Save Money Year Round: Weather-proof Your Entry Doors

This tip comes just in time for winter, and it could also help save you a little money on your energy bill year-round. How? Weather proofing your entry doors will eliminate any incoming draft and, depending on the severity of the draft, you could notice a decrease in the need for heat in the winter and air conditioning in the summer.

The good news is that you don’t have to be versed in joinery to do it yourself. What’s more, the cost for the materials required to complete the weather-stripping is nominal. Here’s a quick guide to the procedure for removing and replacing two of the most common types of entry door weather-stripping: adhesive foam and metal hinge.

Adhesive Foam

Adhesive foam weather-stripping, which will typically wear out within 3-5 years, is one of the least expensive options available, though none of the options is too expensive. It’s also surprisingly simple to replace. Just follow these easy steps:

  • If foam weather-stripping is already adhered to the door frame then remove it using a putty knife, scraping as close to the jamb as possible without scraping the surface.
  • There will be residual adhesive on the door frame, so remove it with adhesive remover, and allow to dry.
  • Once the door frame is clean and dry, measure the sides where the foam will be adhered, and cut the weather-stripping accordingly.
  • Do not remove the adhesive from the weather-stripping backing until you’re ready to apply it to the door frame because the adhesive is particularly strong and will adhere to just about anything.

It’s really that simple. If you’re looking for an inexpensive and easy way to insulate your exterior doors from drafts, and aren’t necessarily worried about longevity, then adhesive foam is an option for you.

Metal Hinge

A metal hinge setup will require you to remove the nails or screws first in order to take off the old weather-stripping.  Have a pry bar on hand as some nails are embedded deeply. Next, measure the jamb’s horizontal distance and cut the vinyl part of the weather-stripping using a utility knife. You may need a hacksaw for the metal hinge.

Before setting it permanently, test the strips inside the door frame first. Close the door and align the vinyl strip with the door jamb, making sure the vinyl seal is compressed against the door. Once you’re satisfied with the fit, adhere the vinyl to the door jamb and affix the metal hinge to the jamb with the nails or screws provided.

Follow the same procedure with the vertical jamb sections, with one notable exception. Don’t cut the end of the weather-strip that is rounded because it’s going to overlap the horizontal strip.

Along with new or replacement weather-stripping, add door sweeps to help cut off the draft from the bottom of entry doors. That way, all four sides of the door will be insulated, and the bottom will have a double layer.

Insulating your entry doors to combat the cold weather can also help keep the heat out in the summer. For just a few pounds and a few minutes time, you could begin to see a year round difference on your electricity bill.

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