If you’re a homeowner concerned with your energy consumption, the subject of draught-proofing windows and doors is surely one you have to consider carefully. Unless you stop air draughts under doors or through your windows, you will keep contributing to global warming and wasting money on heating bills. Your energy is literally and figuratively going up in smoke.
If you’re wondering how to stop draughts in your home, fear not. We have created this quick guide to help you keep your home energy efficient, reduce the discomfort draughts can cause to you and your family and save you money on your bills. The good news is the steps are straightforward and cost-effective. Let’s start by checking if you have draughts in the first place.
Determining If You Have A Draught
Draughts come into your home through cracks and gaps and holes in your walls, windows, doors, floors, chimneys and so on. The gaps and holes can be tiny and their location can be difficult to pinpoint.
The first tip is to look for visible light under and around doors, in corners and cracks or through floorboards. If you can see the outside, air can flow through too, creating a draught. It is worth listening out for whistling or other signs of airflow too.
Our ears aren’t as sensitive as some microphones or some recording devices so it’s worth investing in technology to do some thorough investigating.
Other tips include checking the air by dampening your hand. Draughts will feel cold to your skin. Smoke from an incense stick or similar will show you air movements too.
If you have no luck, there are professional tests that can be done for most homes. A blower door test, for example, mounts an industrial fan into a home’s exterior door frame to ‘pull’ air out of the house. Low air pressure inside means a smoke pencil can detect air leaks.
Identifying where a draught comes from is the first step in preventing it from causing discomfort and wasting energy.
The Benefits Of Draught Proofing
Stop draughts and you stop cold air entering your property and warm air escaping. There are numerous benefits to this including improved health and well-being for you and your family and better environmental performance from your home.
1. Keeps Your Home Energy Efficient
Draught-proofing is one of the easiest and cheapest ways to prevent any type of building from wasting energy. Draughts let in an uncontrolled amount of cold air into a property leading to unbalanced, inefficient use of heat and energy.
Fixing draughts restores the balance and lets you control heating and ventilation efficiently and cost-effectively.
2. Reduces Energy Bills
If your home has draughts, warm air is escaping into the environment. To maintain your desired temperature this warm air needs to be replaced by your heating system Each home is different, of course, but on average, the Energy Trust thinks UK homeowners could save £25 per year on their heating bills by simply finding and fixing draughts. It could be more if you have an open chimney.
3. Reduces Condensation and Damp
A controlled exchange between dry warm and cold ‘wet’ air is required to avoid condensation and dampness from having a damaging impact in bathrooms and laundry rooms particularly. Draught proofing here allows you to carefully control ventilation, get the balance just right and minimise the risk of mould and other problems.
4. Lowers Your Carbon Footprint
Reducing the heat escaping from your property to a minimum has an impact on the amount of energy you need to stay comfortable in it. Domestic heating, especially gas, is a contributor to carbon emissions.
Ensuring you live draught-free can make a difference to your home’s overall carbon footprint. In the UK, Energy Performance Certificates (EPCs) are an essential part of buying, selling and renting homes.
A good rating can make a difference to purchase prices or rents.
Door Draught Excluders
If you’ve established you have a draughty house, one of the initial challenges might be how to stop a draught from a door, be it a front door, back door or internal door. Fitting a brush or hinged flap draught excluder will stop a draught from a front door relatively easily.
If the draught is coming from the door surround or frame, you can fit foam, brush or wiper stripes too. Internal doors might need draught-proofing too depending on how you heat your home. You can add brush or hinged flaps or, if you prefer, you can block the bottom gap with a ‘sausage’ draught excluder. You can make one easily stuffed with used plastic bags or bits of spare material.
It’s worth noting internal doors between two heated rooms don’t need draught-proofing, as you don’t lose energy when warm air simply circulates between rooms.
Draught Proofing The Letterbox
Your letterbox could be letting cold air in through your front door.
Purchasing a letterbox flap or brush will put a stop to it, but remember not all letterboxes are the same size.
Make sure you measure yours carefully before you buy.
Draught Proofing The Keyhole
Even the smallest gap can lead to unwelcome drafts. The keyholes in your front and back door are large enough to let cold air in. To prevent this, buy a purpose-made cover that drops a metal disc over the keyhole when it’s not being used.
Draught Proofing Floorboards
Draught proofing floors is a slightly more challenging operation than doors, but the task is the same. You need to block holes and gaps through which the warm air is escaping. You can block cracks in your floor by squirting commercially available floor filler into the gaps. Stopgap, Draughtex and Decorators’ Caulk are specialist flexible fillers that allow floorboards and skirting boards to flex. Mastic-type products have similar properties.
Larger draughty gaps might need a more permanent heavy-duty fix involving wood pieces, PVA glue and sawdust. Ultimately, you might have to get professional help if the task.
Draught Proofing The Chimney and Fireplace
If you don’t use your fireplace, your chimney is undoubtedly a primary source of unnecessary draughts. There are two main ways to draught-proof a chimney. The first is to fit a cap over the chimney pot.
Given the fact this needs work at height, it might be best undertaken by a professional roofing contractor.
Alternatively, a chimney draught excluder fitted inside the house at room level inside the chimney or around the fireplace will stop draughts and heat loss.
Either method will need removing if, at any point, you wish to use the fireplace for its original purpose.
Draught Proofing The Windows
Windows can be one of the most draughty features in any home meaning how to stop draughts through windows is an important question for homeowners. The good news is stopping draughts around windows and improving the energy efficiency of a home needn’t be complex. Casement and sash window draft excluders are available from a range of suppliers. They could be as simple as self-adhesive foam strips. These don’t last long but are easily replaced. More robust metal or plastic strips are probably the best draught excluders for windows. They typically have brushes or wipers attached and, although they are slightly more costly, tend to last longer.
Fitting additional draught excluders might improve casement and sash window insulation a little, but the real answer to preventing draughts is to invest in high-quality insulated windows in the first place. Silent Windows from Hugo Carter have a proven track record of providing increased insulation and reducing energy consumption for homeowners alongside their award-winning noise-reducing properties. Check out our range of noise-free and energy efficient doors too.
If you are looking for a solution to keeping your home warm and draught-free as well as noise-free, talk to our team about a no-obligation quotation. We would love to hear about your ideas.
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As you can see, if you are considering soundproof and draught-proof windows, we can help.
Hugo Carter is a trusted and expert provider of soundproof windows. We work closely with clients to understand exactly what solution they need – then provide it.
If you would like to speak with us about how we can help you to overcome the noise pollution you are experiencing, please get in touch today.