A: Storm doors are a door you can put on the exterior of your existing door to help keep out the elements like rain and cold. It actually helps with insulating the front door.
You’ve probably seen the doors we’re talking about but didn’t know what they were at the time. Storm doors are not a new concept—they’ve been around for decades. However, the storm doors in Houston homes today are far more advanced.
Advanced in terms of mechanical function, durability, and materials versus the storm doors in the past. Your older relatives such as your grandparents more than likely had storm doors on their homes as well. However, these aren’t your grandma’s doors—they’ve come a long way.
But, even though these types of doors may be a huge improvement on a generations-old concept, they still resemble them in many ways. Where they’ve improved is in the technology and added benefits they bring for any homeowner.
An Overview Of Storm Doors
A storm door, as David mentioned, is an additional exterior door placed in front of an entry door to protect against Houston storms. But, it is not a unitasker, as it can also offer ventilation when it gets warmer here. Many storm door manufacturers build their doors with interchangeable front inserts. In winter, you can use a glass insert for added insulation. In spring, you can swap out a mesh screen insert for airflow.
Some other variations take that convenience a bit further and have screens that are built into the door. They roll up or down depending on your needs and allow for easy ventilation on demand since our winters are so mild.
How Do They Work?
If you want to understand why a storm door would be a good idea, you need to understand how and why they work. You need to look at the building envelope of your home—in simple terms, the separation between your interior and exterior.
The envelope consists of your exterior walls, roof, entry doors, flooring, and windows. If any one of these is compromised, your conditioned air inside leaks out and hot or cold air outside gets in. So, essentially, the envelope keeps your home from leaking energy in addition to protection from the weather.
The envelope can be compromised from simple everyday things like opening the front door when it’s hot or cold outside. It could be leaving a window unlocked which allows a draft of air to come in as the window is not fully sealed. But, it can also be something more involved such as a leak in your roof, insufficient insulation, or worn-out weather-stripping on an entry door. Additionally, your door can just be so old that its insulative qualities have diminished.
What Is Conduction?
Conduction is when heat is transferred through material from one space to another. In this case, from the exterior of your home through an entry door. Think about it like this, it’s nice and warm inside your house. However, outside, it’s 40° with wind and rain and it’s blowing hard against your front door. That heat, if the door isn’t properly insulated, will transfer out right through your door.
New doors tend to be insulated very well, especially premium build doors. However, over the years the insulation loses efficiency. That leads to a weakened resistance to conduction and results in energy loss and inefficiency. A storm door adds a barrier between your door and the elements an insulative one at that.
What Are The Benefits of Storm Doors?
Besides the added barrier against the elements, storm doors improve your home in quite a few ways, including:
Adds More Natural Light
Anytime you can light your home using as little electricity as possible, it’s a plus no matter who you are. So, when it’s bright and sunny outside and not scorching hot outside, you can open your entry door. Since most storm doors have a glass insert, it lets in natural light to brighten up the interior. This is a great way to brighten your home without compromising the envelope.
In addition to letting in natural light, with storm doors that have screen options, you can get some fresh air. This is perfect on those days in spring when it’s not too hot, not too cold, but just right to let a breeze in. But, if you just open the front door, in Houston especially—you get flies or worse those love bugs.
The storm door offers the fresh air you want but keeps out the flies and other insects you don’t want inside. This is especially nice after keeping the home sealed up all winter. It’s always good to just air out your house now and then.
An Added Layer Of Protection
Let’s face it, Texas weather, thunderstorms especially, can be brutal in Houston. Not only do we deal with thunderstorms with violent hail, but there’s those hurricane things. Hurricanes turn into tropical storms, and all you have to do is say Allison in Houston if you want a witness.
In these storms debris is being tossed about with high winds, hail pounds your entry doors, often denting or damaging the paint. However, a storm door is built specifically to be the bodyguard of your door. So, it’s built tough as well and can take a beating from a hail storm or the onslaught of flying branches and debris.
What’s the bottom line? Your beautifully painted or stained entry door is protected from cosmetic and material damage. This is especially beneficial if you have installed custom doors or other expensive entry door solutions.
Boosts Curb Appeal
Earlier, we mentioned your grandma’s storm doors. We mean no disrespect, the storm doors back then were tanks. But, they also looked and sounded like them as they were plain with limited colors, and were obnoxiously loud in operation.
Today, a storm door can be as customizable as you need it to be with a variety of colors and designs. A storm door can accentuate the entry to your home and give it a style upgrade. Next to windows, a storm door is one of the biggest bangs for your buck. It adds function, style, and efficiency to your home in one simple installation.
Increases Energy Efficiency
As mentioned, the storm door adds another layer of insulation to your entry door and helps to retain your home’s energy. In some cases, installing a storm door has resulted in a 50% reduction in energy loss. Everyone has a unique situation, but the overall data shows that the savings are there across the board.
Protect Your Home With A Storm Door
If you’ve been considering ways to improve your home’s energy efficiency, a storm door is a great starting point. At The Window Source of Houston, we have a wide range of storm door options to help protect your home.
Contact us today to get storm doors for your home!