How To Stop Drafty Sliding Doors
Drafty doors or windows are more than just an uncomfortable nuisance: They also cause high electric bills and waste a great deal of energy, which is bad for the environment. Drafty doors can make the surrounding space uncomfortable on cold and hot days, and they can cause an unhealthy environment for some people, such as those with serious allergies. Its a more straightforward process to fix a regular door with a draft, but what about sliding doors?
Phase : Thermal Images Start To Tell A Story
Armed with my new thermal imaging camera I start to photograph things that feel cold. I am not short of subjects. For variety I photograph the dogs. They were certainly warm, especially next to the radiator. After a brief doggy interlude I return to the serious issue of photographing the problematic French doors.
The image above shows a general cold area right across the door threshold / door sill area. The surface temperature at Sp2 is cold at 9.7°C despite the side light area here being a fixed panel with no seal to let air through. Sp3 at 15.4°C shows the benefit of triple glazing. The outside air temperature when the photo was taken was about 4°C and the nominal air temperature in the room was 23°C according to the room thermostat. We dont normally like it to be more than 20°C but its the only way to make the rest of the room habitable. When I measured the air temperature around Sp2 it was 14°C. This dropped to around 10°C if the curtains were closed and the air behind the curtain was not mixed with warmer air from the rest of the room.
This close up picture shows that the side light where it meets the floor and the wall is at 5.7°C. More like an outside temperature than the surface in a heated room.
Despite the setback against the 1970s doors I felt we had some good data for a discussion with the housebuilders technical and construction team who were calling the next day in response to my email to their managing director.Residents 3 French Doors 3
When Should I Replace My Patio Doors
There are many different ways to determine if your patio doors need replacing. Do you have trouble opening or shutting your patio door? Do the doors leak during a heavy rainstorm? Does moisture seep in between the panes of glass so that they get fogged up? Do you feel less comfortable in your home because you feel an unpleasant draft from the outside?
Place your hands around the doors to see if you can feel any draft. If you do, this not only reduces the overall comfort of your home but will ultimately lead to higher energy bills. Any of these signs might mean that it is time to replace your patio doors.
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Adjusting Your Upvc Doors To Stop Draughts: 3 Savvy Suggestions
The first thing that you need to do to stop draughts coming through your uPVC door is to check for any cracks or gaps in the seals. If you notice that there is a problem with the door seal, then stopping the problem may just be a case of repairing the seal on your door.
If there are no noticeable problems with the exterior of your door, then the problem may be to do with the function of your door if its not closing as it should, then draughts will have plenty of room to come through.
First, check to see if there is anything evident blocking the door. If there is debris in the bottom of the door or in the drainage holes, make sure that you remove it to ensure that the door isnt being obstructed. The final method, if the door is completely free of obstruction and is still causing draughts, is to readjust the alignment of the door. You can do this by making adjustments to the flag hinge on the door:
Step 1: Take off the plug on the flag hinge and locate the allen key spot.
Step 2: Insert an allen key and turn it to adjust the door youll be able to see the door moving backwards towards the frame.
Step 3: Repeat this process on the other door hinges until the door is properly balanced.
You can also adjust the butt hinges, if the adjustments to the flag hinge hasnt solved the issue. The process for adjusting the butt hinges are the same as with the flag hinges, but for newer doors they will require adjustment with a screwdriver, not an allen key.
How To Weatherize Your Sliding Glass Doors
- By Martin Bomba in News & Events
Having an easy access point to your outdoor space is a must. Sliding glass doors are desirable because they are simple and do not impede on your square footage. They can decrease your electric bill by allowing more natural light to flow through your home, but they can also increase your bill if unwanted air is entering through them. So here are some tips to weatherize a drafty sliding glass door.
Clean TracksSurprisingly, even the smallest clump of dirt or pet hair can cause a door to slowly lift off its tracks. It is important to frequently vacuum the tracks to ensure that outside air does not slip through the bottom.
Air SealingYou may find yourself running your heater or air conditioner extra without feeling the effects, which can drastically increase your utility usage. This can be a sign that you need to weatherize a sliding glass door in your home. The first step is to make sure all gaps and cracks are sealed. If there are unsealed holes present, unwanted hot or cold air can escape and enter the home. Air sealing can be achieved by simply caulking the gaps of the door casing.
Add Another BarrierIf youve had the home assessed for gaps and cracks but are still feeling unwanted air seep through, it might be time to add a patio door insulation kit. The kit comes with rubber strips that adhere to the frame of the glass door, blocking unwanted drafts of air.
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Take Out The Dirt On Sliding Door
Since its on the outside, patio doors tend to gather a lot of debris. Its large surface area attracts every dirt, leaves, or paper that the wind sweeps to it. Afterward, it stores these grime on its tracks. When you check the trail, youll be in shock with the amount of debris packed on the door in a short while.
However, to keep the sliding door functioning throughout the year, you need to remove dirt and clean the patio track. It doesnt take much time to sweep out the trash or blow it off with a mechanized tool to save time during winterization. If you fail to do this, the sand will clog the doors path and wont close well.
Moreover, when the door does not close off properly, small breezes pass through the gap into the house. These drafts will make your home cool instead of warm because of the cold air coming through the sliding glass door. But to avoid this, you have to vacuum the patio doors track to remove dirt before winter arrives.
Also, you should repeat this process several times before the cold climate sets in. Although it still depends on how often you enter or go out through the sliding door.
Use A Plastic As Insulation
If youre in a neighborhood that experiences harsh winter, you may need to install a plastic to increase insulation. This material helps to reduce heat loss through a sliding patio door. One of the most affordable stuff to use for insulation is the shrink wrap.
Its easy to install and reduce breeze and your heating expenses. There arent so many sliding door insulation ideas, so if you can bear the mess, installing a film is not a bad idea. Below are the steps on how to insulate a sliding glass door.
- Go to any home improvement store and buy a kit that contains all you need for the sliding glass door insulation. The plastic material should be transparent and allow the intrusion of light. However, it might prevent the free use of the door.
- Wipe the window surface clean and place a dual-side tape around it
- If necessary, cut the plastic down to size and affix the plastic to the tape from top to bottom
- Shrink the insulator and take off the wrinkles with a blow dryer.
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Fixing Drafty Sliding Doors
If superficial fixes dont resolve the issues you’re experiencing with your doors, youll likely need to turn to more extensive repairs. First, try adding or replacing the weather stripping on the doors. Check to see whats currently installed and whether its worn. Various types of weather stripping are available. To choose the right replacement, snap a picture of your door and show it to an employee at a hardware or home improvement store. The team at Family Handyman also note that you may be able to buy seals specific to your door right from the manufacturer.
Also try adding minimal expansion foam insulation to the areas around the door where the air is getting through. Using a caulk gun, spray the foam into any spaces around the frame, taking care not to impede the doors ability to slide. The spray foam will completely seal any gaps. Just be careful to be very precise. Family Handyman writers note that its essential you choose only minimal expansion foam for this application.
The most drastic fix is to replace the door entirely. If its old or damaged, you might have to do so to prevent the drafts. While it’s the most expensive solution, it also adds value to your home and may save a lot of money in energy bills as well.
Things You Will Need
Minimal expansion spray foam insulation
How To Know If Your Slider Is Double
Did you know there is a trick to finding out if your sliders are double-paned? First, grab a flashlight and hold it up to the window at an angle. Then, if you see two reflections, you know it is double-paned glass.
In addition to the test above, try this trick. Touch the opposite sides of the glass with your fingers. If your fingers do not touch, then it is double-paned glass.
Single-paned glass will cost you more money to keep the house warm in winter and cool in summer so it is a good idea to replace the windows. The thicker panes will be energy efficient, but you can also check on the energy savings guide before purchasing windows.
Maybe you dont want to replace them or cant so lets check out the 5 ways to insulate sliding doors for winter.
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Invest In Heavy Curtains To Insulate Sliding Doors For Winter
Heavy curtains can help keep the cold out of the home in the winter, and the heat out in the summer. The difference in these curtains versus regular curtains is that they have thermal insulation and block drafts and loss of heat. The price is comparable to regular curtains and are worth the investment.
You can find them to fit over sliders and windows in the home. The more heat in winter or air in summer that doesnt escape will keep your electric bill lower.
Floorboards And Skirting Boards
You can block cracks in your floor by squirting filler into the gaps. Floorboards and skirting boards often contract, expand or move slightly with everyday use, so you should use a filler that can tolerate movement these are usually silicone-based. Look for the following products:
Fillers come in different colours, and for indoor and outdoor use. They block gaps permanently so be careful when you apply them wipe off any excess with a damp cloth before it dries. Fillers may break down over time, but can easily be reapplied.
Check whether you also need to insulate between the skirting board and the floor. Find out more in our guide to floor insulation.
Causes Of Door Drafts
There are a number of factors that contribute to a drafty door. In older homes, drafty doors are most commonly a result of worn down weatherstripping where the draft penetrates the interior from underneath the door. Thankfully, there is an easy remedy to replacing old weatherstripping.
Sometimes its not so much a problem of the frame or weatherstripping, but the actual door. It is important to keep in mind that while you might think all doors serve the same purpose and have the same qualities, some types of exterior doors are far more energy efficient than others. Wood doors, for example, are not foam insulated and much more prone to being drafty. Fiberglass and steel doors are insulated and much better at keeping out drafts.
Another problem with doors and frames is that they warp and rot. If you inherited an older home chances are some of the wood has been abused after years of letting in unwelcomed drafts. Therefore, you need to create ways to block gaps between the slab and frame to block outside air.
Weatherstripping & Door Sweeps
A lot of homeowners hope to fix a draft with new weatherstripping and for good reason. It is inexpensive and extremely easy to install. If that seems to help but not fully fix the problem, you may also need new sweeps.
Door sweeps can make a world of a difference. In order to ensure a proper fit, close the door and measure the length of it, then cut the size you need. Also, consider investing in a heavy-duty or drip-cap sweep.
You can also paint or stain a wood sweep to match the flooring or walls so that they do not stand out too much. Before getting too deep in the repairs, try new sweeps and weatherstripping to see how much that helps with the dilemma.
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Stop That Draft: 8 Ways To Keep Winter Chills Out
By Laura Gaskill, Houzz Contributor
Weather stripping and door snakes? Check and check. If your house is drafty and cold in the winter, youve likely already been looking at ways to batten down the hatches. From adding an interior vestibule, planting wind-blocking hedges and reviving the lost art of portieres to using windows with the tightest seal, these eight ideas can help.
1. Add a vestibule. If your front door opens directly into your living space, consider building a small vestibule. A petite glassed-in version, like the one shown here, wont take up too much space and will still allow light to pass through. A vestibule will protect the interior from wind blowing in each time you open the door it will also stop smaller drafts from seeping through day and night.
2. Hang portieres in open doorways. Floor-length drapes hung between rooms, called portieres, are an old tradition well worth reviving. They keep drafts in wide halls or unused rooms from making their way into warm spaces.
3. Enclose your porch. Just like adding a vestibule, enclosing a front porch is a great way to keep wind and drafts from entering a home. A covered porch has the added benefit of providing shelter to visitors as they wait for you to answer the door.
Phase : The Cold Door Problem Expands
Despite the small amount of progress on the MVHR system insulation we could still not pin down the reason for the cold draughts. Having taken thermal images of all the exterior doors in our home we were still not getting any insight into the problem. Looking for problem doors and non problem doors I had found only problem doors. Things were getting worse.
The thermal images of the inward opening utility room door shown above, as well as our front door, had similar characteristics to the outward opening French doors in the lounge and kitchen. All these doors had different designs and used different materials so why would they have the same problem? I had just succeeded in expanding the problem rather than finding the solution.Residents 4 French Doors 5
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Is There A Better
If youre completely fed-up with draughts ruining your home environment, then a better-quality door is the perfect solution for you. While a uPVC door is prone to draught problems, a composite door is designed to boost your energy efficiency.
A composite door is thermally efficient with a strong and durable construction and comes with anti-draught blocking technology a win-win scenario! Not only is a composite door not prone to draught problems, but its also incredibly secure.
The door is constructed from a reinforced plastic that doesnt warp or crack. Between the increased warmth in your home and the added home security, a composite door is an investment that will be a benefit to your home for years to come.
Available in a vast range of colours and styles, its incredibly easy to design your perfect door with the composite range available.
Available in a vast range of colours and styles, its incredibly easy to design your perfect door with the composite range available, creating an enviably impressive entranceway!
Easy Fixes For Drafty Windows And Doors
Read these 8 things you can do yourself to keep warm inside your home.
If winter winds have you reaching for your overcoatwhile youre inside inside the houseits time to seal up some windows and doors. Air gaps not only allow the cold in they allow the heat to escape, leading to unnecessarily high energy costs.
Whether you have old windows that need replacing or newer ones that have some wear, these easy fixes for drafty windows and doors will have you warm and toasty, and your heating bill lower, in no time.
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