Recently, we invited readers to submit their biggest home improvement questions to us for the chance to enter our Home Improvement Sweepstakes and win a Visa gift card. We were pleasantly surprised with just how many questions we received. Over the next few weeks, we’re going to be answering some of our favorite questions right here on the blog.

Today’s reader question is as follows:

How do I stop the air from coming in the door?

Leaks around doors not only affect your indoor comfort, but they also cost you money. When air is able to escape out the door or flow in from outside, it forces your air conditioner to work harder to keep your home comfortable. This adds up to higher energy bills, and it could even reduce the lifetime of your AC.

According to ENERGY STAR, sealing air leaks around your home could provide up to a 10% annual savings on your energy bills (source). And with the average monthly electric bill running at $128.27 a month in Texas, that’s a lot of money you can save over time by sealing your door and other air leaks in your home (source).

With that in mind, it’s important that you take the right steps to seal any cracks or gaps around your doors to prevent air leaks. Here are some general tips to help you out.

  • Confirm the leak—If you suspect an air leak from your doors, the first thing you need to do is confirm your suspicions. The easiest way to do this is on a windy day, take a lit candle, incense stick, or smoke pen and hold it next to the door in the places where air might be leaking. If the smoke moves horizontally, you have an air leak.
  • Seal the bottom—If air is leaking in from the bottom of the door, the first thing you need to do is check the threshold gasket to determine its condition. If its work down and you’re able to see daylight peeking through the bottom of the door, you’ll likely need to get a new threshold with a taller pliable sealing gasket.
  • Caulk gaps around the trim—Thoroughly check the exterior trim for any gaps between the trim and your door frame. Also, look for gaps between the trim and the siding. Seal up any of these gaps by using an exterior latex caulk.
  • Install new weatherstripping—Over time, a door’s weather seals get worn out and torn up due to daily wear and tear. When this happens, air is free to pass through. Air infiltration around the door panel and between the door and the door jamb can usually be stopped with weatherstripping of the door. While there are weatherstripping products at local hardware stores, many of them aren’t the highest quality. Not to mention, improper installation could lead to poor results. That leads us to our final point…
  • Have your door inspected by a professional—Your best bet is to let a professional door installation company inspect your door carefully for any leaks. They will be able to ensure all leaks are identified, and with access to quality, manufacturer-grade weatherstripping, a contractor will help ensure any leaks are taken care of once and for all.

Have a question about sealing leaks around your doors? Leave a comment below, and we’ll answer!