Entry doors play a major role in shaping the aesthetics, safety, and energy efficiency of a home. Storm doors and screen doors allow homeowners to protect their entry door investment, but the benefits go beyond shielding your door from the elements! Read on for an overview of the advantages of each of these doors and information on when to swap them out.
Benefits of Storm Doors
Storm doors are a great tool for protecting your home’s “building envelope.” We’ve talked about this concept before, and it’s as simple as it sounds: a home’s building envelope is made up of all the structures that separate the climate-controlled indoor area from the outdoors–walls, windows, roofing, doors, etc. The function of a building envelope is to provide optimal energy efficiency and comfort to residents of your home, and this can be measured by how well your building envelope slows the rate of heat transfer–in other words, how well it keeps warm air out in the summer, and warm air in in the winter.
That’s where a storm door comes in. Storm doors pull double duty in the fall and winter months. Firstly and fundamentally, even if you have an energy efficient entry door, they provide an additional barrier to warm air escaping your home. But they also have the potential to make up for the energy failings of a poorly installed entry door, or one that’s simply warped and shifted over time. Storm doors do both of these things while protecting the integrity of your entry door amidst the worst winter weather.
Beyond these benefits, storm doors allow homeowners to enjoy some natural light in otherwise dark seasons. Leaving your entry door wide open to enjoy some sunshine may seem like a small pleasure, but it can be just what the doctor ordered during the doldrums of winter or when hosting get-togethers in cooler weather.
Benefits of Screen Doors
Just as storm doors provide much-needed contact with the outside world during cooler months, screen doors provide a perfect opportunity to enjoy fresh air in warmer temperatures. Though the energy savings of a storm door aren’t matched by a screen door, the free circulation of air does have a positive impact on the indoor climate of your home; there’s a good chance that you’ll find yourself using the AC less often with the addition of screen doors to your front and rear entry doors.
Screen doors also offer a degree of protection against elements such as rain and debris that might otherwise tax your entry door, all while keeping pesky insects at bay.
When to Swap Storms for Screens
Storm doors provide excellent protection for your entry doors during fall and winter months, but with the arrival of spring and the onset of higher, summer-like temperatures, the time has arrived to swap out your glass storm doors. It’s important that you swap out storm doors when the weather turns fair because warm temperatures and direct sunlight can spell trouble for entry doors. The presence of a storm door creates a pocket of especially hot air–this air can pose an array of problems for entry doors, from warping wood to fading and compromising finishes.
Luckily, many manufacturers offer storm door frames that make it super easy for homeowners to swap out glass panels for screen inserts. If you haven’t already changed out your glass panels, now is the time! And if your entry door is all by its lonesome, consider adding a storm/screen door this year.