Draught-proofing your home is one of the easiest and most effective ways to save energy, whether you live in a top floor flat or a terraced house.
By controlling draughts in your home, you’ll reduce the amount of cold air that gets in and reduce the amount of heat that escapes.
Block up unwanted gaps around windows, doors, chimneys and between floorboards. It will mean you use less energy to heat your house during the colder months, saving you money on your energy bills.
How much could you save by draught-proofing your home?
The amount of money you could save by blocking out draughts will vary depending on the size of your house.
If you live in a mid-floor flat with electric heaters, draught-proofing your windows and doors could save you £70 a year on your energy bills.
If you have an open chimney that you’re not using, draught-proofing it could save you an extra £170 a year.
How much does it cost to draught-proof your home?
Costs will vary depending on how much of your house you want to draught-proof, and what materials you use.
DIY draught-proofing is usually straightforward and will be cheaper than using a professional.
We estimate you’d need to spend around £200 in a mid-floor flat for a full professional draught-proof.
How easy is DIY draught-proofing?
If you’re happy carrying out simple DIY tasks, draught-proofing will be no problem. However, you need to make sure you don’t block or seal any deliberate ventilation in your home, as air does need to flow in and out of your house.
You should avoid blocking or sealing the following:
- Extractor fans – these are often found in kitchens and bathrooms and can help prevent damp and condensation.
- Underfloor grilles or airbricks – these help to keep wooden floors and beams dry.
- Wall vents – these let fresh air into the rooms in your home.
- Trickle vents – these are often found above modern windows to let fresh air trickle in.
How to draught-proof common areas
There are several common places to draught-proof in any home, where unwanted cold air gets in and warm air escapes.
If your windows open inwards or outwards, you can stick draught-proofing strips around the window frame to fill any gaps between the window and the frame. There are two options: self-adhesive foam strips, which are cheap and easy to install, or metal/plastic strips with brushes or wipers, which are more expensive but will last much longer.
If you have sliding sash windows, you should fit brush strips or consult a professional. For windows that don’t open, use a silicone sealant that you can buy from any DIY store.
Draught-proofing any door in your home that goes to the outside can prevent heat from escaping. If you look at your front door, for example, you’ll notice there are four main areas you could draught-proof:
- Keyhole – you can buy purpose-made covers for keyholes.
- Letterbox – you can fit a letterbox flap or brush.
- Gap at the bottom of the door – you can use a brush or hinged flap draught excluder.
- Gaps at the sides of the door – you can fit foam, brush or wiper strips.
If there’s a gap at the bottom of an internal door to a room that you don’t normally keep heated, block it with a draught excluder. These are cheap to buy, or you can make one yourself using plastic bags or bits of scrap fabric.
If you have a fireplace you don’t use, you’re probably losing heat up the chimney. You can either fit a cap over the chimney pot, however you’d need to ask a professional to do this for you – or you can buy a chimney draught excluder, which you can fit yourself.
Floors and skirting boards
Another place you could be losing heat is through the gap where your floor meets your skirting boards. You can fill these gaps with a silicone-based filler – the best types to use are flexible fillers, decorator’s caulk or mastic-type products.
Fillers will block gaps permanently, so be careful when you apply them and remove any excess filler before it dries.
If you have a hatch to access your loft, block off draughts around the sides by using the same type of strip insulation you would use on a door.