Did you know that draught-proofing your home could save you around £45 a year, according to the Energy Saving Trust?
We all want to keep energy bills low, so here are 5 cheap or free ways to keep draughts at bay.
What is draught-proofing?
Draught-proofing means blocking up unwanted gaps that let cold air into your home and enable warm air to escape. Covering up these gaps can help to keep your home’s warmth inside, and maximise your central heating’s effectiveness.
Taking a few simple, cheap, quick steps can help you to stay warm in winter, without turning the heating up and increasing your energy bills.
Caution: Make sure you don’t block kitchen or bathroom windows – as these rooms can get damp. Additionally, never seal up any intentional ventilation, such as extractor fans, wall and window vents, or airbricks – these features are designed to keep your walls dry and fresh, and your home safe. Finally, make sure any rooms with open fires or flues keep outside ventilation.
5 ways to draught-proof your home:
Use draught excluders around windows
Windows are a common source of heat loss, even when they are closed. You can buy self-adhesive foam draught-proofing strips, which can be stuck around the frame and along the inside edge of a window, where it meets the frame, to keep draughts out when the window is closed.
You can also buy metal or plastic versions with brushes, which can cost more but may last longer and are a better choice for sliding sash windows.
Draught-proof the inside of external doors
You may notice drafts around your front door, even when it’s closed. These can be coming in from a few places including the keyhole and letterbox – you can purchase purpose-designed flaps that cover these areas – you could make your own, but be careful not to put anything into the keyhole.
It’s a good idea to use the same strip insulation as on windows, around the edges of your door if it has gaps. You can purchase draft excluders to run along the bottom of the door, or make your own using a rolled up towel or bolster pillows.
Make sure any items are easy to remove from your path quickly in case of emergency.
If you have an open chimney, draught-proof it when it’s not in use
According to the Energy Saving Trust, draught-proofing an unused chimney can save you up to £65 a year! You can have a professional roofer fit a cap over the chimney pot, or fit a chimney draught-excluder inside the fireplace – remember to remove any draught-proofing if you light a fire.
Don’t forget about loft hatches and attic space
Heat rises, so any gaps or a lack of insulation at the top of your home can result in massive heat loss. You can use the self-adhesive strip insulation around your loft hatch to stop draughts from creeping in. It’s also a good idea to ensure your loft is well insulated.
Block up any cracks in the floorboards
Noticing a draught around your feet? Floorboards and skirting boards can expand in the heat and contract in cold weather, which can leave gaps and cracks that might let a draught in. Floor insulation is a great idea for ground-level rooms or second-floor spaces above an unheated room, such as above a garage, but there are quick fixes. Use a tube of sealant to plug any gaps between your skirting board and the floor, or to block up any cracks in old floorboards. Rugs and carpets are a warmer choice than hard floors, especially with thick underlay, and can help to block draughts.