Closing air leaks solves a huge issue

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

  1. ryanwc

    ryanwc
    Member 2.
    NULL
    

    Apr 15, 2014
    14
    3
    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.
     
    woodgeek and ED 3000 like this.
  2. jetsam

    jetsam
    Minister of Fire 2.
    NULL
    

    Dec 12, 2015
    2,738
    1,819
    Loc:
    Long Island, NY
    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
    Mooderator 2.
    NULL
    
    Staff Member

    Nov 18, 2005
    71,755
    10,586
    Loc:
    South Puget Sound, WA
    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.
     
    Stop hovering to collapse... Click to collapse... Hover to expand... Click to expand...
  4. ryanwc

    ryanwc
    Member 2.
    NULL
    

    Apr 15, 2014
    14
    3
    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
    Mooderator 2.
    NULL
    
    Staff Member

    Nov 18, 2005
    71,755
    10,586
    Loc:
    South Puget Sound, WA
    It will be an issue as long as there is wind and a leaky 3 season room.
     
    Stop hovering to collapse... Click to collapse... Hover to expand... Click to expand...
  6. jetsam

    jetsam
    Minister of Fire 2.
    NULL
    

    Dec 12, 2015
    2,738
    1,819
    Loc:
    Long Island, NY
    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.
     
  7. CaptSpiff

    CaptSpiff
    Feeling the Heat 2.
    NULL
    

    Jan 13, 2014
    300
    63
    Loc:
    Long Island, NY
    Is this opening between the kitchen and "sun-room" double door wide?
    I assume you want to keep the free flow between the two rooms for the warmer seasons (original purpose for the pocket doors). Why not ask the handyman to price out a nice double swing out set of French doors. Start your search at Home Depot or Lowes for "French Door - Both Active". They won't air tight (interior doors), but they'll be way better than the pocket doors you described.

    A quicker solution is to get "clear patio door plastic film" and secure it on both the outside and inside door moldings. That's the plastic film stuff you can heat with a hair dryer and it tightens like shrink wrap. It'll stop the air flow and keep the kitchen warmer.
     
    Seasoned Oak likes this.
  8. Seasoned Oak

    Seasoned Oak
    Minister of Fire 2.
    NULL
    

    Oct 17, 2008
    5,490
    1,038
    Loc:
    Eastern Central PA
    You can get a nice double French door from Home depot for about $399. I think its a Stanley.

    I put this one in last year. 20170208_140845.jpg
     
    Stop hovering to collapse... Click to collapse... Hover to expand... Click to expand...
  9. Seasoned Oak

    Seasoned Oak
    Minister of Fire 2.
    NULL
    

    Oct 17, 2008
    5,490
    1,038
    Loc:
    Eastern Central PA
    This is something i know about as I have a 3 seasons room were I live. While that room can get up to 120 degrees on a sunny winter day it can also go down to 40 degrees or lower the same night due to all the glass. The solution is to completely isolate the room at night ,but open it into the house during the day, I do this with a simple steel exterior door but could be done better with a double french door like the one I pictured. I simply open the door when the room goes over 70 in the morning and close it at night when the temps go below 70. So then I'm not giving back all the heat I gained during the day. You have to seal up the wall between the house and the sun room as if its an outside wall and that includes a tight insulated door.
     
    Stop hovering to collapse... Click to collapse... Hover to expand... Click to expand...
  10. georgepds

    georgepds
    Minister of Fire 2.
    NULL
    

    Nov 25, 2012
    725
    199
    A pocket door is a bad idea... lots of leaks. A French exterior double door is much tighter solution
     
    Stop hovering to collapse... Click to collapse... Hover to expand... Click to expand...

Share This Page