4 Ways To Increase The Energy Efficiency Of Your French Doors

Posted on: 13 August 2015

French doors make for a lovely addition to any home and are commonly used as exterior exits onto patios, decks, and other outdoor living spaces. However, French doors also pose a unique challenge when it comes to installation; even a small miscalculation or misjudgment can lead to gaps between doors that reduce the energy-efficiency of a home. Fortunately, there are a few steps homeowners can take to better insulate their existing French doors.

Replace Old Weatherstripping

Over time, weatherstripping can become flattened, torn, or even ripped away in areas. Therefore, it's a good idea to inspect the French doors for worn weatherstripping every year or so and to replace it as needed. Weatherstripping is extremely cheap and easy to install and can be found in varying sizes, colors, and styles at your local home improvement store. Make sure your French doors have weatherstripping on the sides and top.

Install a Set of Door Sweeps

At the bottom of your French doors, you should have a special type of weatherstripping known as a door sweep. A door sweep not only offers insulation against outside air, but also helps to keep dirt, debris, and even water from entering the home from the outside. Door sweeps can be made of rubber, plastic, wood, or even metal. If your French doors don't have sweeps on them, pick a couple of them up at your home improvement store, cut them to size, and adhere them to your existing French doors.

Check for Warping and Squareness

Over time, your home's foundation naturally settles and there's not much you can do about this. Unfortunately, as settling occurs, your door and window frames can become warped. This may not be very noticeable with a traditional door, but with French style doors, even a small amount of warping can lead to gaps between doors or can even make it difficult for doors to close properly. If your door frame has warped, it may be time to have a contractor come out and re-install it.

Re-Caulk Around the Framing

Finally, if you haven't done so in the last few years, now would also be a good time to re-caulk around the exterior framing of your French doors. This will help to protect your home from outside air, rain, and even pests. When shopping for caulk, just make sure you buy it in a color that blends in well with the frame of the door, and that you purchase a caulk rated for exterior use.