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Doors: Portals to Savings or Expense?

Doors: Portals to Savings or Expense? By Angelique Gervais
HIPhome Columnist
December 31, 1969

The seals around your doors often degrade, which can result in lost money, throughout the year. Whether your goal is to replace your patio doors or repair your seals, the following tips can help you cut energy costs.

Patio doors: Worth the costs?

The amount of heat loss patio doors allow is daunting. Glass is a very poor insulator and the tracks that most patio doors slide on are very difficult to seal effectively. Replacing the stripping can help considerably but if the stripping can not be replaced you may want to consider replacing the doors.

Many high efficiency patio doors can save you so much in energy costs that they are soon paid for. However, if you are not ready to replace your patio doors then the best bets for winterization are tape or plastic sealing kits that will reduce the heat loss considerably.

Checking and repairing external doors

The savings that you can achieve from minimizing drafts runs from 5 to 30% of your energy bill each year. To check for leaks, run a lit candle around your exterior door frame. If the flame flickers, you have a leak.

Often the cause of leakage on exterior doors is the weather stripping. Chips or tears in the stripping results in drafts and it is easily replaced. If you still have a draft after the stripping is replaced, the door is likely warped and you should consider replacement.

If you have a screen door it is a good practice to replace the screen with a glass pane for the winter. However, if the screen door receives more than a few hours of direct sunlight a day, placing a glass pane in it will trap heat next to the inside door and will result in damage.

Perform a thorough cleaning on all exterior doors to be sure that dirt or debris does not interfere with their efficient functioning. If you have a screen door that has retractable glass panes be sure that they are locked in full down position. This is also a good time to check hinges, oil them and replace any bent or missing hinge bolts.

While you may grumble at the time it takes to winterize your doors, what you save in energy bills and the comfort that you gain are more than worth your effort.

Sources:
  • http://www.sussexrec.com/brochures/weather1.html
  • http://www.homeenergyli.com/winterization.html
  • http://doityourself.com/doors/exteriorandstormdoors.htm


About the Author
Angelique Gervais owns and operates a graphic design business serving rural areas in Northern Saskatchewan, Canada. She recently completed editing and compiling an anthology for her local writers' group, of which she is an active member. Angelique holds a degree in Biblical Studies, and she is currently expanding her education in the areas of psychology and human development at the Masters level.



*Before you apply any of the advice described on the Hip-home.com website, you should consider if the advice is safe and suitable for your individual home situation and consult experts as necessary to evaluate the suitability for your circumstances.
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