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Making doors more energy efficient

The Old House Web

You don't have to be an experienced handyman to weather-strip your doors -- and reap the cost benefits.

Several types of weather-stripping are availablefor doors, each with its own level of effectiveness, durability and degree ofinstallation difficulty. From the options in the chartbelow, select the one you feel is best for you. Installation on the twosides and the top of a door are the same. A more durable method is used for thethreshold.

Consider installing storm doors to reduce airleakage around your doors. Weather-stripping quality makes a big difference inhow well storm doors can do this. Compare several types before deciding.

The quality of locks, hinges and catches shouldbe evaluated since it can have a direct effect on durability and is a goodindicator of overall construction quality.

Storm doors of wood or steel can also be purchased within the same price rangeas the
aluminum variety. They have the same quality differences and should be similarlyevaluated. The choice between
doors of similar quality but different material is primarily up to your ownpersonal taste.

GUIDE TO WEATHER-STRIPPING**
Type Tools Evaluation Installation
*Adhesive backed foam Knife or shears
Tape measure
Extremely easy to install

Invisible when installed

Not very durable

More effective on doors than windows

Stick foam to inside face of jamb.
*Rolled vinyl with aluminum channel backing Hammer
Nails
Tin snips
Tape measure
Easy to install

Visible when installed

Durable

*Foam rubber with wood backing Hammer
Nails
Hand saw
Tape measure
Easy to install

Visible when installed

Not very durable

Nail strip snugly against the closed door.

Space nails 8 to 12 inches apart.

*Spring metal Tin snips
Hammer
Nails
Tape measure
Easy to install

Invisible when installed

Extremely durable

Cut to length and tack in place.

Lift outer edge of strip with screwdriver after tacking for better seal.

Interlocking metal channels Hack saw
Hammer
Nails
Tape measure
Difficult to install (alignment is critical)

Visible when installed

Durable but subject to damage, because they're exposed

Excellent seal.

Cut and fit strips to head of door first: male strip on door, female on head

Cut and fit strips to hinge side of door: male strip on jamb, female on door

Cut and fit strips to lock side on door, female on jamb.

Fitted interlocking metal channels (J-strips) Very difficult to install

Exceptionally good weather seal

Invisible when installed

Not exposed to possible damage.

Should be installed by a carpenter. Not appropriate for do-it-yourself installation unless done by an accomplished handyman.
Sweeps Screwdriver
Hack saw
Tape measure
Useful for flat thresholds, may drag on carpet or rug. Cut sweep to fit 1/16 inch in from the edges of the door.

Some sweeps are installed on the inside and some outside. Check instructions for your particular type.

Door Shoes Screwdriver
Hack saw
Plane
Tape measure
Useful with wooden threshold that is not worn

Very durable

Difficult to install (must remove door)

Remove door and trim required amount off bottom.

Cut to door width.

Install by sliding vinyl out, and fasten with screws.

Vinyl bulb threshold Screwdriver
Hack saw
Plane
Tape measure
Useful where there is no threshold or wooden one is worn out

Difficult to install

Vinyl will wear, but replacements are available.

Remove door and trim required amount off bottom.

Bottom should have about 1/8" bevel to seal against vinyl.

Be sure bevel is cut in right direction for opening.

Interlocking threshold Very difficult to install

Exceptionally good weather seal.

Should be installed by a skilled carpenter.

Install by moving sash to the open position and sliding strip in between the sash and the channel.

Tack in place into the casing.

Do not cover the pulleys in the upper channels.

*Easiest methods for novice ** Chart based on information from Michigan State University

Informationprovided by Michigan State University

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