Draught-proofing is one of the cheapest and most efficient ways to save energy – and money – in any type of building.
Draughts are a bit like ventilation – both let fresh air into your home. Good ventilation helps reduce condensation and damp. But draughts are uncontrolled: they let in too much cold air and waste too much heat.
To draught-proof your home you should block up unwanted gaps that let cold air in and warm air out. Saving warm air means you’ll use less energy to heat your home, so you’ll save money as well as making your home snug and pleasant.
How much could you save by draught-proofing?
Draught-proofing around windows and doors could save you on average between £10 to £50 per year. Draught-free homes are comfortable at lower temperatures – so you’ll be able to turn down your thermostat. This could save you another 10% off your heating bill.
Where to look for draughts
Draughts happen where there are unwanted gaps in the construction of your home, and where openings are left uncovered.
You’ll find draughts at any accidental gap in your home that leads outside, such as:
- Doors – including keyholes and letterboxes
- Loft hatches
- Electrical fittings on walls and ceilings
- Suspended floorboards
- Pipework leading outside
- Ceiling-to-wall joints
You should block most of these – but be careful in areas that need good ventilation:
- Areas where there are open fires or open flues
- Rooms where a lot of moisture is produced, such as the kitchens, bathrooms and utility rooms.
Air needs to flow in and out of your house so it stays fresh, dry and healthy.
Make sure you don’t block or seal any intentional ventilation:
- Extractor fans – these take out damp air quickly in rooms where lots of moisture is produced (kitchens, bathrooms and utility rooms)
- Under-floor grilles or airbricks – this helps keep wooden beams and floors dry
- Wall vents – these let small amounts of fresh air into rooms
- Trickle vents – modern windows often have small vents above them to let fresh air trickle in.