If you’re investing in the installation or replacement of an entire commercial door system, or, hey – even a single storefront door for a cute little boutique – we know you’re investing more than just money; you’re putting in time to the thought, the design, the installation.

The appearance and function of entrance doors to your business are a huge part of its curb appeal and attractiveness to customers. But that doesn’t mean designing a trendy, modern storefront door and window system is just about colors and trims. You can design a beautiful pair of frameless glass double doors, but if they’re poorly installed, or missing any coatings or treatments you need, they’ll cost way more in the long run than if you had just gone for the extra options the first time.

When it comes to climate and energy efficiency, the most common problems we help our clients with when designing new commercial door systems are heat transfer and sun exposure. UV rays are harmful to people and products, and exterior doors that can’t separate inside cool AC from outside sweltering sun make for an uncomfortable and inefficient environment.

Which Material is Best for Commercial Doors that are Heat-Proof?

Okay, so obviously steel and aluminum doors are out of the question. Yes, they’re low-maintenance and durable. But place them on a south-facing storefront? You get what’s basically a giant vertical flat grill that will burn anything that accidentally touches it.

That said, what is a good material for minimizing heat transfer? Aside from straight up designing a fire door, what options do you have that can create an open and attractive commercial door system but still beat the heat? Fiberglass.

Fiberglass is a composite material that eliminates many of the problems metal and wood choices pose for exterior doors submitted to a hot climate. It is a very poor conductor of heat, so is a good choice for energy-efficiency. Pair it with door automation to ensure your commercial entry doors are welcoming and safe in any condition.

What Materials are Good at Resisting UV Rays?

The worst exterior door material for UV exposure is wood. When exposed to constant, intense sun, wood can become dry, brittle, crumbly, and discolored. This then leaves the wood more susceptible to any water intrusion, and will likely weaken the stability of your door hardware over time as well. That being said, if your building’s front doors are wood and you just can’t stand to part with them, you can rehab your exterior wood doors with a gentle sanding and several coats of UV-resistant sealant or varnish.

Again, this is a field where fiberglass thrives. Exterior fiberglass doors are very UV-resistant, so you don’t have to worry about a too-hot sun-exposed surface or constant fading on the outer sides of the doors. Or if your exterior double doors are glass, you can have the glass treated to be heat and UV resistant, which can really increase your business’ energy efficiency without having to change the way it looks.

Other Factors to Consider in Your Commercial Door Installation

You’re not done designing your summer-proof storefront doors just yet. When you’re working with your local exterior door installer, ask what kinds of commercial door hardware are available. What about reinforced door frames? Or remote door automation? The pros will have the best ideas and the best advice, but this should help you get a good start.