- Quick and easy to fit
- Can be DIY or get a professional
- Can be done one window at a time
What it is
Sealing the unwanted gaps around your doors and windows will help keep the heat in, and will cut down on cold draughts throughout your home.
Every external door and every opening window in your home has a gap round the edge that should seal tight when the door or window is fully closed. If the seal isn’t good enough, then cold air can blow in through the gap, and warm air can blow out. Old or badly fitted windows can have gaps around the frame or glass even if they don’t open, and doors can have extra gaps around a letter box, cat flap or keyhole.
This will increase your heating bills, because all the money you spent heating this air up is wasted as soon as the air leaks out. You will also feel less comfortable in a draughty house, because the cold air feels even colder if it is blowing through the room.
Draught-proofing an existing door or window is fairly straightforward, provided you use the right materials for each job. You can either pay a professional to choose the right products and fit them correctly, or you can buy your own and fit them yourself.
Draught-proofing is different to double glazing, and it does a different job. Double glazing is designed to stop heat escaping through the glass itself. Draught-proofing is designed to stop heat escaping through gaps around the edges.
Is it right for me?
Unless your house is very new, you probably have some draughts somewhere in the house, and it may be worth doing something to control them.
Generally speaking, the older a door or window the more likely it is to have a draught problem. A new window or outside door ought to seal well and be pretty much free from draughts. But even a new door or window can be draughty if it is poor quality or has not been fitted well.
If your house is very draughty you will know this just from feeling draughts in the house, especially when the weather is cold and windy. You can walk round the house holding your hand against each edge of every window to work out where the draughts are coming from.
If you have draughts then you will save energy by blocking them off, but….
- You shouldn’t block off any deliberate ventilation such as air bricks and wall vents – they were put there for a reason.
- If you have a condensation problem in a room, then you need to sort that out before blocking off any draughts in that room. If you can fix the condensation by producing less water (e.g. not drying clothes in that room) or by increasing your controlled ventilation (e.g. turning the extractor fan on more often) then you could then try fixing any uncontrolled draughts.
How to get it
Draught-proofing is relatively straightforward to do if you are confident at DIY, but there are plenty of professionals who can do it for you.
If you want to fit draught-proofing yourself, then you can get a wide range of products and materials at any good DIY store. Two things to remember:
- Make sure you’re buying the right product for the job. If you have a sash window, for example, you need to buy a draught-proofing kit specifically for sash windows.
- Follow the instructions – some systems are obvious but others are more complicated.
Most DIY shops will give advice on which products to buy and how to fit them.