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How to Draught Proof Your Home

As the seasons change and the temperature drops, maintaining a comfortable, energy-efficient home becomes more of a priority for homeowners and tenants. A common and cost effective way to help raise comfort levels at home and reduce heating bills is with effective draught proofing.

Draught proofing your home needn't be difficult nor expensive. It's a common DIY job that can yield significant benefits in terms of home comfort and financial saving.

What are the Benefits of Draught Proofing?

Cold air wafting through your home is more than just a nuisance. It reduces energy efficiency and the quality of your living space. The good news however is that draught proofing windows, doors and chimneys can be a relatively simple and cost-effective DIY project to make a real difference to your home comfort, and your heating bills.

Using the best products to help insulate your home is key. You can find many of these in our draught & insulation range.

Better Home Comfort

Perhaps the most obvious benefit of draught proofing is that it will make your home more comfortable to live in. It eliminates those cold spots near windows and doors, preventing uncomfortable draughts throughout your home that can make you feel chilly, even when the thermostat is set to a comfortable temperature.

Warm, modern living room

Also, helping to maintain liveable room temperature by preventing cold air circulating improves physical and mental wellbeing, as born out of a Public Health England Review of winter temperature thresholds, with general recommendations of 18oC - 21oC (65oF - 70oF) during the day and evening, and 18oC bedroom room temperature at night.

Reduced Heating Bill

Draughty windows not only let cold air into your home, they allow warm air that you have paid for to escape, which means your heating system has to work harder to maintain a comfortable indoor temperature. Sealing gaps in window panes, window frames, surrounding wall, doors and chimneys will help lower your home energy bills.

Smart meter user interface

Increased Energy Efficiency

Having more energy efficient home heating through draught proofing is also friendlier to the environment. It helps reduce your carbon footprint by decreasing the emissions associated with inefficient home heating, whether from burning gas running central heating, or using electricity to power fires and heaters, putting greater demand on the power grid.

Home energy efficiency diagram

Draught Proofing Your Windows

Drafty windows let the cold air in and can leave you chilly, even when the heating is on, but there are a few simple ways to address the problem.

  • Self-Adhesive Strips - Cheap & simple to install to your window frame, these strips of polyurethane foam stop drafty windows in their tracks with a very simple design

  • Window Film - Another cheap and cheerful option that's shrunk into place with a hair dryer. Window film does work, but will stop you from opening the window in question
  • SIlicone Sealant - Ideal for fixing draughts caused by gaps in masonary, and between a window frame and it surrounding brickwork

When purchasing strips, be they plastic or foam, you should make sure that they're the correct size to fit the window in question.

Foam Strips

Should the strip be too big, it may stop the window from closing. On the other hand, if it's too small, you're not going to properly seal the gaps meaning you will still have drafty windows and you won't improve your energy efficiency.

Brush Strips Are the only option for sliding sash windows

If you're doing a DIY job of draught proofing windows that have a sliding sash design, then you'll need to use plastic brush strips, as foam strips simply won't work.

Lastly, when dealing with non-opening windows, you can still draught proof them with some silicone sealant.

For a how-to guide to fix draughty windows, read this dedicated article: Your DIY Guide to Draught Proofing Windows 

thick rubber strips

How to Draught Proof Your Doors

Another major area in which cold air can find its way into your home is through your external doors, with its primary door components needing to be covered.

  1. The Gap Under the Door - another major area cold air gets in is under the door, so you should protect it using a storm guard or hinged flap draught excluder.

  2. Gaps Around the Door Leaf's Edges - the gaps around the door leaf itself can be easily addressed using the same draught proofing foam or plastic strips you'd use with your windows.wooden foam under door strip

Installing all of these components are going to draft-proof your exterior doors, as well as they're going to be, but don't forget, it's not all about external doors.

For a how-to guide to fix a draughty front door, read this dedicated article: Expert DIY Tips for a Draught Proof Front Door

Draft Proofing Your Letterbox & Locks

What shouldn't be forgotten is the largest of all the gaps in your front door - the letterbox! This can be neatly covered using a letterbox flap or brush.

letterbox protector

The keyhole itself also needs to be covered, which again is quite an easy thing to achieve with purpose-manufactured metal keyhole covers.

keyhole protector

Internal Doors may Also Need Attention

In a heated house, in which all the rooms are the same temperature, it's not necessary to install any kind of draught proofing, however, that's not the case with all internal doors.

For instance, if there's a room you don't usually heat, you should keep the door to it closed and sealed from the rest of the house with draught excluders.

How About a Chimney Draught Excluder?

If you own an older property that features a fireplace you don't use for open fires (or at least don't use that often), it can result in lots of warm air leaving your home unnecessarily.

Thankfully, there are a couple of options. You can either:

Fit a cap over the chimney pot, which is usually carried out by a pro

Or...

Buy & install a chimney draught excluder that fits neatly into the chimney stack above where the fire normally would be.

Should you at any time decide to light a fire, then obviously, you'll obviously need to take out the draught excluder.

Draught Proofing Skirting Boards & Floorboards

Next, we look at your floorboards and skirting boards - which believe it or not, can also be the cause of draughts and higher heating bills.

It's sometimes necessary to draught proof skirting boards and floorboards, as they're known to expand and contract due to use and temperature changes.

All it takes is a little filler to keep the cold air out

The ideal choice for this job are hard-setting fillers that are able to tolerate movements, such as mastic, decorator's caulk, or other flexible products.

Don't worry about messing up your decor though, as they come in a range of different colours, however, you do need to be a little careful during application.

Self Adhesive Foam Strips Work For Your Loft Hatch Too!

If you want to stop cold air from coming into your home fully, you have to think beyond just your windows and doors and look up.

That's right, your loft hatch is a key area to insulate, as the warmth created by heat pumps and radiators always rises.

draught proofing strips keep the warm air in

Thankfully, it's another easy job that just requires you to seal any small gaps with foam tape or draught proofing strips.

Foam strips

Combined with loft insulation, your home will be well-equipped to keep your living space warm and your energy use and energy bills low.

Foam strip for windows

Sealing Old Extractor Fans

If you have an extractor fan that no longer works, it can prove to be a real obstacle when trying to save energy and lower your bills.

If it's still used, but not very often, that's a different matter, but if it really is never going to work again and you're not looking to replace it, then it's going to require more than a few weather strips.

you may need to be sealed both inside & out when dealing with fan outlets

In this instance, the hole that was created to install the fan may need to be blocked up completely again with bricks.

This will then need to be fully sealed inside and out, so it's most probably going to be a job for a qualified builder to take care of for you.

Should You Take a Professional or DIY Approach?

The truth is that draft proofing your home is a job that you can absolutely take on yourself and it shouldn't work out very expensive either.

Of course, it will cost you money to buy the weather strips, utility knife, and whatever else is required, but it will save money compared to having a professional do it for you.

£200-£300 for a professional to draught proof your home

On the other hand, though, money might not be your main concern. If it's more convenient to get a professional in, the who process will naturally be easier for you.

Typically speaking, the average home in the UK will cost around £200-£300 for draught proofing and an expert will know just which areas to address for the maximum impact on your heating bill.

If you're handy & can follow the manufacturer's instructions, you'll have no problems!

Much does depend on the age of your house, as there are some older, single-glazed properties that are particularly difficult to draft-proof.

That said, most houses aren't like this and feature double glazing or sash windows, meaning that preventing heat loss is that much simpler.

How You Tackle the Job Is Down to You!

So, there you have it! As you can see, there's more involved than simply sealing a window or two when stopping draughts come through your home.

The fact is, the longer you leave those drafty windows in your spare room or those obvious gaps under your front door, the more energy you're going to waste.

The tips we've shown you are proven to help homeowners save money and provide enough protection all year round, no matter the weather.

You wouldn't throw warm water away, so you shouldn't do the same with air. With what we've shown you here, you can stop drafts in their tracks.

Thanks for reading and we'll see you again next time!

 

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