If heat is escaping through gaps around your doors and windows, between your floorboards and up your chimney, then your heating system has to work harder to maintain a given temperature, costing you money and energy. Draught-proofing around windows and doors can save you around £60 a year, and draught-proofing your chimney can save you £90 a year. As moving air tends to feel colder, tackling draughts can greatly improve the comfort in your home. It’s important to keep some air moving through your home to keep the air fresh and prevent mould.
Check for draughts
Draughts happen where there are unwanted gaps in the construction of your home, and where openings are left uncovered. You’ll find draughts in any gaps that lead outside (for example around doors and windows or where TV/internet cables come into your house). It’s easiest to find draughts on a windy day. You can use the back of your hand or some smoke e.g. from a incense stick. You can also find draughts using a thermal imagining camera. Our thermal imagining camera training and loan scheme runs in the winter months. You can find out more and book in here.
There are lots of simple DIY fixes that will help you to reduce draughts in your home. These include: fitting adhesive foam strip between doors/windows & their frames; fitting brush strip bottom of doors, sash windows & letterbox; fitting secondary glazing film or Magnaglaze onto single glazed windows; using acrylic sealant to fill any gaps around skirting boards; using draughtex between floorboards; using expanding foam to seal around outdoor pipes; and fitting a chimney sheep in unused chimneys (but remember that chimney’s do need some air).
The costs 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, this will be no problem. However, some homes, especially older homes with single glazing, will be more difficult. 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.
Groundwork Green Doctors: offer free telephone consultations and means-tested home visits and have draught proofing and mould/moisture control solutions that they can install in your home.
Cambridge Council energy bill help: summarises support available to households struggling with their energy bills.