Sealing your home to prevent drafts isn’t just for comfort, it’s a key move for better energy efficiency and lowering your gas and electric bills. Draught-proofing significantly cuts down heating expenses and creates a more comfortable living space.
Drafts are cold air streams entering a warm area. This unwanted airflow lets cold air in and hot air out, reducing the temperature of your room and other key living areas. These drafts are typically noticeable around windows and doors but can occur anywhere in your home where there is a gap. Whilst it is important to prevent condensation and dampness with controlled ventilation, spending time to identify the unwanted drafty areas is a crucial step to draft-proof your home.
This guide will help you identify the common problem areas, implement effective solutions and ensure your home is ready for the start of the colder winter months. Even minor low-cost changes can greatly improve the comfort of your home, benefiting both your finances and the environment.
Step-by-Step Guide to Draught-Proofing
While drafts can enter your home through any opening, certain areas are more likely to be the cause of unwelcome air intrusions. By sealing these specific areas, you can enhance the warmth and comfort of your home greatly reducing your energy bills.
Draught-proofing can be easily undertaken as a DIY project, needing little in the way of technical skills or assistance. However, to address more intricate heat loss issues such as sizeable gaps, inadequate insulation or structural issues, it is recommended to seek professional advice. An expert using thermal imaging cameras and other advanced tools can perform a comprehensive energy evaluation of your home to identify and help address sources of drafts.
Regular inspection of your windows will help identify damaged or missing rubber seals and wedge gaskets that may be the source of unwanted cold air draughts entering your room. It’s crucial to replace these seals when they shrink, split or otherwise deteriorate to maintain a proper air-tight barrier between the window and frame.
It is also worth considering secondary glazing or heavy curtains to create an additional insulating barrier between your living space and the window. This is particularly useful in listed buildings where there are often restrictions on the type of glazing you can use.
Draught-proofing internal and external doors can help increase the energy efficiency of your home. External doors are a barrier to the outside world and can easily be a source of cold air. Replacing the rubber seals fitted to the door frame will create a reliable air and watertight seal when the door is closed.
It is also important to address air leaks originating from the letterbox and keyhole. These fittings can be equipped with specially designed covers to minimise airflow.
It’s crucial to remember to close and draught-proof internal doors leading to rooms that you don’t typically heat. Keeping these doors shut and using draught excluders will help stop cold air from moving into the non-heated areas of your home.
Floors and Skirting Boards
It is common for houses without carpets or sufficient under-floor insulation to feel drafts arising from the floorboards and skirting boards. Cracks and openings in these areas are often major culprits for letting in cold air and can be sealed using flexible fillers such as silicone sealants and decorators caulk.
Sealing loft hatches is an important but often neglected part of home insulation. Warm can escape through any unsealed or poorly insulated areas at the top of a room. To draught-proof a loft hatch effectively, it is advisable to seal along the edge of the frame using self-adhesive sponge strips or brush seals.
Besides sealing, adding insulation to the hatch itself can further reduce heat loss. This can be done by affixing an insulation board to the top side of the hatch, improving its thermal properties. Additionally, making sure the hatch fits properly and is easy to operate is vital. A hatch that doesn’t fit well can undermine the effectiveness of your draught-proofing efforts
Maintenance and Regular Checks
Draught-proofing is an ongoing process. It’s important to perform regular inspections to identify reoccurring issues such as gaps in sealants and damaged rubber seals. Conducting an annual check of your home, particularly before the onset of winter, is essential to maintaining a warm comfortable home.
Rubber seals are used on almost every part of your home that connects your living spaces to the outside world. They play a crucial role in preventing drafts and often represent a valuable investment in lowering your energy costs. For more guidance on replacing your glazing seals, visit Seals Direct.