Having the right storm door could be more important for your home’s comfort and protection of your entry door. Before you install a storm door, it's a good idea to learn the basics before deciding whether a storm door is the right option for your home.
What is a storm door?
A storm door is a second, outer door commonly installed for protection against bad weather, and allows for ventilation in fair weather. Storm doors typically have interchangeable or retractable glass and screen panels. And like front doors, they're available in many sizes and materials. In warm weather, the main door can be open and the storm door will allow ventilation without letting in bugs. Storm doors are typically made with three layers: a front and back layer making up the exterior skin, and an interior layer of insulation.
What is the purpose of a storm door?
A storm door serves several purposes. When the weather is nice, it allows you to open your entry door to allow additional light and increased ventilation into your home while still protecting from bugs. If you have a solid exterior door and want the option to watch kids play outside or let light into the house, a storm door allows that flexibility. The additional door may also protect your main entry door from rain, ice, and snow; when properly installed. Another purpose is to add extra insulation against air leaks. Storm doors can create a pocket of insulation that keeps warm air in and cold air out.
Storm Door Styles
The frames and glass of storm doors can come in many different styles, all of which let in different levels of light. Full view storm doors have an entire panel of glass in the door, mid-view storm doors are comprised of three-quarters glass, and high view storm doors have glass in the upper half. Glass can be clear, decorative, or Low E. If you need a storm door customized to a style that matches the exterior of your home, they are available in a variety of colors, and handle sets are available in many different finishes.
Features and Hardware
There are many extras you can add to make your storm door more beautiful and functional. Storm doors are available in vinyl, aluminum, fiberglass, or wood. They can be ordered already painted to match the color to your home's exterior. Many storm doors offer the option of having blinds between the panes for privacy. You can also choose a built-in keyed lock or any type of lock desired. Handles and hinges can be found in a variety of finishes like oil-rubbed bronze or antique brass, or you can choose to have them match the color of the door.
When You Need a Storm Door
Consider your climate when deciding whether or not a storm door makes sense for your home. If your door is exposed to the elements, a screen door may be the right option. You may opt out of a storm door if you have a new, well-sealed, energy-efficient front door. Warmer climates don't need storm doors to protect the door from winter weather, but the screen would allow air to circulate during nice weather.
According to the Department of Energy, if your exterior door receives more than a few hours of direct sun each day you should probably skip the storm door. The glass will trap heat against the entry door and could damage it. Additionally, if your door is on a porch or under an overhang where it is protected from the elements, you may not need a storm door.
Pros and Cons of Storm Doors
- Allows for ventilation in fair weather
- Adds visibility option for homes with solid doors
- Lets in light but keeps out bugs
- May protect your main entry door from rain, ice, and snow
- Available in multiple options, styles, colors, etc.
- Could cause build up of heat that can harm your entry door
- Not necessary if your door resides under a covered porch or overhang
- May be inconvenient when carrying groceries or small children
Storm doors can be a useful addition to your home, but they aren’t for everyone. They invite in summer breezes and allow you to let in additional light when the weather is fair. If you feel that a storm door would be a good addition to your home, talk to the professionals to get more details on which storm door is best for you.