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  • Add Weatherstripping to All Exterior Doors

    Project difficulty: Easy

    Estimated energy savings: 5-10%1

    Time to complete: 1-2 hours

    Materials needed: Screwdriver, hammer, tin snips/side cutters, door sweep, self-adhesive foam weather stripping or weatherstrip kit 

    Did you know your home’s exterior doors can still let air leak through even when they’re closed? Weatherstripping your home’s exterior doors is a simple yet effective way to help keep energy costs down, helping you save money on utility bills each month. 

    A well-sealed door needs two main components: weatherstripping (covers all edges of the door frame) and a door sweep (fills the gap between the threshold and the bottom of the door). But before you head to your local hardware store, first check out your front door and see how well it fits in the frame. If the hinges are loose, you may just need to tighten the screws. However, if you notice your current weatherstripping is falling apart and/or your door is leaking air, it’s a good time to roll up your sleeves and add weatherstripping to your doors.

    Keep reading to learn how to add weatherstripping to your doors. Below, we adapted instructions on weatherstripping windows from the U.S. Department of Energy to apply to doors. You can find more details about weatherstripping doors elsewhere on energy.gov and on home improvement sites. Not only can you save money each month on utility bills, you’ll also keep your family snug in the winter and comfortable in the summer.

    How to add weatherstripping to exterior doors: 

    1. Determine how much weatherstripping you will need. To do this, add up the perimeters of all the doors you plan to weatherstrip and then add about an extra 10% to accommodate any surplus.2
    2. Clean all of the stop moulding with soapy water and allow it to dry completely before applying weatherstripping.
    3. Cut the self-adhesive foam to fit each edge of the door frame.
    4. Peel the back from the foam and press it firmly into the inside of the stop moulding.
    5. Cut the sweep to fit the width of the door.
    6. Close the door and screw the sweep to the door so that the bottom of the sweep touches the floor. 

    1The U.S. Department of Energy estimates you can save up to 10% on total energy costs (gas and electric) by weatherstripping windows and doors in your home, but your actual savings will depend on how well-sealed your home was in the first place, whether you seal all doors and all windows and other factors and conditions specific to your home. https://energy.gov/energysaver/projects/savings-project-how-weatherstrip-double-hung-or-sash-windows
    2U.S. Department of Energy https://energy.gov/energysaver/weatherstripping