Draught proofing

Here's a simple test - hold the palm of your hand up against the windows in your home. If you feel cold air coming through, warm air is escaping. In fact, in a typical home 20 per cent of all heat loss is through ventilation and draughts.

Draught proofing is an easy, cost-effective way to reduce heating bills and carbon emissions.

The most common draught-zones 

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. If you don't have a keyhole cover, buy a purpose-made cover that drops a metal disc over the keyhole. Use a letterbox flap or brush, but remember to measure your letterbox before you buy

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: 

  • fit a cap over the chimney pot – this might be better done by a professional
  • buy a chimney draught excluder – these help stop draughts and heat loss through the chimney, and are usually fitted inside the chimney or around the fireplace

Remember to remove the draught-proofing if you decide to light a fire.

Around pipework: Apply silicone fillers 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: Old fan outlets may need to be filled with bricks or concrete blocks and sealed from both the inside and outside.

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

Caution - adequate ventilation is as important as draught proofing - and essential