Weatherstripping Doors Increases Home Energy Efficiency

Different weather stripping seal strips for doors, including a wrapped foam wood flange and a wrapped foam metal flange.
Did you know that a 1/8 inch gap under your door can lead to the same heat loss-and higher energy bills you'd get if a 3 inch hole was drilled into the side of your home? If the gap is large enough, bugs and critters may even seek the comfort of your home this winter.

To check to see if your threshold or bottom door weather stripping is functioning properly, hold a burning candle or incense stick next to the bottom of the door during a windy day to see if the flame or smoke diverts. If it does, the wind is getting through, and it's time to take some action.

Adjustable type door thresholds need periodic adjusting and will require replacement weather-stripping every couple of years. They require a little trial and error to adjust to the correct position, so be patient. The trick is to make very small movements up towards the bottom of the door.

Weather-stripping along the sides and top of the door should be checked with the candle method and replaced if needed. There are many different styles and types, but not all of them are effective. Check to see if an exact replacement type is available for your door.

how weatherstripping works diagram

Door sweeps mount on either the inside or the outside of the door, at the bottom edge, and provide a seal as the door closes or sweeps closed. Door sweeps usually sell for under $20.

A door shoe is a type of rubber weather-stripping mounted on the underside of the door. It requires the removal of the door to replace. Most door shoe products sell for under $30, but could save you hundreds over the life of the item.

Mr. Handyman can install weather-stripping to close those gaps and increase the energy efficiency of your exterior doors or, if need be, assist you with new door installation.

Read more about saving on your electric and utility bills in our home energy efficiency guide.

Dan Johnson

Dan Johnson is the owner of Mr. Handyman of Papillion, providing handyman services to Omaha, Nebraska. All Mr. Handyman franchises are Fully Insured - General Liability and Workers Compensation.

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