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How to Prevent Door Drafts

Notice a breeze or chill around the entry and exit points of your home? You're certainly not alone.

Door drafts can be a common in many homes – and they can have a significant impact on your home's energy usage as well. In fact, according to the U.S. Department of Energy, it's estimated that a drafty home may cost about 20 percent more to heat than one without any air leaks. This quick statistic underscores the importance of addressing these issues if you want to conserve energy and avoid overworking your furnace. Even a gap as small as one-eighth of an inch can allow as much air into the home as a small window that's open about halfway.

White dresser next to an open door leading to a bed room.

Why Correct Door Drafts?

In addition to conserving energy and limiting wear and tear on your heating system, there are several other reasons why it makes sense to correct any existing door drafts in your home.

For instance, there's the comfort aspect of it--drafty doors can lead to fluctuating temperatures within the home and cold spots around problematic areas. Drafts can lead to significant temperature differences on the main level of your home where entry and exit points are located compared to areas where they are not.

Door drafts can also be the sign of a door that was installed incorrectly. If this is the case, then cool air likely isn't the only thing entering your home as a result. Any gaps in the door could also make it easier for water or insects to enter your home, which could lead to issues that include water damage, mold growth, and pest infestations.

How to Stop Door Drafts

The good news is that drafty doors are fairly easy to correct. Here's a look at some of the things you can do around the home to correct any air leaks near entry and exits points:

  • Replace the weatherstripping and the door sweep: When doors are initially installed, they're done so with weatherstripping, which is intended to better seal the door against the home. However, weatherstripping can fail over time and will likely need to be replaced every 5 years or so. While you're at it, add a new sweep at the bottom of your door to try to create more of a seal where the door meets the floor.
  • Purchase a draft door stopper: There are a variety of draft door stoppers that you can purchase. Stoppers are designed to fit over the bottom of your door, filling any gaps that may exist between your door and the floor. Some door stoppers are designed to be installed onto the door, while others attach magnetically. Even simply rolling up a towel and placing it at the bottom of the door can help reduce any unwanted chill.
  • Fix the door: If your drafty doors are stemming from improper door installation, then it could be a good idea to remove the door and install it correctly. Aside from ensuring that it's properly installed, doing so will also allow you to address any issues with weatherstripping and the door sweep.
  • Replace the door: While this is a more costly tip, sometimes the source of drafty doors is also the door itself. To truly tackle drafty door issues and make your home more comfortable overall, it can make sense to upgrade to a door with better insulating properties. When it's properly installed and complemented with the other tips that we've noted here, it can make a significant difference in your home's energy bills as well as the overall comfort level of the home.

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