In the days before air conditioning, screen doors allowed fresh air into the home and kept out critters and pests as well. Today, the storm door has evolved into a part of your entryway that serves both functional and aesthetic purposes. Though looks are important, you should not base your decision to buy a storm door on appearances alone.
Storm door benefits
When you have a storm door in addition to your entry door, you have a double layer of protection against cold in the winter months and against the heat of summer. The space between the two doors creates a thermal barrier that improves the insulating properties compared to just an entry door alone. And having a storm door helps prevent air from escaping through your entry door. This can lower your heating and cooling bills.
During the spring and fall, a storm door can help cool your home. Many storm doors have both glass and screen inserts, with some styles having an area to store the screen within the door. This airflow keeps your home comfortable when the weather is mild. Storm doors also offer a good way to let natural light into your home if you have a solid door with no windows.
Buy a storm door for more than flashy features
If you're in the market for a storm door, keep in mind that not all storm doors are created equal. Some may possess fancy window panels, come in a range of colors or offer other flashy details, but they could still be very low quality.
Generic, off-the-shelf storm doors are manufactured with thinner aluminum, less reinforcement and lower-grade insulation or no insulation at all. This means they are less energy efficient, less secure and less effective at insulating from outside noise than high-quality storm doors.
While looks are important, here are a few key features to look for when shopping for a new storm door:
- Insulated frame core that helps reduce air movement
- Multi-hollow construction to provide greater strength and security
- Corner keys that provide added support to the inside of the door frame
- A reinforced aluminum kick panel that adds durability, reduces rust and adds strength
- Low-e coating on glass panels for better energy efficiency
- High quality weather stripping with a triple seal to help eliminate drafts
- Retractable screens that are stored within the door slab
- A locking mechanism that can be keyed to your entry door lock
- Continuous piano hinge that better distributes the weight of the door
Storm door installation tips
If you're handy, you can install a storm door with the proper tools. But be aware that in order for a storm door to perform properly, it needs to create a snug fit with the doorframe.
You can also look for a manufacturer who offers professional installation with a warranty on both materials and the installation. This way, you're guaranteed a perfect fit to enjoy draft-free energy efficiency for years to come.