Energy efficient front doors can keep your home warm in winter and cool in the summer. Now is a great time to inspect your front door for potential air leaks and fix them, or replace your front door, well before the cold weather sets in.
To determine whether you have an energy efficient front entry door, you can conduct some at home tests:
- Feel for drafts. Using the back of your hand, move it slowly around the inside of the door opening. The back of your hand is more sensitive than your palm and will help you quickly narrow down drafty sections.
- Look for the light around the door. On a bright day, stand in your foyer and look for daylight flowing through the door opening. If light is coming in, so is external air. Your weatherstripping may have lost compression, or you may have a warped door or frame.
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Take the touch test. Touch your door on hot days and cold days. If you feel the exterior temperatures on the inside surface, your door may not have adequate insulation.
- Watch the door weatherstripping. Low-quality weatherstripping can lose its compression over time, opening the door to air infiltration. Look for flat or cracked weatherstripping that is no longer doing its job.
- Sill the deal. Your door sill and bottom sweep prevent air infiltration and water penetration. Try to slide a piece of paper under your entry door. If you can, you’ll likely need to adjust or replace your bottom sweep.
- Check door fit. Finally, open and shut your door on both dry days and wet, humid days. If your door fits tightly on humid days, then it is probably leaking air on dry days. You may want to consider a high-performance door such as fiberglass to prevent swelling.
You can easily improve your front entry’s energy efficiency by following a few basic steps:
- Replace the door weatherstripping. Adding new weatherstripping is a simple solution that can greatly reduce air infiltration. Your local hardware store will be able to recommend the product best suited to your application.
- Adjust the door hinges. Loose hinges or low-quality hardware can create gaps. Tighten the screws in existing hardware or consider replacing hardware with high-quality brass or brushed steel components.
- Level the door sill. Many times, the sill can settle, opening gaps for air. Purchase shims from your local hardware store to reset the sill so it is flush with the door bottom, and consider replacing or adjusting the bottom sweep to create a tighter seal.
- Upgrade the door lock. If your lock is not installed properly or isn’t the right size, it won’t keep the door seated squarely in the door frame. Carefully measure your existing lock and door, and look for high-quality brass or brushed steel replacement locks.
- Install fiberglass doors. By installing fiberglass doors with decorative glass, you can add beautiful curb appeal to your home and have a completely energy efficient front entry—- and let the sun shine in.