Draught proofing is an easy, cost-effective way to reduce heating bills. Full draught proofing will save you around £55 a year for a DIY outlay of £50. Most materials are available from DIY stores. Check the quality of the products. It will affect their performance and durability. They should conform to the standard BS 7386.
There are several types of materials available. The British Standard Institution can help you decide which is best for your home.
Windows: Use foam, metal or plastic draught strips, or brush seals for sash windows. Temporary secondary glazing is another option
Exterior doors: Fit brush or hinged-flap draught excluders, fitted along the bottom of the doors
Interior doors: Cut draughts with ‘snake’ draught excluders, brushes or similar strips of material but remember leave kitchen and bathroom as ventilation is important
Unused chimneys: Chimney balloons are available from most DIY stores. Plastic bags stuffed with other plastic bags also work – remember to remove and let the air circulate in summer
Around pipework: Apply silicone mastic, wall-filler or expanding foam as appropriate
Floorboards and skirting boards: Fill the gaps with flexible fillers, clear or brown silicone mastic, decorators’ caulk or similar products
Cracks in walls: Use cement or a hard-setting decorators’ wall-filler
Redundant extractor fan outlets: These should be blocked up
Loft hatches: Use strips of draught excluding material fitted around the edges of the frame, and don’t forget to insulate the hatch itself
Lighting and electrical fittings: Plug the gaps around the fittings with wall-filler
Letterboxes: Fit flaps or brushes to keep the cold air out and the warm air in