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Dulley's Money-Saving Tip #1099

Check the fit of your doors

(related column topic links - (574, 721, 611, 887 )

With the change of the seasons, your doors may not close as tightly as they should against the weatherstripping seals. Close each door on a dollar bill and try to pull it out. There should be a reasonable amount of resistance. Make sure to try this in several spots. If it is tight in some spots and loose in others, then you should replace the weatherstripping.

On a storm door, this is easy to adjust. The latch is usually mounted by two screws through slotted holes. Just loosen the screws and move the latch bar to make it close tighter. On the main entry door, you will have to make another small metal latch plate that mounts in the frame. Your hardware store should have some thin brass plate or heavy sheet metel to use. It is easy to work with this material. Make the latch hole slightly off center so the door closes tightly on the weatherstripping.

Also, if the dollar bill is extremely tight in the door, the door is closing too tightly. This will not be a problem now, but it may be in the summer. By overcompressing the weatherstripping, it may take a permanent set and not seal well in the summer when the door and frame naturally change size.