Draughts make your home cold and uncomfortable. And they waste heat which can push up your energy bill. Draught proofing your home is one of the quickest and easiest ways to save energy.
You may want to get professional help, but draught exclusion is cheap and easy to do yourself. There are lots of DIY draught proofing options available. You could save £25 to £50 a year and maybe more as you could keep your thermostat turned down too.
First you need to find the draughts and gaps around your home. Here’s where to look:
Don’t forget that your house needs some air to keep it fresh and stop it getting damp. Open fires, boiler flues, air bricks and rooms like bathrooms need ventilation.
Windows bring in light, but can let out heat especially if they're old. For a window that doesn’t open, seal the edges with some silicone sealant.
For windows that do open there are different draught strips. Which one you use depends on the type of window you have:
For casement windows you can use self-adhesive foam or metal or plastic strips. Self-adhesive foam is the cheapest but it’s not long lasting.
For sash windows it’s best to use a brush seal or get in a professional. Replacing these windows with double glazed ones may be more effective than draught proofing.
Outside doors can be draught proofed with a brush or hinged flap draught excluder.
You can pick up a door brush from a DIY store. You’ll need a saw, drill and screwdriver to do this job:
You should also draught proof inside doors if they lead to rooms you don’t usually heat (like a utility room). Why not make your own draught excluder to do this? A pair of tights filled with old socks is a cheap fix. If you’re crafty there are many different draught excluder designs you can sew together yourself!
Cover your letter box with a brush excluder or flap. Remember to check the size before you buy. And make your keyholes draught proof with covers that drop a metal disk over the hole when not in use. You can pick up a letterbox or keyhole draught excluder from a DIY store for a few pounds.
A fire is nice and cosy in the winter, but when you’re not using it, heat escapes up your chimney. There are a few ways you can stop this happening.
If you’re not planning to use your chimney, you could get a chimney cap fitted. It’s best done by a professional and involves fitting a cap onto the top of the chimney.
A chimney balloon is one of the cheapest ways to temporarily block the draught from your chimney. Place the balloon in the chimney, inflate it until it fills the space and you’re done. Then all you need to do is deflate it when you want to use your chimney again.
A chimney draught excluder is also a temporary device. But they’re semi-rigid so cost a bit more. They come in a variety of shapes and sizes to fit different chimneys.
Floorboards and skirting boards will sometimes have cracks. Fill these with something like a decorator’s caulk or flexible filling. They come in various colours so you can make sure they blend in with your home décor. Make sure the filler can cope with the floor and skirting boards expanding and contracting.