Draught proofing your home
Do you get blasts of cold air whistling through your house and worry that all the warmth is seeping out?
Batten down the hatches and make sure you’re not wasting valuable heat and energy through the coldest months of the year.
Even a small draught can make any room a lot colder, so stopping that bit of chilly air coming in will make an instant difference and mean your home will retain heat for longer. This means that you’ll use less energy heating it up.
With a smart meter you’ll be able to see what you’re spending in pounds and pence in near real time, so you can instantly see the financial benefits of those small changes too.
Here are a few cheap and simple draught proofing tips that may enable you to turn your thermostat down a couple of degrees so you can save money on your energy bills.
First stop, the front door
You can insulate the sides of your doors with simple strip insulation and draught sealers, widely available at DIY shops. Energy Saving Trust have some great advice on how to fit insulation strips.
A draught excluder is essential at the foot of any outside doors to block out breezes. We’ve worked with bloggers Redtedart and Geoffrey & Grace to show you how to make your own draught excluder.
Keep all internal doors closed to retain the heat within individual rooms, and place draught excluders at the bottom of these doors too.
Keyholes should be covered, especially older, wider keyholes. You can buy purpose-made covers cheaply and a piece of masking or duct tape is a great temporary measure. For the letterbox, measure up the size of the box and insert a brush or a flap.
A heavy floor-length curtain hung from a portiere rod – which opens and closes with the door – will make a huge difference (particularly if you live in an older and less well-insulated house).
Thick or thermal lined curtains will help to keep draughts at bay, particularly if you only have single glazing. But open curtains during the day to let in sunshine and warmth.
Just as with doors, you can buy self-adhesive foam strips to fill the gaps between the window and the frame that are cheap and easy to attach. Just check you get the right size; too wide and they’ll hamper you shutting the window, too narrow and they won’t have any effect.
Floorboards and fireplaces
Draughts can whistle in through gaps in floors and skirting boards. You can use filler to block any significant gaps, but even just putting some rugs down to cover bare floorboards could help prevent up to 10 per cent of heat loss.
Unused chimneys can be a source of unnecessary draughts and you can also lose an extraordinary amount of heat through open fireplaces. For any that are not in use, it’s worth considering installing chimney balloons or woollen chimney insulators, which you can install yourself.
Air still needs to flow in and out of your house so it stays fresh, dry and healthy, so when you’re dealing with draughts, make sure you don’t block or seal any intentional ventilation like extractor fans, airbricks, wall vents or trickle vents in modern windows.
Small changes add up
All these small changes could add up to big savings on your energy bills, savings you can keep track of with a smart meter. Smart meters show you how much energy you’re using in near real time, so the more small changes you make the more you’ll notice the difference in your energy use.