Research: Energy group and Adrienne Campbell
Each winter, the average UK household loses 20% of all heat (ie money) through draughts. Typically, draughts occur down chimneys, around window and door frames, through letterboxes and at skirting boards and between floorboards. Draught proofing is one of the simplest jobs homeowners can do to increase efficiency, save money, build resilience in an era of rising fossil fuel prices, and ensure warm air stays were it’s needed – in the home. What follows is a list of actions and the materials we used. All products, unless specified otherwise, can be ordered from Architectural Seals, and some can be obtained from Wenban Smith, Lewes (who might order them in).
Stormguard Heavy Duty Around Door Strip (ADS). Supplied in Door Sets, from £15.50 Also a brush along the inside of the door.
Under the door: Brydale X ‘the ultimate draught excluder’ – lifts when door opens. From £25.74 If your front door is flimsy, it might need extra insulation on the inside.
Letterbox: Various options including brush from £10.77 or from local DIY stores Ecoflap £19.95 plus PandP from Nigels Ecostore. Also, add heavy felt over the inside of the letterbox, pinned to the top of the flap. Or seal up letterbox and put a box on the side of your house.
Keyhole: Many front door keyholes let in gusts of cold. You can temporarily block them with bits of flexible foam plastic, paper or gaffer tape. Or add a keyhole cover if it's in use from both sides.
Curtain: Hang a heavy, lined curtain over your front and back door using a rising portiere rod £22.95 plus PandP from Just Poles. It lifts the curtain off the floor as the door opens. Or just use a normal curtain rod.
• Cheapest option: stuff newspaper between the gaps in your sash windows. And/or put white gaffer tape over the gaps, about £5 a large roll from Wenban Smith
• Stick rubber self-adhesive P-profile rubber strips to all windows that you don't open. £5- £10 for 10 metres from most DIY shops
• For windows that you open, use Stormguard Slikseal from Wenban Smith or Architectural Seals. It's a seal that you tap, with supplied tacks, into the wood of your sash window. Cost from £8
• Next step up is routing parting bead seals seals into the sash windows from Reddiseals or Timberseals so they are draughtproofed internally, invisibly. Needs some carpentry skills.
• Seasonal film - using a hairdryer to make it taught. From Stormguard, can be bought at Homebase, about £10 for a bow window.
• UV-stabilised polycarbonate sheet secondary glazing using magnet strips to fix the glazing, which can be removed and stored in the summer. 365plastics.com. Approx £250 per bow window
• Sophisticated secondary glass glazing approx £700 per bow window from Protech Windows
• Replacement secondary double glazed glass sash windows: approx £700 for a bow window from local Kai Crick 07813 691362 or to replace the whole box £3,000 per bow window, Parsons, Lewes 01273 814870.
As thick as poss, interlining using thermal lining £2-3 per m on ebay. Otherwise use double lining or use safety pins to pin up cheap wool, such as a second-hand blanket. Ideally interlining should be added when making the curtains; secondary interlining can, however, be added by sewing single tape to the top of the interlining and hooking it over the main curtain hooks.
Try to keep doors closed; a closer can help Foam strips inside the doors, from local suppliers will help seal the internal draughts, especially if you've got a fire that draws air through the house. Make a draught excluder, made from cloth cylinders stuffed with old clothes, or just put a mat or pillow against the door. A more permanent solution is Stormguard bottom-of-the-door draught excluders (BDS) from Wenban Smith or even wooden ones £6.73 from Archtectural Seals.
FLOORS AND SKIRTINGS
• Sealing above and below skirting against draughts – use White Interior Frame Sealant from Homebase. £3.99 covers 11m.
• Between floorboards: cheapest option is newspaper. It doesn’t look great. For a more permanent solution use: StopGap - floorboard filler - £20 per 40m roll, (av room £40).
UNDERFLOOR INSULATION (esp in basement): more
complicated. Lift up the floorboards and add insulation, making sure
that the ventilation to the exterior is not blocked.
Go around the house and check that holes for plumbing pipes going to the outside are fully sealed. Exterior frame sealant from Homebase costs £5.99 for a tube. Stuff unused chimneys with newspapers or foam or buy a chimney balloon £20 from Ecoutlet.