drafty entrance door and storm door

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Old 12-12-16, 01:01 PM
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drafty entrance door and storm door

I have a somewhat drafty entry door in my house. The weather stripping still seems to be descent, but it probably got compressed thru the years of use to the point where it’s not as tight as I would like it to be. Last winter it seemed to be ok, but it’s more noticeable this time around.

I will most likely replace the weather stripping and door sweep with new next years, but I was also thinking about adding a storm door to further seal it. I’m just wondering if storm door provides a significant benefit in air sealing to justify putting one up.

I see two types of storm doors on major home improvement sites. A simple one with a “Single-layer weather stripping on top, bottom and sides to help reduce drafts”. And another one that is marketed as more insulating one with a “Dual weather stripping on top and sides of the door with an additional layer on the handle side to enhance weather-tightness and energy efficiency”. The last one also has “Dual Pane Insulating Glass improves energy efficiency by 50% over standard glass”. So it looks like the latter would be better for my cause, but it might all just be a marketing gimmick.

So any first-hand experience, information or advice on this subject are appreciated!
 
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Old 12-12-16, 03:37 PM
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I know I'll get push back, but that's, OK. Storm doors are often a poor investment. The reason us that good entry doors do a reasonably good job of insulating, making payback on storm doors a long-term proposition - maybe 20 years. In other words, if the storm door costs $200 and you save $20/year in heating cost it will take you decades to get your money back.

You don't give much information. If you have a porch or the door is otherwise covered, you have a layer of protection. Do you have good sun exposure on the door?

Make certain weatherstripping is adequate and caulk to stop drafts around the frame.
 
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Old 12-12-16, 03:39 PM
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I don't know much about the hi end storm doors but with the cheaper ones they don't seal tight, not sure if it would be good for them to seal tight. They do cut down on any wind that might hit your house door thus reducing any drafts. You need to inspect your weatherstripping and threshold closely to see where it's failing.
 
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Old 12-12-16, 04:53 PM
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You will get varying opinions, no question about that. IMO, storm doors main attribute is not that it is an energy saving device. Although if as Tony says, if it costs $200 and it saves $20 a year, I guess it would pay for itself in 10 yrs, not a bad investment if you ask me.

Storm doors aren't 100% air tight but I don't think I would get any argument that they are better than having nothing at all. Common sense would dictate that if you have a 40 mph wind blowing against a door with no storm door, you are going to get more air infiltration than you would if you had a barrier (a storm door) over that door to at least slow that breeze down and protect your primary door. Which is why I say any storm door will be better than nothing.

The value of having a storm door is not just energy savings, however. Most people want to be able to leave their doors open from time to time, and maybe have the screen open, or let more light in. There is also great value in keeping the rain off the primary door when that door is not under a roof or porch that otherwise protects it. If keeping the primary door out of the weather makes it last longer, preventing it from rotting out, that's worth something too.
 
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Old 12-13-16, 05:40 AM
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I agree with everything that's been said but I see I made a typo and want to clarify what I said to answer diver's question: I’m just wondering if storm door provides a significant benefit in air sealing to justify putting one up.

I said $20 in annual savings but meant to say $10 in savings because a storm door is not a very good value proposition and could take over 20 years to recoup the investment through cold-weather energy savings alone. My understanding is that doors create only around 1% of heat loss so (if that's the case) energy savings just can't be significant.

That's not to say I don't believe storm doors provide other benefits, because I do think that's the case. It's just that I feel (to answer diver's question) storm doors don't provide a sufficient benefit from air sealing alone to justify putting one up. Instead, weatherstripping, caulking, sealing wood door cracks, and using one of those door draft pillow-looking things would give the best bang for the buck.
 
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Old 12-13-16, 06:05 AM
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To add a thought from a recent thread, this is the sort of damage a storm door can help prevent. Imagine that was on a $2000 door and you can see how a storm door can be a wise investment regardless of its energy savings potential.

http://www.doityourself.com/forum/do...ot-bottom.html
 
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Old 12-13-16, 07:30 AM
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Thanks for your replies, guys. From what I gathered here, I think it will be beneficial to have the storm door. Here is a bit more info...

Over the years I've done a lot of air sealing around the house. All the frames around windows/doors are tight. I even opened all electric outlets/switches and seal the boxes. Any opening that I could get to is sealed. So this might've made the leaks thru the door worse since there are not that many openings anymore.

Another door that goes to the house has a storm door. It seems to be relatively cheap storm door, but even that one appear to provide some air sealing. When the storm door is not closed tight and I open the regular door from inside, it sucks the storm door shut.

The main entry door doesn't have anything outside, no cover over it or anything that would shield it - it's all exposed. As a matter of fact, I need to take it down and refinish it next year. So having a storm door would be beneficial for some extra protection from elements. Also it would help when the main door is down while I'm working on it!

I was looking for a full view storm door, so during warmer months, it would be nice to have that for more sun/light.

Thanks for your help!
 
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Old 12-13-16, 11:15 AM
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Clearly there are benefits to having a storm door that make having one worthwhile. You did describe having the door directly expose to the elements (no overhang) but made no mention of sunlight. Here's an article that provides one last bit of information:

Doors | Department of Energy
 
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Old 12-13-16, 12:26 PM
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Tony,

The door is in full sun second half of the day. I'm well aware of the heat being trapped between the storm door and the actual door. For summer I plan on removing the glass and having a screen installed or nothing.

Thanks!
 
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Old 12-13-16, 03:19 PM
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Sounds good. Beyond that, consider a storm door with glass able to reduce the impact.
 
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