Draught proofing is one of the cheapest and effective ways to save energy and money in any type of building.
The way to draught-proof your home should be by blocking up unwanted gaps that let cold air in and warm air out. Saving warm air means you’ll use less energy to heat your home, so you’ll save money as well as increasing the lifespan of your boiler.
Where to look for draughts
Draughts happen where there are unwanted gaps in the construction of your home, and where openings are left uncovered.
You’ll find draughts at any accidental gap in your home that leads outside, such as:
- Doors – including keyholes and letterboxes
- Loft hatches
- Electrical fittings on walls and ceilings
- Between floorboards
- Pipework leading outside
- Ceiling-to-wall joints
But be careful in areas that need good ventilation like:
- areas where there are open fires or open flues
- rooms where a lot of moisture is produced, such as the kitchens, bathrooms and utility rooms
Upgrading or replacing your existing windows can have a big impact on your home, with some PVCu windows being able to achieve a rating of A+.
The best way to insulate existing windows with draught proofing materials are:
- Self-adhesive foam strips
- Metal or plastic strips with brushes or wipers attached
Make sure the strip is the right size to fill the gap in your window. If the strip is too big it will get crushed and you may not be able to close the window. If it’s too small there will still be a gap.
For sliding sash windows, foam strips do not work well. It’s best to fit brush strips or consult a professional. For windows that don’t open, use a silicone sealant.
Draught-proofing outside doors can save a lot of heat and will only cost you a few pounds. There are four main things to consider.
- Keyhole – buy a purpose-made cover that drops a metal disc over the keyhole.
- Letterbox – use a letterbox flap or brush, but remember to measure your letterbox before you buy.
- Gap at the bottom – use a brush or hinged flap draught excluder.
- Gaps around the edges – fit foam, brush or wiper strips like those used for windows.
Inside doors need draught-proofing if they lead to a room you don’t normally heat, such as your spare room or kitchen. Keep those doors closed to stop the cold air from moving into the rest of the house. If there is a gap at the bottom of the door, block it with a draught excluder – you can make one stuffed with used plastic bags or bits of spare material.
Inside doors between two heated rooms don’t need draught-proofing, as you don’t lose energy when warm air circulates.
You can block cracks putting filler into the gaps. Floorboards and skirting boards often contract, expand or move slightly with everyday use, so you should use a filler that can tolerate movement,
these are usually silicone-based. Look for the following:
- Flexible fillers.
- Decorator’s caulk.
- Mastic-type products.
Fillers come in different colours, and for indoor and outdoor use. They block gaps permanently so be careful when you apply them – wipe off any excess with a damp cloth before it dries. Fillers may break down over time, but can easily be reapplied.
Hot air rises and gets lost into the cold space in your loft or attic, so it’s worth blocking off draughts around your loft hatch. Use strip insulation, as you would on a door.
You can fill small gaps around pipework with silicone fillers, similar to the fillers used for skirting boards and floorboards. Fill larger gaps with expanding polyurethane foam. This is sprayed into the gap, expands as it dries, and sets hard.
Air needs to flow in and out of your house so it stays fresh, dry and healthy. Make sure you don’t block or seal any intentional ventilation such as:
- Extractor fans – take out damp air quickly in rooms where lots of moisture is produced (kitchens, bathrooms and utility rooms).
- Under-floor grilles or airbricks – help keep wooden beams and floors dry.
- Wall vents – let small amounts of fresh air into rooms.
- Trickle vents – modern windows often have small vents above them to let fresh air trickle in.
Currently at PBS we are offering a 10% discount off on all of our products that you can use to improve and to eliminate the draughts in your property