In an average British dwelling about 12%* of the heat is lost through draughts. Even though this is not a great heat loss compared to what can move through walls and roofs, fixing draughts will make the rooms considerably more comfortable and easier to heat, thus reducing heating bills and emissions. Controlled ventilation helps reduce condensation and damp, by letting fresh air in when needed. Most work that needs to be done to tackle draughts can be done by yourselves for very little money.
Draughts happen where there are unwanted gaps in the construction of your home, and where openings are left uncovered. You’ll find draughts at any accidental gap in your home that leads outside. You should block most of these – but be careful in areas that need good ventilation, such as areas where there are open fires or open flues and rooms where a lot of moisture is produced, such as the kitchen, bathrooms and utility rooms.
Draught-free homes are comfortable at lower temperatures – so you may be able to turn down your thermostat saving even more on your energy bills. Draught-proofing around windows and doors could save you around £20 per year*. If you have an open chimney, draught-proofing your chimney when you’re not using it could save around £15 per year* for a typical gas-fuelled semi-detached property in England.
Draught proofing costs will vary depending on how much and which areas of your home you want to draught proof. Professional draught-proofing could cost around £200 for a typical semi-detached property. DIY draught-proofing will be cheaper. If you’re happy carrying out simple DIY tasks, draught-proofing will be no problem. However, some homes, especially older homes with single glazing, will be more difficult to draught-proof. Professional draught-proofing is likely to save more energy because the installer will know exactly the right materials to use and where to use them.
The Energy Saving Trust provides more information and a tutorial on how to fix common draughts in a home: https://energysavingtrust.org.uk/home-insulation/draught-proofing
Simple Energy Advice also provides a search tool to find potential installers: https://www.simpleenergyadvice.org.uk/measures/meta_draughtproof_all_windows_and_doors
Certain households might be entitled to support under the Energy Company Obligation (ECO). Under this scheme medium and larger energy suppliers may fund the installation of certain energy efficiency measures. Find out more information about the scheme and if your eligible via Ofgem: https://www.ofgem.gov.uk/environmental-programmes/eco/support-improving-your-home