Weatherstripping, insulation can be easy fixes

During October's Energy Awareness Month, energy efficiency experts are reminding homeowners to check their doors at least once a year to make certain the units are not leaking air, which can increase heating and cooling bills.

"Start by inspecting the weather strip around all sides of every door in your home to make sure it has not worn out," said Derek Fielding, director of product management for Ohio-based Therma-Tru Corp. "Stand inside near your doors on a bright day and look for daylight coming in through the door's perimeter. If you see light, that means external air and possibly moisture is coming into your home, reducing the energy efficiency of the door.

"This can be a simple fix if your foam-filled weatherstrip has lost some of its compression, flattened out or cracked. However, if you're seeing large gaps, or if the door itself feels hot or cold on the inside, reflecting the temperatures outdoors, then it may be time to upgrade to a more energy efficient entry door."

Fielding recommends fiberglass entry doors that are thermally broken — meaning they insulate against both cold and heat. Steel doors can be thermally conductive and result in the transfer of temperatures quickly from the interior to the exterior, and vice versa.

"Ideally, you're looking for a fiberglass door system with components that are engineered to work together to help maximize the seal between the door and the frame," said Fielding. "We follow this principle when creating our fiberglass doors so that the systems help keep heating and air conditioning inside the house to help boost the energy efficiency of the home."

According to Fielding, homeowners choosing to add decorative glass to their fiberglass doors can also count on energy-efficient features. Triple-pane construction of doorlites and sidelites creates a strong thermal and acoustical barrier.

"Given how many doors we typically have in our homes — from the main entry to side and back entrances to garage doors — it's important to annually review the efficiency of these doors," said Fielding. "Having doors that are Energy Star qualified and National Fenestration Rating Council (NFRC) certified can help save homeowners money every day on energy costs."

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