In the winter, are you a bit chilly when you sit near your sliding patio door?

We’ll be very happy to explain why.

Over the years, weatherstripping around the doors can wear and the doors can become mis-aligned allowing air to seep through where the panels interlock when closed.

Replacing the worn weatherstripping and aligning the operating door will take care of these concerns.

Sometimes, aligning the door by adjusting the rollers may not be possible due to deterioration of the rollers themselves and then roller replacement is necessary.  This situation is often quite apparent as the operating door most likely has become more difficult to move than it had been in the past.

Even if the door is aligned properly and sufficient weatherstripping has been properly installed, but the framing of the patio door system is aluminum, you will still feel cold air emanating from the metal.  Aluminum is a poor insulating material… wood is better. Read this new post for a better Understanding How Insulation Functions.

Additionally, if you see a little condensation or cloudy glass in spots that you can’t clean, it’s because it’s inside between the glass panes, telling you the Thermopane has lost its seal and insulating properties.  The surface of the glass inside the home will now be colder.

So, even if all is insulated well, but the aluminum framed glass has lost its seal, it’s going to be cold.  And, it will be even colder if the patio door faces north.

But, you say… “I am telling you I can feel a draft!”

If you are near a north facing, aluminum framed patio door on a cold day and you are wearing just slippers (most often in the bedroom and kitchen) YOU CAN FEEL A DRAFT.

But, the draft is not coming from the outside.  It’s “CONVECTION”.

As the warm air in the room rises to the ceiling (as it is light) it naturally migrates to the coldest surfaces, which are the cold patio door frame and glass.  When it come in contact with the patio door at the top, the air gets cooler and heavier… and, begins to cascade down the glass…cooler and cooler, heavier and heavier and faster and faster… until it reaches the floor as a breeze and right up your jammies.  This “convection” breeze is more predominant on uncarpeted floors. (ie. wood, tile)

There are now only four solutions left.  (1) Move your chair further away from the patio doors.  (2) Install lined curtains or drapes.(plastic vertical blinds don’t do it)  (3) Go to Florida for a few weeks.  (4) Replace the glass and/or the entire system with a solid wood framed design.  (These are in order of cost, low to high.)

Finally, certain individuals are more sensitive to patio door cold in the winter.  These include, but are not limited to, people with very little body fat, people that are used to a much warmer environment, people that are living in a home with less than desirable humidity and the elderly.