We’re all feeling the pinch of higher fuel bills and inflation, so it’s time to start looking at ways to make your home more energy efficient. Reducing your bills isn’t hard – simple measures like draught proofing your house can make a big difference, and is cheaper and easier than you might think.
Draught proofing really makes a difference
Did you know that the majority of houses lose about a fifth of their heat from draughts and bad ventilation?
You’ll get draughts in any gaps between your home and the outside, including in:
- loft doors
- electrical fittings
- pipes going outside
- letter boxes
Draught proofing these areas really makes a difference. It’s the first place you check when assessing your home insulation as you can get some quick wins.
Whether you’re simply fitting draught proofing strips to doors or considering double glazing or other methods of draught excluding, the advantages are clear:
- reduce heat loss and prevent draughts
- save money with lower energy bills
- reduce street noise – a draught proofed house is a quieter house
- help the environment – reduce your carbon footprint by using less energy
- reduce condensation build-up on the inside of windows
You could save £££s off your energy bills and stay warmer in winter.
The Energy Saving Trust estimates that full draught proofing can save you £55 per year. Plus you’ll be able to turn down your heating because draught-free homes are comfortable at lower temperatures. This will save another £60 or so annually.
This is a combined energy saving of at least £115. If your house is particularly draughty in many areas, or you live in a large property, it’s likely that the money saving will be much higher.
And if you’re planning to sell your home soon, you’ll find a draught proofed home will be more attractive to potential buyers. Homes with draught proofing mean you’ll get a better Energy Performance Certificate – an instant way for buyers to see that bills will be lower.
Draught proofing windows
A lot of a home’s energy inefficiency can come from poorly insulated windows.
Some people think that expensive double glazing is the only answer. However, a cheap and very effective draught proofing solution is using special draught proofing sealing strips to stick around the window.
They’re designed for windows that you open and there are two main types:
- self-adhesive foam strips – the cheapest, easiest option, but you might have to replace them now and again
- more substantial plastic or metal strip with wipers or insulating brushes – more expensive, but much more robust
If the window doesn’t open, then a silicon-based sealant is a good, long-lasting option.
Or alternatively, if you don’t need the window open or need something just for winter, you can buy double glazing film. It gives benefits similar to double glazing, without the very high cost.
And don’t forget that more substantial curtains will also prevent draughts. Well fitted blinds or shutters are other good ways to keep the heat in.
Of course, double glazing is also an excellent option. Effective double glazing can save you £165 a year off your fuel bills. If you’re going down that route, look out for products with the Energy Saving Trust Recommended symbol. They should all also have a BFRC energy rating from A to G, A being the most energy efficient.
Draught proofing sash windows
Sash windows are a common feature in period properties. They can look great, but are also a major factor in heat loss, as they generally have a single pane of glass and the sliding frames are often ill-fitting. This makes draught proofing sash windows particularly important for an energy-efficient home.
Foam strips aren’t so good with sash windows as the vertical movement of the window rubs the strips and destroys them. Stronger metal or plastic strips are better. If you’re not sure what to use, it’s best to get someone in to do a proper job – you’re likely to save money in the long-run.
And if you were thinking of going down the double glazing route, instead of replacing the whole windows with conventional double glazing there are special insulating sash units available. They keep the look and style of sash windows but are sealed to keep out draughts and have a double glazing layer to stop heat escaping.
You can even get even more basic kits for draught proofing sash windows. For just a few quid you can buy secondary film glazing. This is easy to install and gives excellent energy saving results.
Draught proofing doors
Of course, energy efficiency needn’t stop with windows. Draught proofing doors is also important, as they can be another big source of heat loss.
In fact, building regulations mean that if you want to install a new front door it must feature draught proofing. You can also upgrade existing doors by fitting draught proofing strips round the letterbox and the edge of the door. Just adding draught excluders to your front and back doors can save you £30 a year.
Make sure you draught proof:
- gaps around the bottom – use a brush or other draught proofer
- gaps round the edges – brush, foam or wiper strips are available
- keyholes – use a special keyhole cover
- letterboxes – install a cover; some also come with brushes to push the post through too
Don’t forget inside doors as well if they’re leading to rooms that aren’t usually heated. It’s often as simple as buying a fabric draught excluder to cover gaps at the bottom.
Draught proofing floorboards
Draught proofing floorboards is another good way of saving money on your fuel bills and keeping your home warmer and greener.
It’s really easy to draught proof floorboards. You just need a flexible filler (silicon ones are most common) to squirt in between any cracks or gaps. Don’t forget to check between the floor and skirting board as well.
DIY draught proofing
You don’t have to be a DIY genius to attempt DIY draught proofing. Most homes can be draught proofed relatively simply. You’re likely to spend about £120 getting the house done, and it could cost double that to get someone in to do it.
If you’ve got a period property it may be worth getting a professional in, though. It will probably save you money in the long-run as they’ll know the tricks to make your home as draught free as possible.
Draught proof for real results now
You don’t have to be an eco warrior to see the benefits of draught proofing your home. It’s easy to do, doesn’t cost the earth and will start saving you money and keeping your house warmer and more comfortable straight away.
Together with other home insulation measures, draught excluding can make a big difference to your bills. Don’t spend money heating your house just to see the warm air disappear out the window – get draught proofing now!
Draught proofing products
Draught proofing products are a great way to keep out the cold air and help you to save on your energy bills. There is a range of different products and the great thing is they are cheap and simple to install, yet deliver great results.
Green Abode recommends the following products from these stores.
Secondary film glazing – You don’t need the expense of double glazing to insulate windows.
Secondary film glazing is an ideal cheap, yet effective alternative. It’s so simple to install, just cut the film to the correct size and seal with the the tape.
Ultra seal premium draught excluder – this is a flexible option that can be used on both windows and doors. It’s perfect for insulating small areas of between 1mm and 5mm.
Simply seal the area required and the foam will expand back to its original size to fill the gap.
Wickes also stock door set, letter box and even products suitable for garage doors. Check out the Wickes draught excluders range.
Nigel’s Eco Store
Floorboard gap insulation seal – wooden floors look great, however, they can be very draughty. In fact, you can save £20 per room, per year by filling the gaps.
If you want to keep the original look to your wooden floor, use this floorboard gap insulation seal.
Draught buster kit – if you know that you need to plug draughty gaps throughout the house, this kit gives you everything you need. Certainly, it will get you thinking about the different types of product you will need.
Nigel’s Eco Store has a wide range of draught exclusion products such as chimney pillows to insulate chimneys, door draught excluders and energy saving sets for radiators. Check out Nigel’s Eco Stores energy efficiency and insulation range.
ebay draught excluder products come in every range, shape and form. They’re great for bulk purchases as their sellers offer great discounts.
From window insulation kits, letter box draught excluders, window and door insulation seals, floorboard insulation kits to traditional fabric door draught excluders – you can guarantee that ebay will have the product you need.
Image courtesy of Flickr – squacco