Doors play an important part in sealing off your home - or parts of your home - to keep heat in (or out). With power prices on the rise and carbon emissions becoming a growing concern, maintaining the energy envelope of your home can provide long term benefits to the environment and your hip pocket.
The outside edges of an exterior door in particular can make a significant contribution to your home's overall energy efficiency. It’s no good having a triple insulated door if all the heat's escaping between the door and the jambs. Poor draught control in a house can contribute to anywhere between 5% and 30% of the energy used in your home. There are a few different door accessories that can help to weatherproof and help seal off the spaces around a door.
Draught stoppers and excluders
Draught stoppers or excluders (which a lot of people know better as door snakes) are lightweight, removable tubes of fabric stuffed with foam which lie against the base of the door to stop draughts from breezing in underneath. These are a quick and inexpensive solution to a draughty door, but they need to be moved every time the door is opened, making them less convenient than permanent door attachments.
Weather strips and door sweeps
Weather strips and door sweeps are permanent door fixtures which work to seal gaps all around the door and help make your home airtight. Weather strips come in a variety of designs ranging from a simple rubber or soft plastic strip that presses against the door frame to create a seal, to interlocking magnetic V strips that are more complex to install, but which provide much better protection against draughts and the infiltration of air.
Door sweeps are strips of metal, usually clamping a longer rubber strip which extends to the floor. These are attached to the bottom rail of a door to block out any breezes from blowing in underneath. This is typically where the largest gap is located, especially if the door has no raised sill, so even on its own a door sweep can represent a pretty big improvement.
Creating a good, airtight seal around your exterior doors can make a big difference to how well your house holds its heat (or cool), particularly if it's paired with solid seals around your windows. Proper weather strips and door sweeps aren't usually all that expensive - and they'll usually pay for themselves fairly quickly in terms of the savings they'll provide on your heating and cooling bills.