French doors certainly add character to the exterior of your home, but the large windows found in most French doors can make some homeowners wary of high energy bills in the winter. The good news is that you do not have to choose between the doors you've always dreamed of and a heating bill you can afford. With these three strategies, you can reduce heat loss through your exterior French doors.
Sealing the Doors with Plastic
Sealing doors with plastic is a great way to reduce heat loss, but it will prevent you from opening the doors for as long as the plastic is in place. If your French doors lead onto a back patio, you probably won't even use them in the winter, so this is of little concern. Even if you could use your French doors in the winter, it may be best to use another set of doors to enter and exit your home during the winter so you can employ this effective strategy.
Plastic sheets to seal windows and doors are typically sold in home improvement stores. Most come with special tape, which you use to fix the plastic to the frame of the door or window, and instructions you can follow. Have a friend or family member help you apply the plastic to your doors. You'll want to attach the plastic to the door frame, rather than to the windows within the door. It should stretch all of the way across the doors, from one side of the frame to the other, essentially creating a barrier so that the warm air in your home does not come into contact with the cold windows.
Hanging Insulating Curtains
It may sound silly to hang curtains over your doors, but doing so can save you a lot of money on your heating bills during the winter. When spring comes, you can take down the curtains and curtain rods and enjoy the look of your French doors again. This solution is a good choice if you need to continue using your French doors throughout the winter; you'll just have to push through the curtains to do so.
Insulating curtains come in several varieties. Some are simply made from thick, insulating materials like wool or fleece, while others are more high-tech. The best insulating curtains contain high-density foam interiors, which block heat exchange, as well as a reflective film that directs heat back into the room. Look for insulating curtains that look good in your home, so your doors don't become an eyesore all winter, and mount them on a curtain rod above the doors. Make sure the curtains extend all of the way to the floor for the best insulation.
Having the Glass Coated with Heat Insulation Paint
This strategy reduces heat loss through the glass itself, but it does not reduce heat loss through the gaps around the door frame or from between the glass panels and the door frame. Thus, you may want to use it in conjunction with one of the strategies above.
Heat insulation paint is a clear substance that can be sprayed on glass to reduce the amount of heat that transfers through it. If you're getting new French exterior doors, ask your supplier if they can use pre-treated glass in your windows. If you already have French doors in your home, contact glass companies in your area to see if they offer glass treating services. Some will come apply the paint to your glass on-site. Keep in mind that it takes up to 7 days to dry completely, so you may have to avoid using your doors during this time.
French exterior doors with numerous glass panels don't have to be a heating nightmare. Use insulating curtains, plastic seals, or heat insulation paint to reduce heat loss, and your pockets will still jingle as you admire your doors.
For more information about getting french doors or steps to insulate the ones you already have, visit http://www.shopthedoorstore.com/.
How old is the front door on your home? Have you ever walked past the door and felt a cool breeze coming from under it? Could it be time to replace your front door, or can you repair the one that you have? My site is filled with advice and tips for learning when to replace and when to repair a front door. You can learn from my personal experience of living in older homes how to know when it is time to call it quits on the old stuff and invest in new. Hopefully, my failures and successes can help you avoid the failures and go straight for the success.