Q: My children seem to run in and out the back door 100 times a day. This creates a chilly draft each time and much dust. Does it make sense to build a vestibule around the door, and how can I build one myself?
A: Building a simple do-it-yourself exterior vestibule around your back door can help cut your utility bills, both winter and summer. If you are handy with tools, you should be able to build a very attractive and inexpensive vestibule during a weekend.
A vestibule saves even when the back door is not being opened. The dead air space provides additional insulation value to the back door and frame area. Also, most well-used exterior back doors no longer have a good airtight seal. A vestibule reduces the air leakage past your back door weatherstripping.
By reducing the drafts inside your house, you may be able to set your thermostat a degree or two lower and still be comfortable. Depending on your climate, you will save from 1 percent to 3 percent on your utility bills for each degree you lower your thermostat setting.
You can write to me for "Utility Bills Update No. 168," showing do-it-yourself instructions and diagrams for building an exterior back door vestibule. Please include $1.00 and a stamped, self-addressed business-size envelope.
Write to James Dulley, c/o Baltimore Sun, 6906 Royalgreen Drive, Cincinnati, Ohio 45244.