The front door to your home is the gateway that brings guests into your home, as well as takes you and your family out into the world. No other door is used more than the front door, which means wear and tear typically diminishes the quality of front doors faster than any other type of door. The result is a decline in energy efficiency that costs you more each month for utility bills.
According to the door experts at ETO Doors, you can implement one or more easy energy efficient strategies to keep cold air out in winter, and hot air out during summer.
Select an Energy Efficient Material
Older doors tend to lose their energy efficiency, and that means the time has come to replace them. The first item on your shopping list should be to choose an energy efficient material. Fiberglass ranks as the most energy efficient material for a front door, with the material delivering four times more insulation than the insulation delivered by natural wood. Large uncoated glass panels doors are about as energy inefficient as natural wood. High quality glass doors have a special coating that can help homeowners save up to 50 percent on energy costs.
Break Out the Caulking Gun
A front door that does not align correctly with the frame produces a series of gaps that invite outdoor air inside your home. The solution for fixing gaps is to caulk the open areas by using an easy to manipulate caulking gun. Not taking care of gaps is a huge problem in winter, when warm air literally flies out the front door to be replaced by Arctic blasts. Make sure to use caulk for gaps that are one-quarter of inch or smaller. For larger gaps, stuff the openings with a resilient material like foam, and then top the foam off with caulk.
Another way air from outdoors enters your home is by swooshing through a gap located between the bottom of the front door and the floor. Adding a sweep to cover the space reduces the cost of heating your home in winter and cooling it during summer. Sweeps also do a great job of preventing dust, insects, and moisture from invading your house. You can opt for either a U shaped sweep that attaches to the underside of the front door, or go with metal strips that you glue or nail to the bottom of the door.
Replace Damaged Weatherstripping
Damaged, missing, and/or incorrectly installed weatherstripping is the most common way air from outside finds its way inside your home, Before every change in season, inspect the weatherstripping on the front door to determine whether you need to repair minor breaks or replace the old weatherstripping with new and improved weatherstripping. The most accurate way to test for air infiltration is in winter by placing your fingers along the weatherstripping to search of cold spots.
Adhesive foam is a proven method for repairing damaged weatherstripping. You can go with plastic or rubber adhesive foam, which makes it easy to cut sections for fixing holes and cracks. Remember that adhesive foam has a product life of no longer than three years. Although felt is not effective because it eventually compresses, a heavy-duty fix for damaged weatherstripping is interlocking metal strips. The heavy-duty approach to fixing damaged weather stripping requires the services of a professional installer.
Do Storm Doors Do the Job?
One of the debates home improvement professionals have concerns the energy efficiency of storm doors. The customized doors possess thermal lining and double-paned glass that prevent outside air from coming inside a home. However, a more affordable energy saving tip is to switch out the screen with a double-glass pane. You do not have to pay for the entire door, and the energy efficiency benefit is about the same.
Replacing the Front Door
Repairing the front door is the most affordable way to save money on energy bills. Nonetheless, your front door might be beyond repair because of the staggering amount of air it lets inside your house. Many styles of contemporary front doors include foam cores and a magnetic strip that acts as weather stripping. The foam cores rate in the same manner as insulation by referring to the R-value. Foam core front doors rate between R-5 and R-6, which makes the front doors five times more energy efficient than natural wood front doors.
The front door to your home is the front line of defense for providing security. It also is the first impression visitors have of your home. Your front door should act as an extension of your Welcome mat, but it also should not invite cold or hot air into your house. Implementing a few energy saving tips should keep your heating and cooling bills within budget.