Making sure your entryway doors are prepared for the cool months of winter is important. Properly winterized doors can save you up to ten percent on your energy bill. That may sound like a lot, but a gap of only 1/8 of an inch around an average-sized entry door is equivalent to having a roughly five-inch hole in your wall. Luckily, preparing your doors for winter is not too difficult.
What products you will need:
- Weather Stripping
- A Door Sweep
- (Maybe) Foam Insulation
There are different types of each of these products that are good for different things. It may be best to ask a sales person for which type you should choose based on how protected your door is or where you live.
Now, here is what you need to do to winterize your entryway doors:
Seal any Leaks
First, detect any leaks around your door frame. One quick trick for detecting leaks uses incense. For this trick, wait for a windy day. Turn off your air conditioning and heating, and turn on any oven or bathroom fans. With your air conditioning and heating off and the fans on, hold a lit stick of incense a few inches from the trim around the door frame. Slowly trace the door trim with the lit incense. If the smoke seeps through where the trim connects to the wall, you have a leak there. There are two ways of sealing these leaks. The first way is to remove the trim, look at where the door frame meets the wall, and fill any gaps between the door frame and the wall with foam insulation. The second way is simpler but it may not be as effective; simply caulk the edges of where the door trim meets the wall.
Apply Weather Stripping
To apply weather stripping, start by measuring the header of your entryway doors. Cut your weather stripping the length of the top of your door. Attach it to the door frame either with the adhesive included with the stripping or with nails. Next, measure along the door jamb from the base of the weather stripping along the header to the base of your door. It is important to note that some weather stripping is simply a foam adhesive tape, while other weather stripping may be attached to small pieces of wood. Now that we know the length of the stripping to use for the door jambs, cut the stripping to that length. Cut the bottom and top edges at any necessary angle so the stripping fits snugly into place. If there remain any gaps at the base or the top of the door and the weather stripping, fill them with caulk.
Attach a Door Sweep
Generally, you want to attach a door sweep to the inside instead of the outside of the door. There should be enough space between the bottom of the door and the bottom of the frame to slide in the door sweep. It is easily attached with screws.
With these adjustments made to your door, the door should be prepared for the cool months of winter. With luck, your heating bills should also be less expensive