The First Utility guide to draught-proofing your home
Draught-proofing your home means keeping warm air in and cold air out to save both energy and money – and you can even do it yourself.
What to draught proof
You should essentially draught-proof any unwanted gaps in the construction of your home. Just be careful to not block areas of ventilation such as open flues and bathroom vents.
Common draughty areas include:
- Doors – including letter boxes and keyholes
- Skirting boards
- Inactive chimneys and fireplaces
- Loft hatches
- Ceiling to wall joints
- Cracks in walls
- Pipework leading outside
Draught proofing materials:
Windows and loft hatches
- Choose between foam, metal or plastic strips. Metal and plastic strips usually have brushes attached and are long-lasting but more expensive.
- For sash windows, brush strips are best and silicon sealant is great for windows that don’t open.
External doors and doors leading to unheated rooms
- Install a brush or flap to your letterbox and a purpose-made drop disk to your keyhole
- Use a draught excluder made using bristles or a hinged flap
- Just the same as windows, fill gaps around the door with foam or brush strips.
- Squirt a silicon-based filler into any gaps between skirting boards and floorboards
- Insulate around pipework with a silicon filler, just like you would insulate your skirting boards. For larger gaps, opt for expanding polyurethane foam.
Unused chimneys and fireplaces
- Insert a chimney draught excluder or have a professional install a cap over the chimney pot.
Small cracks in walls
- Fill using cement or hard-setting fillers. Larger cracks may require professional advice.
Draught-proofing costs and savings
According to the Energy Saving Trust (EST), draught proofing your home professionally could cost up to £400. If you can do it yourself, you can complete your home for around £100.
EST figures also show that draught-proofing around windows and doors could save you £50 a year on your heating bill. With heat being kept inside, owners of draught-free homes are more likely to turn their heating down a notch. Turning down your thermostat by just one degree could save you an average of £75 a year*.
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