April 20, 2015
Changing the Storm Doors
The arrival of spring’s gentle breezes is the ideal time to swap out those heavy glass storm doors for the lighter, cooler framed screen inserts. It’s an easy task to ignore, but doing this every spring and changing them back every fall provides better maintenance for the doors, and better energy efficiency for the home.
It's an easy chore to accomplish and a most refreshing change for the new season. If you haven't yet changed the storm doors and windows at your home, I hope these photos and tips offer a little inspiration...
1 Changing storm doors with cooler, lighter screen panels allows more air circulation in the home, and provides better energy efficiency during summer months.
2 Storm doors also have a lot of benefits - they provide added insulation and more protection to the exterior door. They also offer more security for the home. Swapping door inserts when seasons change is easy to do and doesn't take up a lot of time.
3 Most storm doors are made of wood (like mine), fiberglass or aluminum, and have interchangeable glass and screen panels. Some doors use screws and brackets to hold inserts in place, while others use spring loaded clips.
4 If you look closely, you can see the bracket holding the insert in one of my storm doors. A regular screwdriver is used to turn the screw clockwise or counterclockwise to release or retract the bracket into the wooden frame of the insert.
5 In this photo, you can see the brass hardware hidden in the wooden frame. Each of my storm doors has about six brackets to hold the inserts in place. Some of my larger storm windows have eight brackets.
6 Screen doors allow cool breezes in, but keep annoying insects out, including pesky mosquitos.
7 When changing storm door inserts, be sure to label them well, so there is no confusion when it comes time to changing them again. Store your inserts in a cool dry place during the off season.
8 All the screens and storm doors are stored in my basement and are specifically labeled to indicate which door insert belongs in what house and what door it fits.
9 Once the insert is placed into the door frame, all the screws and brackets are checked to make sure the screen insert is secure. When changing inserts, it is also a good idea to clean the frames by wiping them down with a moist towel or rag.
10 There are so many storm door options - some with full-height glass and screen panels and those with mid-height panels. It all depends on personal preference. Any good quality door, however, will feel sturdy, and will open and close smoothly.
11 After replacing the door insert and securing the screen in place, check the pneumatic storm door closer to ensure it has the right amount of tension. Storm doors either have pneumatic or hydraulic closers. Pneumatic closers will emit a small puff of air when operated, while hydraulic closers use oil.
12 My storm doors have pneumatic mechanisms. In order to adjust the pneumatic cylinder, remove the pin, so it disconnects from the entry frame; turn the screw in the cylinder clockwise, so the door closes more slowly.
13 And, turn the screw counterclockwise if the door needs to close more quickly.
14 Return the pin, so it connects the cylinder to the bracket attached to the doorway's entry frame. When adjusting the cylinder, be sure to stop and check the door closing often - even tiny adjustments can make a huge impact on the door's closing speed.
15 I like the elegant look of this bronze mesh screening, which is made of 90-percent copper and 10-percent zinc for strength and durability.
16 Another door down, a few more to go - it's always refreshing to get this spring chore out of the way.
17 My storm windows are secured in the same fashion - with screws and brackets attached to the wooden frames. This window is at the back of my home gym - it lets in a lot of light, but the storm window glass is very large and very heavy.
18 Here comes the replacement screen insert.
19 Each screw was turned to release the bracket that holds the screen in place.