Storm doors are the aptly named exterior doors that serve as your home's first line of defense against the elements. But they don't merely guard your entryway rug from raindrops. Contemporary storm doors provide multiple layers of home protection, all while aiding the environment.
Do storm doors save energy?
Storm doors can save energy by regulating your home's temperature year-round. The extra layer of home insulation reduces heat loss in the winter and keeps cool air inside when it's warm outside.
However, the energy savings from storm doors are minimal. Aside from air leaks, doors aren't a significant source of home energy loss. If you're looking to improve energy efficiency, you'll get more bang for your buck by updating your indoor appliances, replacing your leaky air ducts or fitting your front door with high-grade weather-stripping.
The high price of savings
Increasingly, storm doors are viewed as an inefficient economic investment in energy savings. The average storm door costs about $200, and installation fees can nearly double the shelf price.
Cost climbs quickly when adding optional security features, removable panels and low-emissivity glass. Low-e glass increases the sticker price by 15 percent, but this addition controls temperature flow and doubles your energy savings. To invest in a well-made, long-lasting storm door, upgrades are inevitable.
Storm door strong points
However, if saving energy isn't your primary goal, there are many advantages to installing some extra weather protection. You should consider investing in a storm door if:
- You have an old door in good condition. If your front door is outdated but not quite worn enough to replace, a storm door can eliminate air leaks without the expense of a brand new weatherproof door.
- You want extra home security. When it comes to deterring thieves, two doors are better than one. Many storm doors are now available with high-tech security add-ons including heavy-duty locks, three-point locking systems and shatter-resistant glass.
- You're no stranger to storms. In cities with blazing hot summers, icy winters and frequent thunderstorms, storm doors add an extra layer of insulation while protecting your primary door from the elements.
- Your front door is partially shaded. According to the Department of Energy, you should never install a storm door if your front door gets more than a few hours of direct sunlight each day. Storm doors can trap the sun's rays against your front door, causing deterioration and long-term damage.
- You'd like to soak up some sunlight: If you opt for a storm door with removable panels, you can swap glass for mesh screens and enjoy a bug-free summer breeze from the comfort of your couch. Storm doors also allow you to leave your front door open on sunny-but-frosty days for a full dose of vitamin D, without the winter chill.
When it comes to super energy savings, storm doors fall short. However, there are many other reasons for adding an extra exterior door. Ultimately, your home improvement priorities and budgetary boundaries will help you determine if it's best to weather the weather without a storm door.