Cracks and unintended gaps between walls and doors or windows let in cold air into the house and allow warm air from inside the house to escape, both of which can cause your heater to work more, thus increasing your electricity bill. Draught proofing can conserve room temperature and save £25 to £50 per year on energy bills.
How to draught-proof your house?
Draught proofing involves locating all gaps in the house through which heat can escape and sealing them. Apart from gaps around doors and windows, you may also see gaps around loft hatches, pipes, suspended floorboards and wall joints. Depending on its location, you have to use specific materials to seal the gap or crack.
- Windows: Use self-adhesive foam strips, foam sealants or metal or plastic strips with brushes to close gaps around the window. For sliding windows, brush strips are more suitable. Secondary glazing can also help in sealing gaps apart from making the windows thermally efficient.
- Doors: Use a keyhole cover that has a flap that falls over the hole. Use letterbox flap to cover letterbox openings. Use door brush strips or a draught excluder to cover gap below the door and foam or brush strips to seal around the edges.
- Chimneys: Chimneys over unused fireplaces can be sealed using a chimney cap or chimney draught excluder.
- Loft hatches: Use strip insulation to seal loft hatches.
- Floorboards, skirting boards and pipework: Use silicone fillers to fill in gaps between boards and around the pipework. Such materials should be elastic and able to withstand seasonal changes in the boards.
- Wall Cracks: Fill these with cement or hard setting fillers.
Ventilation, extractor fans, kitchen and bathroom windows reduce moisture in the house and allow circulation of fresh air. Ensure you do not close these openings while draught proofing.
You may choose to do draught proofing yourself or you may call in a professional. Older homes require extensive draught proofing and hence it is best to get professional help.
For modern houses, DIY draught proofing is a good option as it costs a lot less than professional help. Materials for draught proofing can cost up to £300. Be sure to buy materials with the British Standard Accreditation as these are of high quality and last longer. You can take advantage of grants from government and energy suppliers to cut costs.
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