When I stand in my kitchen, I can turn around and view the front door about twenty feet away. During the day, I can see daylight peeking through the bottom, just above the threshold. During winter, I can feel cold air rushing in not only at the bottom, but by the hinges, as well. Clearly, I need to replace the threshold and weather stripping of our front door. Not only will I save energy costs from literally going out the door, I will also stay warmer in winter, and cooler in summer.
If you suspect that you have a drafty door, the first thing to determine is just where the draft is coming from. Light a candle and stand in front of the door, and then move the candle within your hand slowly around the perimeter of your door. When the flame flickers, then you have found the draft. Follow these ideas for fixing your drafty door:
• Weatherproof your doors with vinyl or padding on your doorstop. Most types of doorstops are often attached directly to the door, sealing against air from egress and ingress, yet still allowing the door to function normally. You can find doorstops at your home improvement store or hardware store. Read the instructions of the package and make sure that you have all of the tools you will need to complete the job.
• Another weatherproofing solution is to use brass or bronze door strips or plates. The metal can be bent to create a tight fit around the door. Although they are a bit difficult to install, bronze or brass strips stand up to daily use and last a long time, unlike foam, which can deteriorate over time. Foam can be so voluminous at first, too, making it difficult to close and open the door.
• If you need to do something about a sagging wooden threshold, as I do, you can install a door sweep, instead of replacing the entire threshold. Door sweeps can be adjusted to cover enough of the threshold to prevent a draft, yet also allow room enough for the door to swing freely.
Check at your local home improvement or hardware store if you need to replace your door's weather stripping. The knowledgeable sales staff should be able to help you answer any questions that you might have, as well as help you choose the correct material for your type of door. While you're there, you may as well go ahead and look at door replacements. Storm doors now come in lightweight material, and are great for keeping out drafts.
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