Reduce Your Storm Door Heat Buildup With Window Tint

Tim Traxler3M, Commercial Window Film, Residential Window Film, Sun Control, Tips & Tricks

Having a storm door on your home’s entrance offers additional protection and insulation, but the airspace between that storm door and the main front door often experiences excessive heat buildup without the right window tint. As sunlight streams in and gets confined in that narrow gap, temperatures can skyrocket to levels that can heat a door knob to searing temps, not to mention damaging your front door.

The inside of your storm door heats up rapidly under the sun’s rays. But with nowhere for that hot air to easily escape, it leads to a greenhouse effect right in the entryway to your home. This excessive buildup of heat can warp or degrade the materials of your front door over time, whether it’s made of wood, vinyl, or even metal. Darker colors only make the issue worse. What may start as a minor inconvenience of getting burnt by hot handles can progress to visible warping or bubbling of the door surface from repeated overheating in the sun.

Fortunately, there’s a simple and effective solution – installing window tint or film on your storm door. This provides a barrier that reflects or absorbs a significant portion of the incoming solar energy and prevents it from becoming trapped in front of your front door. The result is a dramatic drop in temperatures in the enclosed airspace, protecting your entryway from damage.

What Causes Heat Buildup Between Storm Doors and Entry Doors?

Heat buildup between a storm door and main entry door is caused by sunlight hitting the storm door and getting trapped in the enclosed air space between the two doors. This creates a greenhouse effect, where the sunlight entering the space through the glass raises the temperature of the trapped air. 

Some key factors in how this works:

– Sunlight contains infrared radiation, which carries heat energy. When this infrared light passes through the storm door, it enters the confined air pocket between the doors.

– The heat from the infrared radiation has nowhere to escape because of the enclosed space between the storm door and interior door. 

– This causes the temperature in that narrow area to rise, similar to how the air inside a greenhouse heats up on a sunny day. The storm door essentially acts like the glass roof of a greenhouse, trapping the heat from sunlight inside.

– As the air temperature increases, the storm door, front door, and hardware like the door knob heat up as well, since they are in contact with that hot air.

So it’s not necessarily that your storm door isn’t working. The simple fact is that when exposed to direct sunlight, storm doors allow infrared solar radiation to enter from outside, but then prevent the heat from escaping, creating a greenhouse warming effect between the two doors. This results in excessive heat buildup that can potentially damage components of the entryway over time.

Factors That Worsen Heat Buildup

Several factors can exacerbate the heat buildup phenomenon between storm doors and entry doors:

Door Direction

The direction your door faces in relation to the sun has a major impact. Doors that face south and west tend to have more intense direct sunlight hitting them throughout the day. This leads to greater solar heat gain and more extreme temperatures in the enclosed space between the doors. 

Door Color 

Darker colored doors absorb significantly more heat from sunlight than lighter colored doors. For example, a black door can get up to 20°F hotter than a white door under the same conditions. The color of your front door plays a key role in how hot it and the surrounding area become.

Door Material

Certain materials used for entry doors are more vulnerable to warping, melting, and degradation under high heat. For instance, vinyl and plastic doors have lower heat tolerance compared to wood or metal doors. Trapped heat is more likely to damage and distort the materials of the inner door if they are not resilient.

Lack of Ventilation 

Without proper airflow between the storm door and house door, heat can accumulate rapidly. Stagnant air pockets allow temperatures to climb higher through greenhouse effects. Any method to encourage ventilation, like leaving the storm door partially open, can help mitigate extreme heat buildup.

Storm Door Glass

Standard clear glass on storm doors allows a high degree of solar transmission. More heat and UV rays pass through untreated glass, leading to greater heat trapping between doors. Tinted or specially coated glass helps reflect and absorb more solar energy rather than letting it enter the space.

How Window Tint Can Help Block Storm Door Heat Buildup

Window tint is an effective solution for reducing heat buildup between storm doors and entry doors because of its ability to reflect infrared light, absorb UV rays, and limit solar heat gain. 

When sunlight hits a window, it emits radiant heat in the form of infrared light. This infrared light carries thermal energy that passes through the glass and gets trapped in the enclosed space between the storm door and entry door. Window tint contains specialized metallic particles that reflect a significant portion of that infrared light rather than letting it transmit through the glass. This reflective ability helps stop infrared heat from entering in the first place.

Limit The Heat And UV Rays Coming Through Your Storm Door

Window films also contain chemicals designed to absorb UV rays from the sun. UV rays don’t directly transmit heat, but they can degrade materials over time. By blocking UV rays, window tints prevent solar damage to the doors and extend their longevity. 

Both the infrared reflection and UV absorption capabilities mean less solar energy is able to penetrate through the tinted glass. This limits the amount of direct solar heat gain occurring in the confined space between doors. With less thermal energy entering, window tint maintains cooler temperatures and prevents excessive heat buildup.

Benefits of Using Window Tint To Reduce Storm Door Heat Buildup

Applying window tint to your storm door provides several key benefits:

Lower Temperatures

Tint is the best solution to reduce the temperature in the enclosed space between your storm door and front entry door. By reflecting more sunlight and absorbing heat before it enters this area, the tint can lower the ambient temperature significantly compared to untinted glass. This prevents that uncomfortable buildup of hot air against your front door.

Prevent Material Degradation 

The reduced temperatures also mean less risk of damage to your front door materials over time. Many entry doors are made of wood, vinyl or plastic – materials that can easily warp, melt, or degrade under excessive heat. Think of it as protecting a fairly expensive investment – it’s a lot cheaper to tint the storm door glass than it is to buy a new front door.

Increased Comfort and Safety

Along with protecting the door itself, lowering the temperature buildup makes any metallic parts of the entryway more comfortable to touch. Door handles, locks, and knockers can get dangerously hot in an enclosed space. Window tint keeps these components at safer temperatures, especially important if you have little ones around the house.

Improved Energy Efficiency

Besides the entryway, window tint on your storm door also benefits the overall energy efficiency of your home. By blocking solar heat gain, it reduces the demand on your air conditioner during hot months. The tint also helps retain indoor heat in winter. Every little bit helps improve your home’s environmental footprint year-round.

Choosing the Right Window Tint to Prevent Door Damage

When selecting window film for a storm door, it’s important to choose one designed specifically for exterior use. Standard interior window films lack the durability to withstand outdoor temperature extremes, moisture, and UV exposure. 

Exterior-grade tint is formulated with advanced adhesives, polymers, metals and other components to provide long-lasting performance on the outside of a building. This type of film contains stabilizers to prevent cracking, peeling and bubbling over time.

It’s also critical to select a film that provides adequate heat reflection and absorption. The ability to reject solar radiation is measured by the Total Solar Energy Rejected (TSER) percentage. A higher TSER means more effectiveness in reducing heat gain. 

Talk To A Pro To Get The Right Window Tint For Your Storm Door

For hot climates, a minimum TSER of 20% or above is recommended for storm doors. Mid-range films typically reject 35-50% of solar energy, while high performance options like the 3M window film we use on storm doors can reject up to 80%. Beyond heat control, a high visible light transmission percentage is also ideal to allow clarity while blocking UV rays.

Talking to our professional installers is the best way to evaluate your needs and determine the right exterior window film to control heat buildup between doors. We can assess the direction, material and other factors to recommend the ideal solution.

Window Tint Options Based On Your Storm Door Type

There are a lot of variations in storm door styles and materials, but the biggest differentiator is the type and configuration of glass used. Here’s what to expect based on what type of storm door you have:

Storm Doors With Low-E Glass

You may have purchased a storm door with low-e glass hoping it would eliminate your heat build up problem only to find that the temperatures are still uncomfortable or causing damage. This isn’t uncommon, especially when the environmental factors are just right, so adding window tint to low-e glass is something we do all the time.

Storm Doors With Standard Glass 

This type of storm door obviously has more of a tendency to hold heat than low-e glass in similar environments, even when the glass is double pane. That means tinting the storm door is really going to help reduce temperatures, but it will likely require a slightly different type of film since it has to do a little more work. Any of our expert installers can help you pick the right solution.

What You Can Expect To Pay For A Storm Door Tint

The price of window tint can vary considerably based on the size of the storm door, type of film, and who does the installation. In general, a good quality window film or tint that gives you years of protection (and look good doing it) should average around $250-$300 if installed by a professional.

The return on investment from adding window tint is relatively fast – most homeowners see savings on their energy bill that offset the upfront cost in 1-3 years. Tint also protects your front door from premature damage or warping that could cost hundreds more to repair or replace entirely.

Overall, window tint on storm doors is one of the most affordable ways to reduce heat buildup. And with energy savings and prevention of costly door repairs, the small upfront investment can yield impressive payback over the lifetime of your home.

What You Need To Remember About Reducing Storm Door Heat

Window tint is an effective solution for our customers who want to reduce storm door heat buildup. Here are a few other things to keep in mind, based on some of the situations we’ve seen:

  • Factors like door direction, color, ventilation, and glass type can worsen heat buildup. South/west facing doors and dark colors absorb more heat for example. 
  • Window tint blocks infrared light and UV rays, preventing solar heat gain. This reduces temperatures in the space between doors.
  • Window tint lowers temperatures, reduces sun damage, keeps door handles cooler, and improves energy efficiency.
  • For storm doors, we recommend exterior-grade window tints designed for durability, and we can help you ensure the film provides adequate heat reflection/absorption.

Overall, window tint is also an upgrade to your entryway doors. It provides long-term protection, it improves visibility, and it always looks great.

Let Us Know If We Can Help You Make Your Storm Door Cool Again

PA Window Tint Inc. began serving central Pennsylvania in 1993. Over the years, we have extended service to New York, Maryland, and New Jersey. Today, PA Window Tint is a 3M Prestige dealer, which identifies our company as a member of the elite network of dealers in the country which are entrusted with offering 3 M’s highest quality products and providing impeccable installations. Give us a call at 1-866-329-0064 or fill out a form online.