It is estimated that as much as 50% of the cooler air in our homes is lost because of drafts coming from ill fitting doors and windows. The majority of homeowners are aware of this problem in terms of windows and external doors and have taken measures to draft proof them; however, when it comes to interior doors most people just do not take them into consideration. This can result in losing substantial sums of money on air conditioning bills because the cooler air is escaping.
Draft Proofing The Gaps
The most common problem area with interior doors is the gap between the door and the floor. This can be fairly easily rectified by purchasing draft excluder strips which can be attached onto the bottom of the door. This type of draft proofing is only really necessary on doors between heated and unheated rooms. For example, it is fairly common not to cool utility rooms, but if there is a gap in the interior doors then these rooms could be sucking away the cooler air from other rooms such as a sitting room. If the door is between two air conditioned rooms then draft proofing is not really necessary as the colder air will circulate freely between the two rooms.
What If The Doors Is Poorly Fitted?
However, that gap underneath your interior doors may not be the problem. If your doors are ill fitting then there will be gaps on all four sides. This is not something that can be addressed with draft excluder strips. If there are substantial gaps around your doors which are causing a draft then you may need to look at having new doors fitted. This might seem a little pricey, but in the long term the cost of some good solid interior doors will be worth while once you start to see the cost of cooling your home begin to drop somewhat dramatically.
Measuring For new Interior Doors
Taking accurate measurements for an interior door is not as easy as it might seem. Interior doors tend to come in two somewhat standard widths – 30 inches and 32 inches. However, you must measure to make sure, and you must never assume that all of your doorways are the same size! The first measurement that should be taken is width and height. It is recommended that you add an additional 2 inches onto both measurements to allow for the frame. These are your basic measurements. However, you must also go on to measure the width of the door at the top, the bottom and around the middle of the doorway. This should be repeated on the height measurement taking the measurement at both the left and right of the doorway and again in the middle. These measurements need to be as accurate as possible and should be rounded to the nearest eighth of an inch. Lastly, it is essential that you check all four corners of the doorway to make sure that they are square. If they are not then take note of the angles and inform your interior doors manufacturer so that they can compensate for the discrepancies.
Choosing The Best Interior Doors
Once you have your measurements you will want to look for a supplier or manufacturer who can offer custom sizing on your interior doors. If you are at all unsure about your own measurements then you may also wish to see out a provider who can offer a free measuring service. Once you have selected a supplier the next step is to choose the style of door you would like. There are many things to take into consideration including the look, the finish and also the cost. One piece of advice that is well worth taking into consideration is that you should opt for solid interior doors rather than hollow core ones. A heavier door may be more expensive, but it will offer much more in terms of keeping out those drafts.
If you are looking at ways to cut down on your utility bills then looking at your interior doors is a great place to start. If they are ill fitting, then there could be hundreds of dollars worth of cold air escaping through the gaps. If you replace them now you will soon reap the benefits of lower utility bills. Take the time to measure the doors accurately and look for a good quality solid wood interior door to help cut out those drafts.
Alyson Duncan is a home improvement enthusiast who has been published by various blogs and online publications. For further information you can checkout her website, or catch up with her on Twitter @27estore.
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