Everybody understands the importance of maintaining an energy efficient home in today’s world, both to save money on electric bills and to be environmentally responsible. New homes are built to code and therefore meet energy efficiency requirements, older homes night be updated by adding insulation or replacing windows to lower power bills and become more efficient. One thing homeowners tend to overlook is the importance of replacement weather stripping for exterior doors as a means of preventing drafts and the use of excessive heating and cooling to counteract their effects.
How Often to Inspect and Change Weather Stripping
Inspecting weather stripping is a simple enough task to be conducted several times throughout the year, or at least in the autumn as the weather turns cold and again when it begins to warm up in the spring. The inspection shouldn’t wait until there is a noticeable draft coming in around the door. You can regularly feel around the door to check for any air leaks. Check both sides, if you feel outside temperatures coming inside or if you feel inside temperatures leaking to the outside, it’s time to replace the weather stripping for a front door. An even better way to inspect the weather stripping is to light a candle, or perhaps a piece of incense, and move it around the edges of the door. Even the slightest of drafts you are unable to feel will blow the smoke either into or away from the door.
Different Types of Weather Stripping
Over the years, there have been different styles of weather stripping according to the technology of the time. The best weather stripping for old doors might be to replace it with the exact same as what was there originally, or there might be a newer style made of a better material for that particular door. There are going to be different sizes, shapes and contours, and attachment systems for different doors, so make sure you know what you need before purchasing the replacement if you plan to do it yourself. Speaking of doing it yourself, it’s a fairly simple task most homeowners are capable of, but a reputable local contractor will be happy to do it as well if you don’t enjoy such activities or don’t feel comfortable with it.
How To Replace Weather Stripping
Again, there are different types of weather stripping, so the first step is to cut off a small piece of the old with either a razor knife or scissors so you can take it with you to the store and purchase a compatible replacement. Most styles have a mushroom shaped ridge which wedges itself into a kerf in the door frame, a “kerf” being a small groove the width of a table saw blade cut into the door frame. Simply pull out the old to remove it and you’ll see how to install the new by cutting it to length pushing it back into the groove.
Another style of weather stripping is simply a piece of foam with an adhesive backing. The advantage is that it’s universal, but it isn’t designed for any particular door style and therefore doesn’t fill all the gaps and eliminate drafts. It’s better than nothing as a quick fix, but if your door is so old that’s all you can find your door is old enough to start considering a new one.
- Check your door regularly for drafts, and at least twice a year conduct a thorough inspection.
- When replacing weather stripping, make sure to use the right kind for your door.
If you need help with weather stripping or any other maintenance and remodeling projects, give us a call at RWC Windows, Doors, and More. Our representatives will be happy to meet with you and discuss any concerns or needs you might have for your home.