Install a storm door
Do you live in an older house with a less-than-efficient exterior door? Installing a storm door—positioned in front of an exterior access door, usually with a window and/or a screen—can save you energy during the winter while providing another fresh air source during the summer.
How to install a storm door
- Choose an energy efficient storm door: Currently, storm doors are not rated by ENERGY STAR or The National Fenestration rating Council (NFRC), but there are still some energy saving features to look for. Storm doors with foam insulation and low-e glazing will save you more energy than a simple storm door. If you can't find a storm door with a low-e coating pre-installed, apply a window film yourself to boost your door’s energy efficiency.
- Install your new doors: Installing a new storm door can be tricky, so check out these helpful instructions for how to get the job done. If it seems too difficult for you, consider hiring a professional to install it for you—check out this contractor database to find a service provider in your area.
- Make a good seal: Ensure there is a good seal around your storm door to make it as efficient as possible.
Note: Although they may be difficult to find, storm doors for patio entrances do exist and may help in insulating your leaky patio doors.
Before you buy
- If your exterior door receives a lot of sunshine during the day, it may not be a good candidate for a storm door. The glass on storm doors can trap heat between it and the entry door, which may damage your entry door.
- If you already have a relatively new, energy efficient door, installing a storm door may not provide you with any additional insulation during inclement weather. However, it still allows you to enjoy the view outside better than a regular exterior door, and with a screen panel also gives you the option of ventilating your home without allowing free reign to bugs.
Find it! Storm doors
Installing a storm door helps you go green because…
- It creates an added heat-transfer-barrier to your exterior door opening, which will save energy and reduce carbon dioxide emissions.
Storm doors form part of a building’s exterior envelope, and therefore can assist in saving energy. They can be opened to provide ventilation during warmer months, may enhance a home’s security, and by adding another heat-resisting barrier, they keep warm air in during cold months and warm air out during hot months.
Tax breaks and subsidies
In the US, installing a storm door may qualify you for tax breaks at the federal, state, or local levels. For detailed information, see these resources:
- American Council for an Energy-Efficiency Economy Updates on potential energy legislation.
- Tax Incentives Assistance Project Explains federal tax credits for energy efficiency.
- Alliance to Save Energy Offers an index of energy efficiency programs by state.
- Database of State Incentives for Renewables & Efficiency Provides information on state and federal incentives.
- Contact your utility provider for information on local offers.
- storm door: Usually installed in front of an exterior opening door, storm doors provide additional protection from inclement weather and ventilation during warm weather. They often come with interchangeable window and screen panels.