11 Best Patio Doors for Cold Weather: Complete Guide

As a Minnesota native, I’ve experienced my fair share of chilling winters.

Those arctic blasts can seep through every crevice in a home. One winter, I found myself in a losing battle against cold drafts seeping through my patio door. I set out to find the best patio doors to keep the cold out.

What are the best patio doors for cold weather?

The best patio doors for cold weather are those made of materials with excellent insulation properties and designed with features to prevent drafts. These include fiberglass, vinyl, steel, and wood doors. Look for doors with double or triple glazing, tight seals, and thermal breaks.

In this guide, you’ll learn everything you need to know about the best patio doors for cold weather.

11 Best Patio Doors for Cold Weather

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Photo of patio door - Best patio doors for cold weather
I made this image – Best patio doors for cold weather

Here are the 11 best types of patio doors for dealing with cold weather:

  1. Fiberglass patio doors
  2. French patio doors
  3. Sliding patio doors
  4. Vinyl patio doors
  5. Steel patio doors
  6. Wood patio doors
  7. Aluminum patio doors
  8. Composite patio doors
  9. Multi-slide patio doors
  10. Bi-fold patio doors
  11. Energy-efficient patio doors

Fiberglass Patio Doors

Fiberglass patio doors are an excellent choice for cold climates.

They are thermally efficient, meaning they have excellent insulation properties. These doors are made of glass-reinforced plastic that creates a tight seal against drafts.

Not only are they functional, but fiberglass patio doors are also aesthetically pleasing.

They come in a variety of colors and styles.

Which means you can match them to the design of your home.

Additionally, they require minimal maintenance and can endure the harshest winter weather without warping or cracking.

If you’re looking for my number one pick for the best patio door for cold weather, fiberglass is it.

Check out the Fiberglass Smooth White Left-Hand Outswing Hinged Patio Door from Home Depot.

French Patio Doors

French patio doors provide a touch of elegance along with a sturdy defense against the cold.

They come in different materials like wood, vinyl, and steel.

But when insulated properly, they all prevent cold drafts from infiltrating your home.

French doors are characterized by their double-door design which, when paired with proper weather stripping and thermal glass, provides an excellent barrier against cold weather.

Besides being functional, they add an element of sophistication to your space, making them a popular choice for homeowners.

Try these French patio doors from Houzz.

Sliding Patio Doors

Sliding patio doors are a modern, stylish option that also offers excellent insulation against cold weather.

These doors typically consist of two panels, one fixed and one sliding, which offer large glass areas to allow natural light in.

The key to their energy efficiency lies in the glazing.

Look for sliding patio doors with double-glazing or even triple-glazing, as these offer a higher level of insulation.

Many also come with argon gas fill, which helps to enhance their thermal performance.

Remember to ensure that they come with high-quality seals to prevent drafts.

Vinyl Patio Door

Vinyl patio doors are another excellent option for cold weather due to their exceptional insulating properties.

These doors are made from PVC, a material with natural insulation characteristics.

Additionally, they are often filled with foam insulation.

And foam insulation provides another layer of protection against the cold.

Vinyl doors are also resistant to warping, rotting, and corrosion.

I probably don’t have to tell you how this makes them ideal for harsh winter weather.

They require little maintenance and are available in a variety of colors and styles to suit your home décor.

A good option here is the JELD-WEN Vinyl Sliding Patio Door.

Steel Patio Door

If you’re looking for a patio door that combines durability with cold-weather performance, a steel patio door is an excellent choice.

Steel is strong and secure, offering excellent resistance to potential intruders as well as harsh weather conditions.

Steel doors often come with a foam core for enhanced insulation, helping to keep your home warm during the coldest months.

They are also available in a variety of styles and finishes, so you don’t have to sacrifice aesthetics for function.

Wood Patio Door

Wood is a natural insulator, making wood patio doors a good option for cold weather.

These doors not only offer an appealing, traditional aesthetic.

But they also provide excellent thermal performance.

While they require more maintenance than other options, wood patio doors, when properly cared for, offer superior durability and weather resistance.

Consider opting for doors with energy-efficient glass and tight seals for the best cold-weather performance.

Aluminum Patio Door

Aluminum patio doors are lightweight, robust, and can stand up to harsh weather conditions, making them a good choice for colder climates.

Their inherent strength allows for larger glass areas, thereby letting more natural light into your home.

Aluminum doors can also include thermal breaks – insulating plastic pieces within the frame that help prevent heat transfer and condensation.

A good budget-friendly option to consider is the K.D. Heavy Duty Aluminum Sliding Patio Screen Door Kit.

Composite Patio Door

Composite patio doors, made from a blend of materials like wood particles and plastic, offer superior durability and insulation.

They resist warping, cracking, and rotting, even in extreme weather conditions.

Their construction usually includes foam-filled cores for extra insulation, making them excellent choices for keeping your home warm during the cold winter months.

Multi-Slide Patio Door

Multi-slide patio doors offer the advantage of larger openings, letting in abundant natural light while also offering high energy efficiency.

With multiple layers of weather stripping and options for double or triple glazing, these doors provide excellent insulation.

They can be custom designed to your preference.

Bi-fold Patio Door

Bi-fold patio doors offer a unique blend of indoor and outdoor living.

They can be designed to fold back to one or both sides, opening up wide areas of your home.

When closed, the multiple interlocking panels provide excellent insulation.

Energy-Efficient Patio Door

While not a specific type, energy-efficient patio doors are designed with the primary purpose of keeping your home insulated.

They usually come with features like:

  • Double or triple glazing
  • Coatings that minimize the emissivity of the glass (low-E)
  • Packed with non-reactive gases like argon or krypton

These doors could be made from any material.

Yet, they are specifically engineered for superior thermal performance, making them good for colder climates.

What To Look For When Buying a Patio Door for Cold Weather?

Choosing a patio door for cold weather involves several considerations.

It’s not just about the material – factors like glazing, door style, energy efficiency ratings, and installation quality can all affect how well a door keeps out the cold.

here’s a concise list of factors you should consider:

  • Material – Look for materials like fiberglass, steel, and wood that have excellent insulating properties.
  • Glazing – Choose doors with double or triple glazing for enhanced insulation.
  • Seals – Make sure the door has high-quality, durable seals to prevent drafts.
  • Thermal breaks – These are crucial for preventing heat loss. They are especially relevant for doors with large glass areas.
  • Door Style – Styles like sliding or French doors can provide additional insulation if they have tight seals and thermal breaks.
  • Energy Efficiency Ratings – Doors with higher energy ratings, such as those certified by Energy Star, will provide better insulation and help reduce your heating costs.
  • Proper Installation – Even the most energy-efficient door won’t protect against the cold if it’s poorly installed. Always hire a professional to ensure your door is correctly fitted and sealed.

Check out this video about how to choose the perfect patio door for your climate and other needs:

YouTube Video by Pella Windows and Doors – Best Patio Doors for Cold Weather

FAQs: Best Patio Doors for Cold Weather

My clients and friends ask me many of the same questions about patio doors in cold weather.

In this FAQ, I’ll tackle some of the questions that my clients and friends ask me the most.

What French Doors Keep the Cold Out?

French doors made from insulating materials like wood, vinyl, or steel can effectively keep the cold out.

Look for French doors that feature double or triple glazing and high-quality seals. Proper installation is also crucial to ensure no drafts can sneak through.

Are Sliding Doors Good for Winter?

Yes, sliding doors can be very good for winter if they’re designed for energy efficiency.

Sliding doors with double or triple glazing, high-quality seals, and argon gas fills can provide excellent insulation. Remember, proper installation is key to preventing drafts.

How Do I Make My Patio Doors Less Cold?

There are a few strategies to make your patio doors less cold.

These include using weather stripping to seal gaps, installing thermal curtains, or applying insulating film to the glass.

You could also consider adding a door sweep to block drafts from the bottom of the door.

However, if your patio doors are old or poorly insulated, it might be more cost-effective to replace them with energy-efficient ones.

How Do I Keep Cold Air from Coming Through My Patio Door?

To keep cold air from coming through your patio door, ensure it’s properly sealed.

Use weatherstripping to seal any gaps, and consider adding a door sweep at the bottom. You could also consider applying window film for additional insulation.

If these measures don’t work, it might be time to consider replacing your patio door with an energy-efficient model.

Final Thoughts: Best Patio Doors for Cold Weather

Ultimately, the best patio door for cold weather is the one that you like the best.

What you like may come down to cost, appearance, or outcome. The more you can meet all three requirements (especially the outcome), the better.

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