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Choosing the right door closer is an important task but can be confusing for some.   I have therefore sought to provide guidance on some of the key features that need to be considered.
There are many different types of door closers available and they have a variety of uses and applications.  Some are more suited to heavier doors to assist with easy opening, others are more suited to lighter doors, to control how quickly they swing open and close.  You must carefully select the one that best suites the application, adequately controls the door and of course complies with relevant standards and building regulations.

Here is our quick guide for helping you choose which door closer is most suited to the doors in your building.

Types of Closers

When choosing the best one for your application, consider these important factors:

*             Location and type of opening

*             Interior or exterior mounting

*             Volume and frequency of door traffic

*             Type, size and weight of door

 

Closer Force (or power size)

To start with, you need to know what ‘size’ door closer you’ll need.  They are classified in 1-6 different ‘power sizes’, and are dependent on the weight and width of the door.

 

Size

Max door weight

Max door width

1

20 Kg

750mm

2

40 Kg

850mm

3

60 Kg

950mm

4

80 Kg

1100mm

5

100 Kg

1250mm

6

120 Kg

1400mm

 

Generally, door controls are available with either fixed or adjustable strengths to cater for the size and weight variation of different doors. 

The wider and heavier the door is, the greater the force required to control it.  If a door closer is fitted to a fire door for example, then it’s usually recommended that a minimum of a size 3 is fitted. 

However, some types of door closers are adjustable and can vary their strength.  This is convenient where the size required is uncertain and facilitates a greater range of adjustment at the time of fitting. 

You may also require a stronger power size to overcome air pressure in a small room.

Make sure that you also consider the location and usage of the door to ensure the best door closer is selected for the job.  There are three different levels of usage, and door closers will specify which level they are most suited for:

*             Low usage – 10,000 cycles per year.

*             Medium usage – 10,000 – 100,000 cycles per year

*             High usage – 100,000 – 500,000 cycles per year

High traffic doors in places such as shopping centres, hospitals, and schools or universities should be fitted with closers that have been tested to perform to the highest number of cycles.

 

Mounting

Door closers can be fitted to a door and door frames in different ways.

Surface mounted door closers are most commonly used and are available in five variations, including two slide-arm, regular arm surface mounted, parallel arm surface mounted and top jamb mounted.

Overhead concealed door closers are best for aesthetics or reducing the risk of self-harm.  They are installed and hidden from view inside the top rail of the door.

Floor Springs are the most durable, longest lasting option and are necessary when dealing with heavy doors or areas with high to extreme traffic.

 

Ratings and Classifications

Door closers are an important link in the control of fire and smoke and their usage can help save lives. 

The use of CE marked door closer is mandatory to ensure that the product you are using is fit for purpose and meets all legal requirements, particularly when used on fire doors.

Door closers on fire doors should not include a hold-open device, unless it’s an electrically powered device connected to the building’s fire alarm system.

 

Electromagnetic Hold Open/Free Swing

For fire doors that are required to be held open, or for applications requiring ease of access, electromagnetic door closers are the choice for you. 

This type of door closer can be either held open or free swing. 

It is linked to the building’s fire alarm system and when activated the closers will re-engage and close the door in the normal manner.

 

Delayed Action

A door closer offering delayed action allows the door to remain open for a period of time before closing at an adjustable speed.

 

Backcheck

Backcheck is a feature on door closers that prevents the door being thrown open. 

This prevents damage to the door, door frame and door handles caused by people kicking or throwing the door open; or indeed the wind!

 

Closing Speed

Door closers with an adjustable closing speed enable you to determine how quickly the door closes after being opened. 

The door can stay open for longer allowing persons who are disabled, the elderly and young children extra time to pass through safely.

 

Latching Speed

Door closers with an adjustable latching speed enables you to adjust to the speed of the last few degrees of closing, separately to the main closing speed adjustment.  

Therefore, at the last few degrees of closing you can adjust it to either slow down or speed up according your requirement (e.g. slow down to prevent the door banging).

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