Q - We get a draft from beneath our front and side doors. I would like to install some type of weatherstripping on the door bottom myself, but I don't want it to rub and wear the carpet. What can I use? C. W.
A - Air leaking in under your doors not only makes you uncomfortable, but it increases both your heating and air-conditioning costs. The savings from sealing those leaks can pay back the material cost for door threshold seals in only a few months.There are literally hundreds of different designs, shapes, and materials of door threshold seals. Some use new efficient materials that wear extremely well and retain their shape for an excellent seal.
One of the best types of door threshold weatherstripping that protects your carpet is an automatically-lifting seal. You mount it on the bottom of your door as you would any other seal. As you start to open your door, it automatically lifts up slightly to clear your carpet.
When you close the door, a tiny rod pushes against the door jamb on the hinge side. This forces the flexible seal down so it seals tightly against the floor or threshold. Although it is slightly more expensive than a standard threshold seal, it should last a long time since it doesn't rub.
Another option is to install an aluminum or wood threshold, with a built-in vinyl bulb seal, underneath the door. You will have to cut a small amount off the bottom of your door for clearance. This is a excellent choice if the floor under your door is slightly worn or warped.
The vinyl bulb can get damaged over time by the pitter patter of your children's feet and the friction of the door bottom. A replacement seal is inexpensive and easy to install.
You can add an attractive wood threshold on the floor beneath your door and use a door sweep seal. Some new sweeps, made of silicon, are more durable than the common vinyl sweeps you usually find. They wear well and remain flexible at very cold outdoor temperatures. You can also get special multiple-sweep seals and door shoes to deflect rain.
One of the most effective and durable types of threshold seals, the interlocking design, is also the most difficult to install. A specially shaped aluminum threshold is screwed to the floor. It has a lip and groove which mates with an aluminum strip that is mounted on the bottom of the door.
You can write to me for UTILITY BILLS UPDATE No. 137 showing a chart of advantages and disadvantages of each type of door threshold seal, do-ityourself installation instructions and diagrams, and detailed information on the automatically-lifting seals. Write to James Dulley, The Deseret News, 6906 Royal Green Dr., Cincinnati, Ohio 45244. Please include $1.00 and a self-addressed STAMPED BUSINESS-SIZE envelope.
Q - What is the proper season to turn off the energy-saver switch on my refrigerator/freezer? What does the energy saver switch do? K. X.
A - The energy saver switch controls small electric heaters around the door gasket area of your refrigerator. Without them, this area around the gasket gets cold and it can sweat during humid times. Switch it on as seldom as possible because it wastes electricity if not needed.
There really is not a proper time of the year to switch it off. Most houses are dry enough in the winter so you can switch it off without sweating. If you air condition in the summer, you can probably leave it off then too. Try switching it off for a day and see if it sweats.