Keeping the warm air inside and the cold air outside is the first step to a warm and comfortable home, and can be a quick, affordable way to lower your energy bills.
The amount you’ll save on your bills means your draft proof is likely to pay off in a matter of years.
Read on to find out what you can do in your own home – from filling in the spaces around the pipes to insulating your attic hatch. Plus, learn how to keep warm air inside without compromising ventilation.
Proofing costs and savings
Hiring a professional installer to draft proof your home can cost around £ 200. Doing it yourself could cost a lot less, provided you have a good idea of what to do.
Protecting your windows and doors from drafts could save you up to £ 20 in energy per year, while making your home more comfortable to live in.
Additionally, you may find that you can keep your thermostat a bit lower once you have draft-proofed your space. Lowering the thermostat by just one degree in a typical home could save you £ 85-90 a year.
Draft proof of your home
Start by looking around your house for uncovered spaces and openings to the outside. For example:
- the Windows
- doors, locks and mailboxes
- fireplaces and fireplaces
- floor and baseboards
- attic hatches
- cracks in the walls
- gaps around electrical connections on walls and ceilings
Does draft protection reduce ventilation?
If you are giving your home a full set of insulation, it is important not to completely seal the building, as homes are designed to need a little bit of air in and out.
Be sure to maintain outdoor ventilation in areas where there are open fires or flues, and in rooms where humidity is produced such as kitchens and bathrooms.
Do not seal kitchen and bathroom windows – spaces will release steam and reduce the risk of moisture. Instead, seal the interior doors to those rooms, so that once the doors are closed, you know the hot air in the rest of the house isn’t escaping.
Do you need a proofing professional?
Proofing shouldn’t be too much of a hassle if you’re happy to tackle simple DIY jobs. Most products should be available in good home improvement stores.
Some houses, especially older buildings with single glazing, will be more difficult to prove than others. In these cases, you might find that you could do it with the help of a professional. You can find a tradesperson using our Which? Trusted merchant service. Use our tool below to find a craftsman near you.
Draft proof sash windows
Sash windows, especially older single-glazed windows, are famous for their draft. Not everyone wants to replace their traditional sash windows, but if you do, installing A-rated double glazing could save between £ 95 and £ 115 per year on the heating bill of a typical house (according to her size).
If you do not want to install double glazing, you can still reduce drafts:
- Window foam seal: It is like a thick ribbon and comes in rolls of different colors. It is easy to install, inexpensive, and available at major DIY stores. However, it does not work well for sliding windows.
- Sealing foam: This special foam can be sprayed into the gaps around windows or doors. It is more expensive than foam tape.
- Metal or plastic brushes: These are more expensive than foam tape, but should last longer.
Secondary window film is a transparent tape that attaches to windows to create a double glazing effect. However, we do not recommend that you use it.
We tested one of these movies and concluded that there are better options available. We have found that the film may need to be re-stretched periodically (with a hair dryer) which can be inconvenient. In addition, it can easily be torn.
Cheap and easy draft proofing
Drafts from the outside can enter through gaps under doors, letterboxes, and even keyholes.
If you feel cold air entering under an exterior door, you can install a weather bar or door brush. These act as a seal at the bottom of your door when it is closed. They’re easy to install yourself and are available online and at most major DIY stores – prices start at around £ 6.
Alternatively, you can use a draft exclusion device. All kinds of stores sell windbreakers, or you can even make one yourself by filling a large piece of cloth with old clothes or rice.
However, since a windbreaker is not attached to the door, depending on where it lands when you close the door behind you, it can let in drafts when you are outside.
Letterbox windshields are popular, as are letterbox plates, which keep cold air out without blocking your mail – they cost less than £ 10.
A keyhole cover is a metal disc that stops drafts and slides sideways when you put in your key – they cost around £ 3.
Waterproofing your attic hatch
As the heat increases, it can escape upward through small spaces around your loft’s hatch. Insulate them with strips of foam, as you would for doors or windows.
To really prevent hot air from escaping through the roof, you will need to consider insulating your loft. Good attic insulation can reduce the energy bills of a typical house by around £ 130 per year. Find out more in our guide to .
Fill in any holes around pipes leading to an attic or outdoors, such as the exhaust pipes of your appliances. Silicone sealant should be fine for small spaces, while larger spaces may require expandable polyurethane foam.
You can get these products at any decent DIY store.
Other draft hot spots
Drafts can appear in all kinds of places. The main hot spots include:
- Cracks in the walls: These can be filled with cement or hard-setting fillers. You should consult a surveyor if large cracks start to appear, as this could mean that there is a problem with your walls.
- Disused extractor fans: Old fan outlets can be filled with bricks or concrete and then sealed.
- Chimneys and fireplaces: If you are not using your fireplace, you can install a cap on the chimney pot (it is best to do this by a professional) or install a chimney windbreak at any good home improvement store.
- Floors and baseboards: Check out our guide on how to stop drafts from floors.
Following these draft protection tips will help make your home more comfortable and lower your energy bills.