When it comes to remodeling the front entryway of your home’s exterior and interior, most homeowners are consumed with details about how the door will look, how easily it will open, whether or not the door itself is sound, impact, and fire rated for safety, and how well the exterior door itself will match the interior design and exterior décor of a front walkway, and how the entryway will add to the overall curb appeal.
But one of the most important factors—energy efficiency—is often an afterthought that homeowners do not consider until after they have purchased and installed a new front exterior door and doorframe. If you are thinking ahead of a door installation, or if you have landed on this blog post because you are ready to revamp your exterior door to ensure it saves the most energy possible, you’ll read about why you should consider weatherstripping regardless of the age, style, or size of the door or doors you’re installing.
Do I really need weatherstripping if my exterior door is brand new?
If you are in the middle of installing a brand new exterior door, you may feel that adding weatherstripping is an unnecessary step, and that your new exterior door does not need any help where efficiency is concerned. However, even the most proficiently designed doors can use a leg up when it comes to keeping conditioned air in and hot summer or cold winter air outside where it belongs. Whether you have purchased a wood, steel, fiberglass, or flush door for the front and/or rear entryway of your home, if one side of the door will be facing the outdoor elements, weatherstripping will help you keep electricity bills lower while keeping you and your family comfortable regardless of what is happening outside.
Can I install weatherstripping on exterior-facing French doors and double doors?
The short answer to this question is yes, and while it may take a little more time than the average weatherstripping installation, you can—and should—add weatherstripping to any exterior doors, regardless of their design or type. One thing to consider is that you will need more weatherstripping, and it may also need to be thinner or thicker to fit properly within a French or double door frame. To get exactly what you need, be sure to let sales associates at your local hardware store know which type of door you will be adding weatherstripping to. In addition, don’t go to the hardware store empty-handed—bring the measurements of the door or doors’ height, width, and the thickness (this is usually somewhere around ¾–1and1/2 inches). When you know these measurements, you will know how much weatherstripping you need to buy, and you will also know how thick or thin it will need to be to fit snugly within your door frame without causing any interruptions in the opening or closing mechanism of the door(s).
How will I know if I have installed the weatherstripping correctly?
This is a great question that we hear a lot about from consumers. When weatherstripping has been improperly installed, the door or doors will not be able to shut—you will have to force them to close, which can cause warping or cracking—so do not force doors to close. To properly install weatherstripping, follow the instructions on the package and use the proper tools. You will know when you have the stripping on correctly because it will close just as it did before the weatherstripping was applied, but will have a slightly more snug fit. If what you are experiencing is more than snug, chances are, you walked out of the hardware store with the wrong size of stripping. For this reason, you will want to make sure everything is operating just as it should before adhering or otherwise affixing the weatherstripping to your door frames.
For added security and protection against the elements outside, consider buying exterior doors with hurricane rated glass and/or a fire rating of 20–90 minutes. These types of doors not only stave off home invasions, they also give you more added protection against severe weather events of all kinds. When you add weatherstripping to an impact rated door, you’ll be that much safer from every thinkable danger.