Much heat is lost through the doors and windows of a house. Ensuring your external doors and windows are draught proof is a simple and effective means of reducing heat loss in your home.
How to find draughts in your house?
On a windy day, place a candle or a stick of incense next to a door or window. This should be done one by one: NO NAKED FLAME SHOULD BE LEFT UNATTENDED. If a draught is present, the candle/incense will react to it and show movement in the direction the draught is blowing.
- Add a strip of draught excluder or compression seals around the edges of your door or window, where they meet the frame.
- Use a draught guard along the bottom of your external doors – this can be a sausage shaped cushion, or a more high tech draught excluder, bought from a DIY shop.
- Check that your attic hatch or door is well sealed and insulated.
- Keep curtains closed at night to retain warm air and to avoid drafts.
- Electrical outlets or points where wiring enters a room can be sources of draught and these should be appropriately sealed using an appropriate sealant/filler – your local DIY store should be able to show you the range of options.
While it is important to insulate, it should be noted that all rooms need adequate ventilation. Ventilation is necessary to keep a room fresh and to prevent moisture build up. In reality, draught proofing will allow some amount of air exchange. Nevertheless, when cooking or drying clothes you should, if you can, open a window to allow the condensation out of the room.
Windows, especially single-glazed ones, can be draughty, susceptible to condensation, and can make your home more uncomfortable and expensive to heat. Windows can be insulated with the use of a compression seal or draught excluder. The strip should be placed along the sides of the window where it meets the window frame. A more effective option is to install new windows, although this is more costly.
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