How to Pick the Perfect Patio Door

By NanaWall Systems, September 25, 2012

Check out this quick guide to picking the perfect patio door, inspired by Fine Homebuilding magazine. Many homeowners and business owners are unsure what differentiates one door from another. Usually, their top concern is having a large expanse of glass that provides open views and looks aesthetically pleasing. However, it’s just as important to ensure that the door provides protection and security from high winds, drenching rains, or intruders. Here’s how to find a door that performs as well as it promises. What to Look At:

  • U-Values – The lower the u-value, the greater the window’s resistance to heat flow and the better its insulating properties. Look for doors with u-value of 0.3 or lower. example: WA67 folding system
  • SHGC Rating – This important piece of info measures how much solar heat the glass admits. Cold-climate homes should have an SHGC of 0.39 or higher. Warm-climate homes are comfortable at 0.30 and under. example: WD66 folding system

"When checking the u-values and SHGC, look for the NFRC certified stamp, to make sure the measurements are for the whole door, including the glazing, frame and spaces, not just for the center of glass"

  • In-swing or outswing? Inswing is more common in colder regions, where snow and ice buildup can make a door difficult or impossible to open. Outswing performs well in high-wind areas. Or use a single track sliding system
  • Multipoint locking is important on exterior patio doors. The additional locking points boost security and weather resistance.
  • High-quality ball bearings that make sliding easy, even when there's dirt or debris in the track.

On a related note, what is Passive House? Only a few high-performance products in the United States meet the grade for Passive House, where airtight and weather resistance are taken to the highest level. They use triple-glazing and precision hardware to bring u-values down to 0.15 or below – like the WA67 folding system from NanaWall – the first folding glass system in North America to meet Passive House standards! Can you think of other criteria for picking the perfect patio door? Share your ideas below!