Location and Light
Where you build your home, how it's positioned on the lot, the directions your windows face and how much overhang covers your entry doors are all matters to consider before you lay the foundation. The placement of windows and glass doors on certain walls can determine the kind of natural light that enters into your home, and even the temperature inside your home.
- South-facing windows are well suited to invite beneficial solar heat in the winter.
- North-facing windows do not typically bring in direct sunlight or solar heat but rather cooler, muted light.
- East- and west-facing windows tend to receive more sunshine in the summer than in the winter, potentially bringing extreme solar heat gain.
- All windows can receive solar heat from reflective surfaces or can be shaded by trees or neighboring structures.
South-, southwest-, southeast- or west-facing windows will be more susceptible to solar heat gain, depending on shading conditions such as trees, adjacent buildings, overhanging rooflines or awnings. If you live in a climate where you heat your home more than you cool it, then high solar heat gain (0.30 – 0.60) on these windows can be beneficial. If you live in a climate where you cool your home more than you heat it, then you will want to limit the amount of solar gain (less than 0.30). JELD-WEN offers glass packages that can achieve high, moderate or low solar heat gain. The most convenient way to get the right window for your climate is to buy windows that are ENERGY STAR® qualified for your climate zone.
Coastal and Humid Climates
Climates that are wet or humid can be a challenge, requiring more maintenance on windows and doors, including regular repainting and touch-ups. Windows that won't need painting, such as vinyl, and wood windows with exterior metal cladding, are good choices. Hardware can also be damaged. For lasting performance including resistance to damage by sea air and harsh coastal conditions, choose coastal hardware for your windows and doors.
JELD-WEN Wood windows and patio doors made with AuraLast® Wood are guaranteed not to rot for 20 years and offer superior resistance to moisture saturation.
Lighthouses are constantly exposed to the rigors of coastal weather—as such, they are great places to test the reliability of windows and doors. After all, if windows and doors withstand the elements in lighthouses, they’ll perform in your home too. Read more about JELD-WEN’s Reliable Lighthouse Restoration Initiative.
In hurricane-prone regions, not just any window will do. You want to choose windows that are engineered to stand up to the conditions. Products like our windows with optional ImpactGard® protection are designed to resist impacts from windborne debris and keep windows sealed and intact during storms.
For storm preparedness tips, watch this video.
For JELD-WEN window and door products and building code information that is specific to your region, visit our coastal product ratings and approvals page.
When dealing with harsh sun exposure or exceptionally hot or extreme cold conditions, the right glass can help. Choosing energy efficient insulated Low-E glass, which reduces the amount of heat entering or leaving the home, helps maintain interior temperatures. In addition to lowering cooling and heating needs, it also blocks up to 85 percent of harmful UV rays that cause interior carpet and furniture fading.
Protecting Your Exterior Door
The protection you provide to your exterior door is a major factor in its maintenance requirements and longevity. To adequately protect your door and extend its life, several factors must be considered: material, climate, exposure, color choice and the use of a storm door. Wood doors, for example, are more susceptible to the elements than steel or fiberglass.
Following are some guidelines for overhangs that will help you improve the long-term performance of your entry door.
An overhang, as shown, is a necessity to prolong the life of wood doors and is beneficial for steel and fiberglass doors. Overhangs protect the door's finish, minimize the need for refinishing and help keep the elements out of the home.
To determine the correct overhang, the following formula can be used for most climates: D (Depth) = 1/2H (Height). For example, if the measurement from the base of the door to the bottom of the overhang is 10 feet, then the overhang should extend at least 5 feet. This formula can change based on the climate and the direction the door faces.
Also consider the variables specific to your region. Both the climate and the directions your doors face play a key role in determining the proper overhang. Typically, southern and western exposures are harshest. Facing south, the door is subjected to sun from sunrise to sunset. Facing west, the door receives sunlight in the hottest part of the day.
- Without adequate overhangs, doors with southern, southwestern, southeastern and western exposures will require more frequent maintenance. Even with overhangs, products such as wood doors may still need to be refinished every two to five years.
- Color choice may also affect how quickly the exterior of the door weathers in extreme climates. In general, darker colors absorb more heat than lighter colors, since light colors help reflect the heat and slow down heat buildup. Depending on the exposure and environment, other precautions (such as overhangs) should be taken to protect the door from the effects of the sun.
- A storm door provides additional protection for an exterior door in many climates. It shelters the door primarily from rain and wind, though a storm door with dual-pane Low-E glass will also block UV rays. In hot climates, adding a storm door may not be a good choice, as heat builds up between the two doors and can cause substantial damage like warping, color fading, and wood joint separation.
The information contained on this page is provided solely for general informational and/or educational purposes, and may not be applicable to all products, applications, climates, and other factors. Please consult with your licensed contractor, architect, dealer or local building code official for information relevant to your geographic region and project. JELD-WEN makes no representation or warranty that this information is applicable for your circumstances. JELD-WEN disclaims all liability associated with the use or transfer of this information.