Skip to main content

It’s Cold in My House! How Do I Insulate Sliding Doors for Winter?

By September 29, 2020October 1st, 2020Energy Efficiency
How to insulate sliding doors for winter

Many homes have sliding glass doors. They are beautiful to look through to see the outside world and also to allow sunlight in to warm up the home. However, they are also poor insulators if they are single-paned. When the fall season is moving in and the leaves are changing, that means winter is not far off.

Do you know if your sliding glass doors are double-paned/thermal insulated? If they are not, here are 5 ways to insulate sliding doors for winter. They are: Vacuum the door track, invest in heavy curtains, add or replace weather stripping, invest in a plastic window kit, and caulking.

How to know if your slider is double-paned/thermal insulated glass

Did you know there is a trick to finding out if your sliders are double-paned? First, grab a flashlight and hold it up to the window at an angle. Then, if you see two reflections, you know it is double-paned glass.

In addition to the test above, try this trick. Touch the opposite sides of the glass with your fingers. If your fingers do not touch, then it is double-paned glass.

Single-paned glass will cost you more money to keep the house warm in winter and cool in summer so it is a good idea to replace the windows. The thicker panes will be energy efficient, but you can also check on the energy savings guide before purchasing windows.

Maybe you don’t want to replace them or can’t so lets check out the 5 ways to insulate sliding doors for winter.

1. Vacuum door track

The door track of the sliders can become full of debris when you open the doors or step over the track. Particles fall off our shoes or blow in from the outside when the doors are open and get into the tracks.

Using a vacuum with a head that will fit into the track will be an effective way to get the particles out. In addition, the build-up of particles can cause the doors to be off-center and sit up higher, also not allowing the doors to seal properly. This allows the heat to escape the home.

2. Invest in heavy curtains to insulate sliding doors for winter

Heavy curtains can help keep the cold out of the home in the winter, and the heat out in the summer. The difference in these curtains versus regular curtains is that they have thermal insulation and block drafts and loss of heat. The price is comparable to regular curtains and are worth the investment.

You can find them to fit over sliders and windows in the home. The more heat in winter or air in summer that doesn’t escape will keep your electric bill lower.

Add or replace weather stripping to insulate sliding doors for winter
Weather stripping that can be used to insulate the doors and windows

3. Add or replace weather stripping to insulate sliding doors for winter

Weather stripping creates a seal to keep bugs out and the air inside the home. The idea is for the air to not escape. You can add this stripping to single and double-paned windows as well as sliding glass doors. Weather stripping wears out over time so eventually, it will need replacing.

To determine if you need weather stripping or replacement, close your windows or doors to the outside. When you look in the cracks of the door, you should not be able to see sunlight coming in through the seal. If you can, you need to replace the weather stripping.  

Weather stripping doesn’t have problems with moisture and will keep the drafts out. In fact, you can install this yourself or have a professional do it for you.

4. Buy a plastic window kit to insulate sliding doors for winter

You can use plastic window kits on sliding glass doors and windows to keep the cold air out. You can purchase a kit and use a hairdryer to seal it and make your home more energy-efficient.

Caulking to insulate sliding doors for winter
Caulking insulates the sliding doors for winter

5. Caulking to insulate sliding doors for winter

Caulk does deteriorate over time so check the caulking around the frames and where the doors meet the house. The caulk should be in good shape and if it is not, then you will need to replace it. Hiring a professional is always an option if you need help.

Rope caulk is a temporary fix and is great for the winter weather. In addition, it is easily removable in the spring and warmer months.

How you know it is time to replace the sliding glass door
Broken sliding door

How You Know It is Time to Replace the Sliding Glass Door

Broken single pane/multiple pane panels

A broken windowpane may happen if a baseball hits it or something else that causes it to crack or shatter. While a single windowpane is replaceable, it can still be a process and may be something you don’t want to get into. Before you stress, know that you can hire a professional to do this. Furthermore, keep in mind that if it is a multiple pane door, it may be easier to just replace it.

Non-insulated glass

Non-insulated glass may be more cost-effective to replace with an insulated door instead. The amount you would save on your electric bill by being more energy-efficient would pay for the door.

Structural integrity is not there

Improperly installed doors can be hazardous. Shoddy work from an unlicensed professional or rushed work can cause problems. Trust in a licensed professional who can tell if the door is fixable or if it needs replacing.


In the summertime, you want to keep the cool air in and the warm air out. On the other hand in winter, you want the opposite. Maintaining the area around the sliding glass doors with new weather stripping, caulking, and vacuuming the track is important.

If you have questions about your sliding glass doors or have other ideas for keeping your home warm in the winter, drop us a line below! We are here to help at Boggs Inspection Services.

Close Menu