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Securing Doors For Summer Heat

by Gabby Hyman
Repair-Home Columnist

Summer will be upon us soon enough. While most homeowners have the idea of having their doors sealed to retain winter heat, many forget that energy leaks in the summer can be costly. Checking your weather-stripping each spring can reveal wear from winter's brutal cold and spare you unreasonable air conditioning costs when the sidewalks begin to sizzle.

It's helpful to remember that people open their doors no matter the outside weather, even though you may have your AC running at a full-tilt boogie. That's even a greater reason to check for warping or for doors that wriggle in their frames. You may need to call in a contractor. If you have hallow-core doors, they can be as costly in the heat of summer as during winter months.

According to the home improvement experts at Lowes, a 1/8" gap between your threshold and door is just like having a 2-square hole in your wall when it comes to seeping AC out into the world. You can spare yourself as much as 15 percent in cooling costs by shoring that up, they add.

Door Weather-stripping in the Good Old Summertime

You can't beat vinyl or metal weather-stripping for efficiency and durability, although foam and felt products are certainly cheaper. In the long run, the foam and felt gear can erode from the constant movement of the door. If you have kids or pets that go in and out all summer, you may want to consider spending the extra money.

A contractor can handle the job in short order. But if you chose to do the work yourself, make sure the weather-stripping is inserted as a single, continuous strip on each side and meshes completely at the corners.

Be sure to apply weather-strip to the entire jamb. And you may have to replace sweeps and thresholds if the bottom of the door gives way to fresh outside air. Door shoes are typically made of a vinyl or neoprene gasket. If you have installed the correct thickness, your door should fit snugly against the jamb, but will close easily.

About the Author
Gabby Hyman has created online strategies and written content for Fortune 500 companies including eToys, GoTo.com, Siebel Systems, Microsoft Encarta, Avaya, and Nissan UK.