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Making Your Doors Draft Free

One of the most important functions of an exterior door is to keep outside temperatures from entering into the house. In order to do this, your exterior door needs to be properly sealed. Unfortunately, a door's weather seals can rip, compress, bend, or wear out over time, leaving chilly winter air or scorching summer air free to enter.

Some new doors are made with factory-applied weather-stripping, but such designs are a recent innovation. Millions of doors across the country have little or no weather-stripping. Weather-stripping is probably the least expensive, simplest, most effective way to cut down on wasted energy in the winter and summer. Improperly sealed homes can waste 10 to 15 percent of a homeowner's heating dollars and reduce the effectiveness of air-conditioning in the summer.

The good news is that the process of attaching new weather seals isn’t very difficult and also far cheaper and faster than installing a new door. By simply keeping up with your exterior doors weather-stripping, you will be making your home more energy efficient and saving yourself hard earned money. What you may not know is that a tiny 1/8-inch gap around a typical entryway door is the equivalent to drilling a 5 ½-inch-diameter hole through an outside wall. Think of all the cold air you are letting in and out of your home that way!

Weather-stripping comes in many forms, and can be made up of a combination of materials such as wood, rubber, plastic, vinyl, metal and foam. Some types work well on both doors and windows, while others are more limited. Weather seals for your door consist of two components; weather-stripping and a sweep. Weather-stripping covers the sides and top of the door and a sweep fills the space between the threshold and the door bottom. They can be found at your local hardware store or home center. Also, some weather-stripper systems can be ordered by mail.

Common weather-stripping designs for exterior doors:

  • V-Strip: (forms a springy strip that bridges the gap between a door and the door jam)
  • Adhesive-Backed Foam or Tape: (helps seal doors and works well blocking irregular-sized cracks)
  • Felt: (fits into door jam and seals for about 2 years)
  • Interlocking Metal: (interlocking pieces are placed around the perimeter of the door; on the top, both sides and the bottom)
  • Tubular Rubber and Vinyl Gaskets: (small tubes of sponge rubber or vinyl that form a tight seal when a door is pressed against it)
  • Thresholds: (built into the threshold and presses against the bottom of the door to keep out drafts)

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Making Your Doors Draft Free

Making Your Doors Draft Free
One of the most important functions of an exterior door is to keep outside temperatures from entering into the house. In order to do this, your exterior door needs to be properly sealed. Unfortunately, a door's weather seals can rip, compress, bend, or wear out over time, leaving chilly winter air or scorching summer air free to enter.

read entire article