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Do You Have Money Going Out the Door?

January 17, 2018

Chances are good that you walk right by money saving opportunities every day. A common culprit of wasted energy during the winter and summer months, are hidden air leaks around your exterior doors. Since your entry doors have to withstand outdoor elements like wind, rain, and changing temperatures, the normal wear and tear from everyday use can take a toll. It is true exterior doors are constructed of stronger, heavier, and more impact-resistant materials but leaks can easily occur at the weakest points of contact.

People with older homes are typically more aware of the need to make annual inspections and check for air leaks, but new homes can develop leaks much sooner than you might expect. When moving your belongings in or out of a house, it is easy for an oversized piece of furniture to bang against the framing or scrape against the threshold. If you have indoor pets, they often scratch at the same spot when it is time to go outside. After months of abuse, the newest weather-stripping can disappear leaving small but costly gaps. Moreover, every new construction, remodel, or home addition is going to settle for the first few months after the build. 

Inspecting Entrance Doors for Signs of an Air Leak

Without the proper adjustments and adequate weather stripping, your entrances could be moving air 24/7. Listed below are simple techniques for identifying problem areas that could be costing your money. 

  1. Unwelcomed light creeping by the edge of an exterior door is the most common evidence of an unwanted air leak. These are most visible when outdoor light is shining directly on the exterior of a door. When an entrance door is closed and there is light shining inside, there is money flying out the crack. If you have a door that is in the shade, use a flashlight and check the opposite side.
  2. Unexpected feel of cool or warm air on the inside of a closed door is another sign that your door and framing are not fitting together properly. If there is no visible sign of a crack, move your hand around the perimeter and take note of where the temperature change is greatest.
  3. Where there's smoke; there's a leak. An incense stick can be usefully in locating air leaks that might not be as visible to the naked eye. Have someone stand on the inside of a closed exterior door and move a lit stick around the perimeter. If you see smoke being sucked out or blown inward, inspect that spot for a leak.

There are a number of products available for a DIY project for sealing exterior door leaks. Depending upon the design and style of your door, there are brass with rubber, aluminum with rubber, vinyl, soft rubber and rigid rubber weather strips that can be installed along the sides, top and bottom of the door. If you need to fill a gap at the bottom of the door, they make hard rubber channels that you slide on the bottom of an open door that will improve the seal when closed. For double patio doors, bulb or leaf style vinyl or rubber weather strips can be affixed to the astragal (vertical molding between the two doors). Similar products are available for foam compression sealing for sliding glass doors.

If you are ready to save a little money on your energy bill, take time today to check all of your exterior doors to ensure they are airtight. If it is time for a new look, stop our Dream Doors showroom or shop online for your new door and our expert installers will ensure there are zero leaks.