Draught Proofing Your Home
Draught-proofing your home is one of the cheapest and most effective ways to save energy – and money. The great news is that installing draft-proofing is simple and can be carried out by most people themselves. Installers are available but will cost more than a DIY solution.
To draught-proof your home, you should block up unwanted gaps that let cold air in and warm air out. Saving warm air means you’ll use less energy to heat your home, so you’ll save money as well as making your home snug and warm.
Draughts enter your home around any gaps leading to the outside, such as doors, windows, chimneys, wall cracks etc. To identify drafts, just walk around your home and feel with your hand the draughts around these features, or look for daylight coming in! For older homes you may be surprised just how much cold air comes in! Door and window gaps can be blocked by fitting DIY self-adhesive foam strips, rubber strips, or plastic or metal strips with brushes or wipers attached, for a longer lasting but slightly more costly solution. At the bottom of doors, a simple home-made ‘sausage’ can reduce draughts. These can be made from old tights or similar stuffed with any beyond-repair textile items eg socks.
If you have a chimney but don’t use it, this may be worth draught-proofing. DIY draught excluders are available or you may wish to leave this to a professional.
Do remember that some rooms require ventilation, so don’t over-do draught-proofing in kitchens and bathrooms where a lot of moisture is produced, or in rooms with open fires or open flues.
The following link provides more information regarding draught-proofing. www.energysavingtrust.org.uk
Reducing Heat Loss Through Windows
In addition to draught-proofing window frames, you may wish to consider improving the energy efficiency of the window unit. A potentially significant amount of heat can be lost directly through the window panes. If you currently have only a single paned window you may wish to consider double or triple glazing. This can be expensive and may not be an option if you live in a conservation area or listed building. You can however consider much simpler and cheaper solutions.
Fitting a secondary pane of glass or transparent material over the inside of the window frame (making sure you leave an air gap between the outer glass pane and the secondary pane) can be an effective lower cost solution. DIY kits are readily available using acrylic sheets and magnetic or clip fixings. Or for an even cheaper and simpler but shorter lasting solution, use cling film taped to the window frame. Again, DIY kits for this are readily available from DIY stores.
Finally, heavy curtains, particularly if fitted with thermal linings, can reduce heat loss through a window at night, and will also reduce draughts.
The following link provides more information regarding reducing heat loss through windows. www.energysavingtrust.org.uk
The above suggestions should help you to save energy and money this winter, and keep your house that much warmer. It should also help reduce your carbon footprint.