Are Storm Doors Needed?

Traditionally, storm doors were used in northern climates because the primary door was inefficient.  A storm door created an additional barrier from high winds.  With today’s foam-filled, energy-efficient doors, storm doors are obsolete.

So why do people still use them?

A false sense of security

The worst reason to purchase a storm door is for security.  I’ve had customers tell me they just feel safer when there is a storm door because people won’t be able to break in as easy.  By the nature of how they are assembled, storm doors are not made for security and an intruder can simply pull hard to render any latches worthless.

Another barrier to uninvited guests

Many modern steel doors are foam filled with magnetic gaskets like your refrigerator, making storm doors unnecessary.

Many modern steel doors are foam filled and feature magnetic gaskets like your refrigerator, making storm doors unnecessary.

When answering the door, some residents say that they feel more comfortable knowing that there is a door between them and the person standing just outside your door.  But if someone wants to punch through or cut a screen, they can easily do that with little noise.  That being said, if you live in your home alone, it will still take an intruder a second or two to render your storm door ineffective, which could be enough time to slam your primary entry door, lock it and call 911.

For airflow

Today’s windows are energy efficient and if you choose wisely they are easily openable.  There is no valid reason, assuming that your roof has good windows, for you to use an easy to enter door for airflow.  Security concerns alone should make it so you are using your windows, not your door, for airflow.

In many countries overseas, storm doors are simply not used.  This is no surprise to people who have traveled.  The Germans, known for their efficiency, don’t use doors.  The Irish don’t use storm doors either.  They are inefficient, tend to catch in the wind and either destroy the door, mechanisms in the door, or damage siding or lights adjacent to the door.

Your household budget could be much better used investing in good, triple-paned windows (if you live in Wisconsin or a cold weather climate) so an opening that is actually made for the purpose of letting air in or out of a home can be used to their maximum.

Bottom line — ditch the door.

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