Are pocket doors less insulating than regular doors?

rlthomas7June 18, 2010

We're building an addition and the new family room will have access to a small "mud room" where we plan to store our son's outside toys, trike, sports stuff, snow shovels, etc. It will have an exterior door and an interior door into our family room. I was considering using a pocket door to make the most use of the small space in there, but I wasn't sure if it was smart to use a pocket door when going into an unheated room. we're in Pennsylvania, if it matters, so winters are cold and summers are hot! Thanks in advance for your opinion on this!

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They don't latch as tightly, don't close against a stop, have a gap (usually not seen b/c top of frame is trimmed out) at the top where they hang from the track, and *may* have a bigger gap at the bottom than a hinged door (definitely true over carpet, if you want a hinged door tight to carpet you can manage to open and close it). So I'd say not a good choice if you are trying to built an "airlock".

Then again, the door to my mudroom stays open, I'm considering removing it completely (but mine is heated).

    Bookmark   June 18, 2010 at 2:45PM
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You can minimze the gaps if you want.

While pocket doors do not normally have a 'stop' on the off-side jamb, they can be added (even a pair of them).

Actually putting in weather seals is going to show more, but coupled with a stop on the off-side jamb a seal can be placed on the edge-face of the door to seal.

The loss of insulation space in the pocket is also going to increase heat loss.

A closed pocket door is still going to be better than no door or an always open door.

    Bookmark   June 18, 2010 at 2:55PM
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Pennsylvania building and energy codes do not permit an uninsulated door in this location between conditioned and unconditioned space.

You are required to install an insulated door with a U-factor of at least .35 or less unless you live in the extreme southeast of the state where you can get away with a minimum of U .40.

No pocket door will achieve this minimum U-factor even if using an insulated slab.

Bottom line: You will need to consider other types of insulated, non-pocket type doors between your conditioned living space and this unheated mudroom.

    Bookmark   June 19, 2010 at 5:45AM
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