room. So on a winter’s evening your family will be sat in the living room which is nice and warm and temperature-controlled, and the pocket door zones-off the dining room, which you might not use again until a big family Sunday lunch. This dining room can be kept at a lower temperature during the week, and even on a Sunday, because when you open up the pocket door it will allow warm air from the rest of the house to circulate into the room. You can do the same when rooms link to your kitchen or a conservatory. 

Another major difference between pocket doors and traditional doors, and which helps energy efficiency, is how they each open. A traditional door swings into a room on a hinge, and therefore when it is partially open an arced gap appears along the vertical edge and along the top edge. However, because a pocket door runs along an overhead rail and into a pocket, when it is partially opened, a gap only appears along the vertical edge, and which you can control according to how ‘open’ you want the door to be. So there is reduced air exchange and hence less heat loss when partially opening a pocket door, and it is easier to manage air temperature with a pocket door, in instances where you wish to keep it partially open.

Other energy-efficiency qualities of the pocket doorenergy efficient pocket doors

The idea that pocket doors are flimsy designs which leave large gaps around the edges is an outdated viewpoint, not only because modern pocket doors are made from quality materials, but because pocket doors are generally the same doors we would use as a traditional door. Pocket doors are typically between 35mm to 44mm in thickness, and as long as you select the correct size door for the opening you have, then there should be no gaps which enable heat and energy loss.

Furthermore, you can add features which ensure your pocket door creates a robust seal to prevent any heat escape. These features are as much to satisfy soundproofing requirements as they are to improve energy efficiency, but they do have a dual purpose in this respect.

The Eclisse pocket door rollers are also designed to ‘click’ into the adjustable stop located in the track when opening and closing the door, therefore preventing the door unnecessarily rolling open if the kit isn’t installed plum and level.

You can also add self-closing accessories, which can be retro-fitted to a pocket door to ensure that a door automatically closes after it has been opened, and therefore can’t be left open. It is common for children to leave doors ajar when they pass through, and you may be required to carry items through a door regularly, meaning you don’t have a free hand to shut the door. A self-closing feature ensures that the door closes after you have passed through and this minimises heat and energy loss in the room.

It is worth noting that the insulating properties of glass pocket doors are not as effective as wooden pocket doors, but otherwise, the pocket door has several features and properties which enhances its energy efficiency, and indeed makes it more energy efficient than a traditional hinged door. And adding this to its ability to zone-off rooms and control temperatures more carefully, means the pocket door is a great way to manage your energy usage and your fuel bills.     

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