Closing air leaks solves a huge issue

ryanwc Posted By ryanwc, Feb 12, 2018 at 11:42 PM

  1. ryanwc

    ryanwc
    Member 2.
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    Apr 15, 2014
    9
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    Loc:
    western shore of Lake Michigan
    We've had a ridiculously cold kitchen since we moved in. It backs onto a "3-season room" that has too many windows, little insulation, air leaks. That's normal for a 3-season room. The problem was that the previous owners separated that room from the kitchen with simple wooden free-floating sliding door with windows that doesn't entirely close. We have a draft kitty to block the half-inch gap under the door, but much of the door just doesn't make contact with the frame. The molding doesn't help much.

    How cold? Put it this way. Our cat's wet food, a high-meat content food for diabetic cats, remains "just out of fridge" quality for hours. On cold days, a thermometer on the counter near the door could read in the high 50s, and I suspected the floor near the door could be in the 40s.

    Today, I had a handyman here to look at a number of issues. He said he would think about the kitchen door issue, but never came up with anything.

    But, he sealed 3 quite leaky basement windows. It must have been drawing through the kitchen and into the basement, because nothing else that would be relevant happened, but the kitchen is much less drafty and much warmer now. It came as quite a surprise.
     
    ED 3000 likes this.
  2. jetsam

    jetsam
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    Dec 12, 2015
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    If he couldn't come up with any ideas for replacing a door, you may want to look for a handyman who is able to type things into google..... :p
     
  3. begreen

    begreen
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    Nov 18, 2005
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    Progress is always good. There are plenty of alternatives for replacing the sliding door. Sounds like a simple, well made thermopane patio slider would do the job. Or reduce the door opening size and put in a conventional 3' door.
     
  4. ryanwc

    ryanwc
    Member 2.
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    Apr 15, 2014
    9
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    Loc:
    western shore of Lake Michigan
    I didn't ask the handyman to replace the door. I asked him to think about how to create a seal.

    I think the proper description of the existing door is a "pocket door" rather than a sliding door. It's a door meant to separate two indoor spaces. The previous owners/their contractors didn't think hard enough about whether the back room was indoor or outdoor space. If indoor, it needed to be much more efficient. If outdoor, it needed to be separated from the indoors by a proper door.

    What I'd really like to do is seal and insulate the back room well enough that the door wouldn't be such an issue. But that seems to be a pretty expensive option.
     
  5. begreen

    begreen
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    It will be an issue as long as there is wind and a leaky 3 season room.
     
  6. jetsam

    jetsam
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    Dec 12, 2015
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    I'd frame it out and put a cheap entry door and storm door in there. Stud it with 2x6s and you can put R21 in the wall. Nicely insulated, and you can have it open for light with the storm door closed. Put the door at the end of the wall and hand it so that it opens flat against the wall. Lumber, drywall, studs, and insulation is all so cheap that it'll probably pay itself back in the first year as long as you don't get a gold-plated door or anything. ;)

    Hacky solution, but much cheaper than replacing a whole sun room of windows.
     

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