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Community and Q&A

Controllng infiltration through entry way doors

Oak_Orchard | Posted in Energy Efficiency and Durability on

In my caulked-to-death cottage, there is annooying air infiltration around my front and back doors. The inflow increases when exhaust fans are turned on, the negative pressure results in the opening up/softening the connection and allowing air in.

I am surprised not to be able to find much info on how to seal entryway doors. I can’t find any lock-sets or after-market door sealing solutions that convince me of their effectiveness.

Expensive standard lock sets seem to be made of better quality materials BUT are of the same mechanical design; they wear and loosen over time, the doors not being held tight enough to the frame – and air comes in. Also, nothing is holding the top and bottom corners of the door tight to the frame.

Anyone have a line on “compression” locks, camming deadbolts, that would suit an entry way door.

Thanks in advance for any ideas.

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  1. GBA Editor
    Martin Holladay | | #1

    Oak Orchard,
    If you aren't satisfied with the weatherstripping that came with your door, nothing is preventing you from adding additional weatherstripping at the door perimeter. Weatherization contractors do this all the time.

    Here are two good sources of weatherstripping products used by weatherization contractors:

    If this type of work is new to you, you might be interested in reading this document:

  2. Oak_Orchard | | #2

    Martin … I have read enough posts and debates on this site to see you promote the advantages of random spot infiltration in the envelope. I have a neurosis that says, lock out all infiltration and control the volume and location of make-up air. So I want to use compression locks on my doors and windows and use designed-in and controllable passive air intake vents. I can probably get better infiltration control with better weather stripping, but I cannot achieve the tightness that a compression lock avails.

  3. GBA Editor
    Martin Holladay | | #3

    Good luck with your efforts to reduce air infiltration at your entry door. I applaud your efforts and wish you success.

    I have never "promoted the advantages of random spot infiltration in the envelope." Your envelope should be as tight as you can make it -- the tighter, the better.

  4. Oak_Orchard | | #4

    Martin … Sorry, but in reading your many posts and debates on exhaust-only ventilation, I understood you considered that random spot infiltration was sufficient for make-up air and so designed-in passive vents were not necessary. Sorry if I misunderstood you on this. I have also read your recommendaitons for powered and interlocked solutions. I posted last night some questions on this very point re: exhaust-only ventilation and passive make-up air solutions under General Questions.

    On your reply to my question about entry-way infiltration; I was asking for a reference to camming compression locks to pull a door in extra tight; compensating for the tendency of doors (which swing in) to allow infiltration at the top and bottom, even if they are tight to the jamb at the lock set.

    I have found some but they don’t seem to be targeted to the residential doorway market.

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