How Security Screen Doors Can Improve Your Home's Energy Efficiency

How Security Screen Doors Can Improve Your Home's Energy Efficiency

Installing a security screen door can not only add an extra layer of protection for your home, but also help reduce energy costs by improving overall home energy efficiency. Screen doors provide an additional barrier that cuts down on drafts and helps regulate temperatures more effectively.

The simple act of opening and closing a standard front or back door allows a significant amount of air to pass in and out of the home. All that air movement leads to warm or cool interior air escaping outside. A security screen door can stop that air exchange and reduce unwanted heat loss or gain through the main entryways.

How Screen Doors Help Save Energy

There are a few key ways that a screen door works to boost home energy efficiency:

Blocks Drafts - Screen material allows air to flow through while blocking drafts. This prevents cold winter winds or hot summer breezes from directly blowing into the home when doors are opened.

Acts as an Insulation Layer - Even if they are mostly mesh, screen doors provide an extra barrier at doors. This reduces thermal transfer from the warmer interior to cooler exterior or vice versa. Two layers of material are better than one at retaining indoor temperatures.

Slows Airflow - The mesh material doesn't fully stop air movement like a solid door would. But it does slow the speed at which air passes through compared to an open door portal. Slower airflow means less heat exchange between indoor and outdoor environments.

Increases "Stack Effect" - When a home has multiple stories, the difference in air pressure between higher and lower floors causes warm air to rise upward - this is known as the stack effect. Screen doors prevent quicker dissipation of this convection airflow, assisting the natural circulation of ventilation.

Doesn't Replace Primary Door - A screen door isn't meant as a substitute for the main wooden, metal or fiberglass security door. It provides an added layer of insulation while the primary door can still be opened and closed as needed for in-and-out access.

The exact energy savings from screen doors will vary depending on climate zone, type of primary entry door, quality of weatherstripping around the primary door, and individual home construction details. However, experts estimate screen doors can lower heating and cooling costs anywhere from 5-10% per year on average.

Key Attributes of High-Performing Screen Doors

When shopping for a new screen door to optimize energy efficiency, look for these qualities:

Tight-Fitting Mesh - A close-knit weave will block drafts better than wide-open mesh. Look for 14-18 mesh counts per linear inch for maximum insulation properties.

Full-Length Weatherstripping - Rubber or vinyl stripping around all 4 sides and the mid-rail creates an air-tight barrier when closed. Many screen doors only weatherstrip the top and sides, leaving gaps.

Adjustable Latching System - A latch that can be set securely without gaps at the top, bottom and sides helps eliminate airflow when shut. Magnetic or pull-down styles work well.

Sturdy Frame - Screen doors take a lot of opening and closing abuse. Heftier vinyl or extruded aluminum frames hold up longer than flimsier ones made of thinner materials.

Dual-Season Options - Look for reversible screen doors with spring-loaded woven screens on one side and rigid insulated panels on the other for year-round versatility.

Screen Door Installation and Maintenance

Proper installation is crucial for a screen door to perform its energy-saving functions optimally. Here are some tips:

Measure Accurately - Take precise width and height measurements so the new screen door is an exact fit with no excessive play in the frame. Gaps defeat the purpose.

Check Direction - Most screen doors are designed to open only inward or outward depending on hinge placement - make sure it matches your needs.

Adjust Latching - Tighten any screws, ensure smooth operation without binding for an airtight close across the entire perimeter.

Weatherstrip as Needed - Inspect existing weatherstripping and replace if cracked or loose so there are no draft paths. Add extra as well if needed.

Lubricate Hinges - Keeping hinges lubricated provides smooth operation that allows a tight closure without warping of the door over time.

Minor screen repairs should also be made promptly like re-tensioning stretched mesh, replacing missing or broken wires, or patching small holes. Proper screen door maintenance ensures maximum performance for energy efficiency year after year.

A well-installed, high-quality security screen door is a simple, inexpensive home upgrade that delivers ongoing savings through reduced air leakage and better thermal control. The dividends are lower utility bills and a more comfortable indoor climate - along with the reassurance of an extra defensive layer for home protection. For boosting overall home energy efficiency, a screen door should be a standard addition for any front or back entryway.


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