I have a small room where the walls are cement. There are also 2 sliding windows. When all the windows are closed the room's door is hard to close. But when either window is open the door would even shut itself very easily.

What could be the reason? At first I thought the door was misaligned but realized that this isn't the case because it perfectly closes when a window is open.

The room is about 50 sqft. I live in the Philippines so our weather is almost always very hot.

I want the door to close like how it closes when a window is open, but without having a window open because the room is air-conditioned.

Thank you.

  • Haven't you ever noticed the same effect with car doors? – isherwood Jun 18 '18 at 16:57
  • that's a really good seal. enjoy the energy efficiency, but don't use open flames in there... – dandavis Jun 18 '18 at 19:41

The force to close the door is desired. It helps your A/C work better.

Atmosphere is at the pressure of 14.7 PSI because of the weight of the air above you. Wind and storm activity changes that pressure ever so slightly, let's say a 0.1 PSI difference, heck, let's say 0.01 PSI, that being very tiny compared to 14.7 (1/1470th in fact). What does that do to a door? Well a door is, say 40"x80", that's 3200 square inches, so

3200 sq.in. x 0.01 lb /sq.in. = 32 pounds. (about 15kg).

So that tiny little bit of pressure differential makes a big difference in door-close effort.

And it goes to show you just how much a little bit of wind will make a difference in "helping" you to close that door. Most likely with your windows open, you've been catching a little bit of wind, and that's been "helping" you close the door, hence, the sense of weightlessness. You've been experiencing that magic and you want the magic back.

Now you have the exact opposite: you have that room sealed up like King Tut's tomb, so you aren't wasting air conditioning, which is exactly what you should do. Now when you're closing the door, you're creating a pressure differential. Consider the last 2 inches of door closure when the door is starting to plug the opening. That's an average of 1" of movement across the entire door, x 3200 square inches of door, so 3200 cubic inches or about 2 cubic feet. Assuming 10' ceiling your room is 500 cubic feet. So as you finish closing the door, you're effectively increasing the room size by 0.4% and lowering air pressure in the room by the same. That times 14.7 psi = 0.06 PSI, 6 times stronger than what's described earlier or 192 lbs. closing force. It's not that bad because your seals aren't perfect.

Of course if you just close the door slower, air will have more time to equalize as you close it.

So that force to close the door is a good thing.

If you wanted to eliminate that, you'd need a large enough opening to allow 2 sq.ft. into the room in the fraction of a second it takes to finish closing the door. That would be window-sized obviously. If you want to run your A/C with the window open, hey, it's your electric bill.

Now if you want to keep the cool air in, you could possibly use a heat exchanger, which they do make. But it would have to be quite large or several of them to allow that much flow in that fraction of a second.

You could also put a spring or counterweight on the door, but that means "easier to close" also means "harder to open".

You could also put a motor-drive on the door so you can just push a button; these are made for commercial doors where people in wheelchairs need to come in and out.

  • I wouldn't say the force is a good thing (as it's clearly an annoyance). It's the symptom of a good thing (the tight seal). – isherwood Jun 18 '18 at 16:56
  • This does make sense. Now that I know what I need to do the fix the issue (it’s really annoying though), it isn’t worth it to fix. Thank you. – majidarif Jun 19 '18 at 0:22

The door is hard to close because of an air pressure imbalance between that room and its adjoining one.

When the windows are open air can freely flow in and out. All rooms in your house should have an air pressure pathway to some other room and you say this room has air conditioning?

If it has ductwork then there should be an air path. Perhaps you have dampers in place that prevent air flow? Or perhaps this room has a mini split or dedicated window air unit?

Either way, if you can provide air path ways between rooms this problem should go away.

  • Its a split type AC unit. Ceiling doesn’t have any hole other than for the lights wiring. Any suggestion on the air pathway? Thank you. – majidarif Jun 18 '18 at 2:42
  • Perhaps just a vent in the wall between rooms – Matthew Jun 18 '18 at 3:11
  • Wouldn’t sound go through? – majidarif Jun 18 '18 at 8:05
  • condar.com/BRV.html. Sound will go through any opening that allows air admittance between 2rooms. This unit claims to limit sound transmission – Kris Jun 18 '18 at 13:51

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