Are Storm Doors Outdated? What You Need To Know

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With the average price of installing a storm door averaging $400, you might have second thoughts about buying and installing a storm door. Is it a good investment, or are storm doors outdated?

Storm doors are not outdated, but they are no longer used primarily for energy savings. Instead, homeowners purchase them due to other benefits, including protecting the doors from the elements and increasing the value of their homes.

Having a storm door can be important for the comfort of your house, or it could be a waste of time and money to install. Before deciding whether a storm door is the best choice for your home, let’s learn more about them.

What Is a Storm Door?

A storm door sits in front of an outer door, and it will save energy in two ways. First, it acts as a barrier to airflow, reducing air leaks through the main door. It also creates an insulating air pocket that lowers the amount of heat that can be conducted through the current door.

Most storm doors sport frames that are constructed using:

  • Vinyl
  • Steel
  • Aluminum
  • Fiberglass

In addition, the doors contain glass panels or a combination of glass panels and screens. Along with increasing insulation, they let more light come into your home, provide seasonal ventilation, and can add to the value of your home.

Wooden storm doors are aesthetically pleasing, but they require additional maintenance that comes with wood doors.

Types of Storm Doors

There are different types of storm doors, but usually, a storm door is not the same as a screen door. A screen door is a kind of storm door meant to keep out bugs and insects and let fresh air in your house. 

True storm doors have glass panels. Some glass panels can be slid down to reveal a screen that provides ventilation. There are three main types of storm doors: full-view, mid-view, and high-view.  

  • A full-view door. It’s a glass door with one or more panels made of glass. Some full-view doors have a removable panel that can be replaced with screen ventilation. Typically, however, someone who wants the versatility of screen and glass will choose a mid-view door.
  • A mid-view storm door. It has a solid panel at the bottom, and the rest of the door consists of one or more glass panels. Some mid-view doors have replaceable glass panels, but the glass slides down, revealing the screen on most doors.
  • A high-view storm door. It consists primarily of a solid door with glass at the top. These doors are designed to provide some ventilation while maintaining privacy.

A full-view door will usually provide the most curb appeal and security features of a storm door, while a mid-view door is more practical. High-view doors are not as common as the other two styles.

Benefits of Storm Doors

There must be benefits to using storm doors, or over 5 million doors wouldn’t be sold annually. These advantages point to why storm doors are not outdated even though what used to be their chief benefit is, in most cases, no longer a major advantage. Storm doors:

  • Protect your doors against the elements. Storm doors act as a buffer between your front door and the weather. They help protect front and rear doors from rain, snow, ice, wind, and heat.
  • Increase air circulation. Storm doors with retractable screen panels are a great source of air circulation. The doors are an excellent solution for improving circulation in homes, such as townhouses, that often don’t have enough windows.
  • Keep bugs out. Storm doors also keep flies, bugs, and other pests out of the house. Opening your front door open to circulate fresh air not only brings in the fresh air, but it also invites the pests to come in. Storm doors with partial screens let the air in and keep the bugs out.
  • Let light in.  Installing a storm door on your home’s front entrance will brighten your hallway. Most people keep front doors closed to keep pests out. However, a glass-paneled storm door will provide you with natural light.
  • Increase the value of your house. A sturdy and attractive storm door will add curb appeal and value to your home.
  • Reduce your bill. If you live in an older home or your front door isn’t installed correctly, air may flow through the gaps. This draft will raise your energy bill. A storm door can provide additional insulation and lower your bill.  

However, storm doors save very little energy compared to their cost. Aside from air leakage, doors aren’t a significant cause of energy loss in the home. If you want to save money on energy bills, installing high-quality weather-stripping on your front door should be a higher priority. Not only that, if you can eliminate the drafts, you will be more comfortable.

Therefore, if you want to install a storm door simply to save money on your fuel bill, you might not see a return on your investment.  

Storm Door Disadvantages

Storm doors have several disadvantages. Probably the biggest one is that they will not save you a lot of money on your fuel bill. Additionally, they can be inconvenient and have to be maintained.

Let’s explore some of these downsides further.

Storm Doors Require Maintenance

A storm door is something else that needs to be cleaned and maintained. While a storm door protects the inside door, the glass panels get dirty. And dirty storm doors on the front of your home will make your house unattractive. So you will want to keep them clean.

You may also need to repair or eventually replace the handle, latch, or lock.

They Can Be Inconvenient

An inconvenient aspect of a storm door is that it’s another door to open and close. If you purchase one with a security lock, you also need a second set of keys. This can be a hassle if you have children or when you are carrying shopping bags in.   

Should I Get a Storm Door?

You should get a storm if your entrances are drafty. A storm door can cut down on drafts, which is a big plus, even if your energy costs are only slightly reduced.  

As we have seen, there are several compelling reasons to install a storm door. Ultimately, the goals for a home renovation and where you live are the most important determining factors.

You may not need a storm door if your door is on a porch or under an overhang where it is sheltered from the weather.  But if you live in a climate where a breeze would be welcome in your home or want to increase the curb appeal, consider adding a storm door.

Bottom Line

A storm door will disappoint you if you buy it for energy efficiency. There are, however, great reasons to install storm doors, which is why they are not outdated.

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