How to Choose the Right Door Closer?
Best Automatic Door Closer Buying Guide

How to Choose the Right Door Closer?

The usage of automatic door closer will definitely give solution to open (widely swinging doors) in such a way that it not only prevent the door from crashing into the wall when it is opened but also stops the door from banging while it closes. All this will happen only if you find the correct automatic door closer that suits your door type. Here, we are explaining all about the door closers and just go through it before buying the product.

Door control devices like door closer is a mechanical device that allow the door to close automatically when once it is opened. This device will play a significant role in providing complete safety, security and durability at minimized risk.

Types of Automatic Door Closer:

In general, the automatic door closer is categorized into 4 types – Overhead door closers, surface mounted door closers, floor spring door closers, and concealed door closers. Scroll down to know about the types of automatic door closers in detail.

Overhead Door Closers

These are most common and widely used throughout the commercial properties like interior doors, conference doors, commercial front doors, etc. where you want the door to close automatically. It has three common types – regular arm closers, top jamb closer and parallel arm closers.

  • Regular / Standard Arm Closers: These are most power efficient and can be used anywhere. It is a pull side application in which it is located on the exterior of the door. It has two arms, in which one is attached to the frame and the other is attached to a spring – loaded box on the pull side of the door. When you close the door then the arms will project perpendicularly to the door.
  • Top Jamb Closers: These are often used for glass storefront and aluminium doors why because these doors are having narrow top rails. The spring loaded box is mounted on the face of the doorframe in which the arms project out from the door perpendicularly.
  • Parallel Arm Closers: These are most commonly used in places like schools and commercial properties. The two arms sit on the top of the door when closed. They are attached to the door using a spring loaded box that sits at the top of the push side of the door. This parallel arm is less power efficient when compared with other overhead options.
  • Track Arm Mount: This mount has a roller that comes along with a metal channel track whenever the door closes and opens. It has pull or push side opening in which the closer body is mounted to the door’s face in both the cases. For pull side mounting, the track is mounted to the face of the head’s frame whereas the push side, the track is mounted to the soffit of the head’s frame.

Concealed Door Closers

This type of door closers are generally fitted into recesses of your door and frame (they hidden within the jamb) to make it invisible (or less visible) when you close the door. The spring loaded versions or hydraulic versions of this door closures are available. It is commonly used for interior doors which are fairly light.

Surface Mounted Door Closers

This surface mounted door closer is fitted to the door frame at the back side of the door with a bar. These are smaller in size and can be matched with your door color. This type of automatically closing doors are cost effective and are commonly used.

Floor Spring Door Closers

This type of closers are commonly used on the glass storefront doors in which they are mounted within the floor and are concealed. They are invisible when the door is opened why because the bar within the closer is fitted in the underside of the door that controls the action of closing the door. This type of door controls come with most appealing looks with most durable and long lasting nature and are used for upscale commercial properties. It has open setting that make it come with left opening.

Things to Consider Before Buying Automatic Door Closers:

Consider the following factors in order for you to end up with the best automatic door closer.

Spring Strength

It is the crucial factor in closing a door in which it ranges in sizes 1 to 6 (1 applying the lightest closing force and 6 uses the strongest closing force). In general, interior doors will require spring size 3 while the exterior doors uses size 4 – 5 so that it will close against any negative pressures like wind.

Door Width

The width of the door will decide the spring strength of the automatic door closer. Simply the wider door has greater spring size. So, measure your door width properly before installing this automatic door closer.

Door Weight

The door weight will play a crucial role in selecting the automatic door closer. Choose the one which can handle your door weight or else the automatic door opener will fail to function properly.

Pull or Push Style

The automatic door closers are designed to suit different styles of doors like the door opens by pulling or pushing it. So, choose the best that suits your door type.

Type of Door Material

In general, we know doors are built with different materials such as wood, glass, metal, etc. So, you have to choose that an automatic door closer that has required strength to close that type of door perfectly and seamlessly.

Door Size

The automatic door closer which you’re planning to buy should be compatible with the size of the door where you want to place this door closer.

Door and its Available Space

Consider whether you’re placing this automatic door closer to an internal or external door? Or inward or outward opening? Generally, the external doors are not fire doors so you don’t need any electromagnetic door closer for these external doors. Also, check the width and height of the door and its frame. For example if the door has extremely narrow frame, then you have to consider a concealed door closer. The heavier doors requires a closer that has large power size for optimal performance.

Closing Force / Power Size

Generally, the larger and heavier doors require more force to close or control them. So, you should consider the power size along with the maximum door weight and its width to determine the amount of closer force required for this automatic door closer.

  • For power size 1, the maximum door weight should be 20 kg and maximum door width will be 750 mm.
  • For power size 2, the maximum door weight will be 40 kg and the maximum door width is 850 mm.
  • For power size 3, the door weight will be 60 kg and the door width is 950 mm.
  • For power size 4, the max door weight will be 80 kg and the max. door width is 1100 mm.
  • For power size 5, the max door weight is 100 kg and the max door width is 1250 mm
  • For power size 6, the max door weight is 120 kg and the door width is 1400 mm.

The door controls are available either adjustable or fixed strengths to cater for the weight and size variation of different doors. If a door closer has a fire door then you have to fit a size 3. However, some types of door closers are adjustable and can vary their strength. This is convenient where the uncertain size required and facilitates a great adjustment ranges at fitting time.

Type of mounting

Make sure that they should be compatible mounting needed for the automatic door closer where you want to place it.

Price / Affordability

Although, the automatic door closer come with several benefits but you try to acquire them within the price range that you can afford without comprising on the quality.

Feature to Check Before Purchasing the Automatic Door Closer:

The features will add on the value of the product. After selecting the right type of the door closer for your door then you move on to know the features. Here are some of its features explained in detail.

Closing Speed and Latching Speed

The adjustable closing speed will determine how quickly the door closes after being opened. This feature helps to enter the disabled, elderly or the young ones to pass by safely with a longer closing time. The door closers with an adjustable latching speed will allow adjustment of the closing speed for the final few degrees of closing. Simply, they set to either slow down or speed up for those final few inches.

Backcheck

Backcheck will slow the door in the opening swing which helps to keep it from hitting an adjacent wall. This feature will prevent the door from being suddenly thrown or opened either by the wind or people and thereby prevent the damage to the frame, door or its hardware.

Delayed Action

You can find this feature in some models in which the door will remain open for a specific time periods and then closed at an adjustable speed. This is helpful to people who are carrying bulky items or using wheelchair for their safe passage.

Fire Safety

The door closers are essential in controlling the fire and smoke (that not to enter into the room). So, you have to check this feature before buying these door closers to save lives in the event of fire.

  • Door closers with a CE mark will show that the product is fit and meets all the legal fire safety requirements.
  • The doors must be fitted properly and well maintained. Also, a mechanical hold open device should not be included. If you require this hold open function then you have to consider an electromagnetic door closer which is connected to the building’s fire and alarm system.

Free Swing

For fire doors which are required to be held open or for applications requiring ease of access, then electromagnetic door closer will be your choice. This type of door closer will be either held open or free swing. Simply, it is linked to the building’s fire alarm system and when it gets activated then the closer will re-engage and close the door in the normal manner.

Frequently Asked Questions

You can grab several benefits by using the automatic door closer, some are mentioned below.

  • The entrance are more organizes in high traffic environments and thereby keeps you safer, especially in the places where there is some rush to either coming in and going out of the building.
  • While you’re using automatic door openers, then the hardware of the door will get less prone to tear and wear. This makes the door to function well for long time.
  • It works well for the disable people why because they are unable to close the door by themselves.
  • The usage of automatic door closer will make you live freely without the fear of any theft or the entrance of any outside unknown persons.

Although, there are plenty of things which you have to consider before buying a door closer like you have to evaluate the requirements and take the advice from the architecture to place the right door closer. Here are a few pertinent questions that you have to ask yourself before purchasing this door closer.

  • Whether it is for interior or exterior door?
  • Right hand or left hand swing?
  • How much would be the door width? *What is the door made of – wood, glass, metal or aluminium?
  • Door closer to be mounted on the push or pull side?

American Disability Act (ADA) Reduced Opening Force – As per the ADA, you have to examine that the maximum opening force restrictions before buying the automatic door closer. In some cases, manufacturer’s print some disclaimer which states that ADA recommended force range may not be quite enough to close this automatic door closer.

The latch zone is the area that covers last few inches before the door gets hit its latch point. Generally, the latch speed valve is used to control the closing zone. Always remember that the latch speed of door closer which is properly adjusted will not slam the door closed by creating stress on the door and its frame.

A sweep speed (or door closing speed) is the time frame from the start of the door closing to a couple inches before the door hit the latch point. Whereas the last few inches of closing are controlled with the latch speed valve.

The overhead door closers are installed in 3 methods – parallel arm mounted, top jamb, and regular arm (standard). If a door closer comes with the hardware for all these 3 mounting methods then it is known as tri-packed door closer.

In each type of mounting, there are some pros and cons in which you have to decide which one is most suitable for your requirement.

  • Regular Arm – This application has the most power efficient and it is on pull side of the door where the double lever arm is used. Although, this arm assembly projects directly out from the door frame but this type of mounting has aesthetic issues.
  • Top Jamb – This is the best replacement for regular arm mounting why because it has become the best door closure for the doors in the exterior walls which swings out of the building.
  • Parallel Arm – It will provide the most pleasant appearance for an overhead surface closer that has a double lever arm. It is push side application of the door and the assembled arm will extend almost parallel to the door. You will find a little hardware that projects from the frame face when the door is closed. This application allows to swing the door at 180 degrees. It is 25% less power efficient than top jamb mounting or regular arm, as per geometry of the arm.

The reason is due to the seals that have worn out or else someone has fitted one of the valves too far out. Simply fix it by replacing the seal or replace the door closer.

In general, the door closers exert some force against opening. If your door needs excessive force to open and the spring tension is adjustable then the level of force exerted by the spring will be reduced. In some cases, the door closers has spring tension. These generally have sizes according to the spring strength. If you incorrectly installed (wrong position), then also the door closer will make the door hard to open.

Although, these door closers work for a couple of years but there are various situations that demand for the replacement of your old door closer with a new one. Have a look on it.

  • Whenever the oil starts leaking from the door closer then you have to replace it with a new one.
  • If the valve seals are worn out (or) the fluid is leaking out. In case, the door closer is slamming the door and can’t be adjusted.
  • The door closer without spring tension or its adjustments has no effect.
  • If the spring is broken then you have to buy the new automatic door closer.
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