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Best Door Closer For High Wind

Best Door Closer For High Wind

Door closers are most commonly found on exterior doors. As a result, one of the biggest obstacles exterior doors face is weather including wind. In this article we explain how the Liberty Max Duty is one of the best door closers for high winds.

Dangers of High Winds and Exterior Doors

When commercial doors are latched and closed they stand up great to outside elements. The danger of high winds only occurs when the door is unlatched and partially open. The face of a door is a large surface area. After all most doors are 36" wide and 84" tall, which means the door face has a surface area of 3024 square inches. When a pedestrian opens the door even partially during a high wind storm, the force of the wind pushes against any exposed surface area of the inside face of the door. High wind speed can be anywhere from 25 miles per hour to 38 miles per hour depending on the storm. If the wind catches even a small surface area of the inside face of the door, the door will swing open at a speed uncontrollable with nothing to stop it. Most doors that are caught by the wind experience severe damage such as broken pivot hinges, dents and scratches, broken glass, or damaged walls from the door's impact as it swung violently open. Damage to the door or building is one aspect that must be considered, but doors and buildings can always be repaired and fixed. The safety of pedestrians is the most important aspect in considering solutions to fix a door that is in a high wind environment. Imagine this situation: A pedestrian slightly pushes the door open to exit the building, and a large gust of wind forces the door open violently at high speed. At the same moment another pedestrian is in the door's swing path approaching the door to enter the building and gets hit by the door. This results in severe injuries to the pedestrian that was attempting to enter the building. Installing safety precautions like floor mounted pedestal door stops or wall stops can help reduce damage in cases where the wind catches the door, but are not the only safeguard that should be taken into account.

Door Closer Solutions For High Wind Doors

A door closer is the best solution to help prevent damage on high wind doors. With that being said, the door closer cannot be any typical type of closer. With high wind doors, the door closer must be heavy duty and strong enough to withstand the force of the wind violently swinging the door open. For this reason, grade 2 and 3 door closers are just not heavy duty enough for high wind conditions. Likewise small body door closers that you would see on interior doors are also inefficient when put up against the immense force of wind. From a building owner's perspective, he or she may have experienced a problematic wind door that did have a door closer on it, but still the wind swung the door open and broke it off it's hinges or damaged the building. This is because the door closer outfitted on that particular door was not designed for heavy wind conditions, and was most likely underrated for the door itself.

The Liberty Max Duty Door Closer is a special commercial grade door closer designed with extra heavy duty components specifically designed for high wind applications. Let's explore why the Max Duty door closer model by Liberty Door Closers is ideal for high wind environments.

Liberty Max Duty Door Closer - Designed Specifically For High Winds

Heavy Duty Door Closer Body

One of the most common inquiry from any building owner is what is the best door closer for doors with wind? The shortest answer is the Liberty Max Duty door closer. One noticeable trait is the closer body size in comparison to other door closers. The Max Duty door closer body is a rectangular shape standing approximately 2-1/4" tall and houses a heavy duty internal gear system with special hydraulic fluid ideal for exterior doors that experience excessive abuse including sporadic high wind encounters. Unlike inferior door closers that are made from aluminum, the Liberty Max Duty door closer body is manufactured from heavy duty cast steel. The closer body is also rust inhibiting making it ideal for exposure to rain which goes hand in hand with wind. Another design advantage of the Liberty Max Duty door closer is the location of the mounting holes in relation to the size of the closer body. There are 4 mounting holes; 2 at each end of the rectangular door closer body, creating a very strong mount to the door or frame.

Tried and Tested Gear System

The Liberty Max Duty door closer uses a larger than normal rack gear and pinion gear assembly. This allows it to handle more load and abuse. Where other door closers feature small rack and pinion gears which results in a broken door closer if any abuse or excessive load is experienced by the door closer.

Tried and Tested Spring System - Will Hold The Door Closed!

Another unique trait of the Liberty Max Duty door closer is the abnormally large spring. A housing which hold the door closer spring is attached to the end of the door closer body. The spring itself is as long as the door closer body that houses the gears. This shows just how big the Liberty's spring is. When the door is pushed or pulled open, the Liberty's spring compresses and holds energy, then when the pedestrian passes through the doorway, the spring decompresses, causing the door to close. Insufficient wind door closers feature smaller springs made of inferior material. This causes the wind to essentially swing the door open as fast as it can with no real resistance due to the small spring of the insufficient door closer. With the Liberty Max Duty door closer, the heavy duty spring design does not allow the wind to swing the door open as fast. Another upside to the larger spring, is that the door closer can keep the door closed in high wind applications. Many building owners complain that the door closer doesn't keep the door in the closed position. The Liberty Max Duty spring is very powerful and can be adjusted to keep the door latched closed. At the same time the Liberty Max Duty door closer spring power is adjustable for 36 inch to 48 commercial doors and can be adjusted to meet ADA standards.

Backcheck Hydraulic Function - No Slamming Open!

The Liberty Max Duty door closer is designed for windy environments. As a result, the engineers included a special hydraulic slow down speed valve, known as a backcheck valve. The backcheck valve controls the hydraulic opening speed of the door closer as the door approaches the full open position. When the door opens to approximately 75-80 degrees of the full open position we call this opening range; the backcheck range. During the backcheck range the door closer speed is controlled by the backcheck valve and is often referred to as backcheck speed. The backcheck valve allows the installer to adjust the backcheck speed very slow. This prevents the door from swinging open to quickly and causing damage to the door, frame, or building. For example, with properly adjusted backcheck function on the Liberty Max Duty door closer, when the wind catches the door it will not be able to swing it to the full open position at the full wind velocity, like it would typically on a normal door closer.

Thicker O-Ring Seals - No Leaking Oil

Any hydraulic door closer is only as good as it's seals. A leaking hydraulic door closer is a broken door closer. When doors are opened rapidly or quickly, the hydraulic fluid flows through the hydraulic channels at increased speed and pressure. This puts alot of strain on the door closer's o-ring seals. When the wind catches a door, it is essentially forcing the door open at abnormal speeds creating immense hydraulic pressure on the door closer's o-ring seals. Inferior door closer's with smaller o-ring seals will give in situations such as high wind, causing the hydraulic fluid to leak out of the door closer. The Liberty's heavy duty o-ring seals are thicker than normal door closer o-ring seals and hold up in high wind applications.

All Weather Hydraulic Fluid

Although exterior door closers are mounted on the interior side of the door, having all weather hydraulic fluid is a must. After all, the hydraulic fluid helps lubricate the door closer's gear system. Insufficient hydraulic fluid will not offer the proper lubricity needed for heavy wind doors. Likewise, insufficient hydraulic fluid will not transfer power as efficiently. The Liberty Max Duty door closer uses a special all weather hydraulic fluid allowing it to perform extremely well in high wind door applications. The all weather fluid also allows seamless door closing in extremely hot or cold climates.

Impact Protection Cover

The Liberty Max Duty door closer body is protected by a special cover that shields and protects the door closer body. Many building owners are under the impression that wind is the only factor they should be concerned with. But what comes with wind...debris and other flying objects. By having a protective high impact cover on the door closer, if the wind happens to pick up tree branches or other objects and sends them flying towards the door closer body, it will be completely protected with the special impact cover. In the event the impact cover does go, the Liberty Max Duty closer body is made of cast steel allowing it to hold up in the most abusive conditions.

Grade 1 - Exceeds Well Over 2 Million Door Cycles

The Liberty Max Duty door closer is a grade 1 door closer. Meaning it has exceeded over 2 million opening cycles. This door closer is so heavy duty and robust you can essentially install it and forget about it. Expect a lifetime of use with this door closer.

UL Listed For 3 Hour Fire Rated Doors

3 Hour fire rated doors is the highest fire rating a door can have. Fire exit doors are common on exterior walls of buildings. The Liberty Max Duty door closer can be installed on any 3 hour fire rated door system.


For these reasons the Max Duty door closer manufactured by Liberty Door Closers is the ideal solution for high wind doors. There are other door closers available, but the Liberty Max Duty door closer was specifically manufactured for high wind applications. If your door is exposed to high winds and has a hard time staying closed, we recommend the Max Duty door closer.




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