Draught proofing your home is one of the most effective and efficient ways to save energy and reduce your heating bills. In this short guide, we explain what draught proofing is and the different options available.

What is draught proofing, and why is it important for homes?

A poorly insulated property can lose up to 15-20% of its heat through draughts. By implementing effective draught proofing measures, homeowners can significantly reduce heat loss, improve energy efficiency, and create a more comfortable living environment.

Draught proofing involves sealing gaps and cracks in the home to prevent the infiltration of cold air and the escape of warm air. Common draught-proofing measures include sealing gaps around windows and doors, using draught excluders, installing secondary glazing, using heavy curtains or thermal blinds over windows, insulating walls and attics and lagging pipes.

How can I identify draughts in my home?

If you’ve ever felt a blast of cold air by a window or door or an uneven temperature in a room this indicates a draught. To identify specific areas where air may be entering or escaping from a room, it can be useful to use a lit candle. When the flame flickers that indicates the direction of the draught.

What are the benefits of draught proofing for energy efficiency?

Draught proofing your home won’t just make it warmer inside, it will improve its energy efficiency too by reducing heat loss. This leads to lower energy consumption, reduced heating bills, and a smaller carbon footprint. According to the Energy Saving Trust, draught-proofing windows and doors could save you around £45 a year.

What are the different types of draught proofing available?

Weatherstripping is a flexible material that seals gaps around windows and doors. It comes in various forms, including adhesive-backed foam tape, V-strip, and door sweeps.

Draught excluders are fabric or rubber strips placed along the bottom of doors to block the gap between the door and the floor.

Window insulation film is a transparent film which is applied to single-glazed windows to create an additional layer of insulation. It helps reduce heat loss while still allowing light to enter.

Secondary glazing is when you add a second layer of glazing to existing windows. This solution provides additional insulation and reduces heat loss without replacing the entire window. Mitchell & Dickinson’s CosyGlazing is a unique secondary glazing system made using plexiglass.

Curtains and blinds won’t stop draughts but hanging heavy curtains or thermal blinds will provide an extra layer of insulation to windows, helping a room to retain heat.

Chimney balloons or caps can be used to block unused chimneys, preventing cold air from entering and warm air from escaping.

Pipe lagging involves insulating exposed pipes to prevent heat loss. This is particularly important in areas like lofts and basements.

Floorboard draught sealers are used to fill gaps between floorboards, preventing cold air from rising through the floors.

Letterbox flaps or brushes help prevent draughts from entering through the mail slot in the front door.

Ventilation filters can be used to cover vents, allowing air circulation while blocking draughts and maintaining indoor air quality.

Draught-proofing strips for sash windows can be installed around the edges of sash windows to seal gaps and prevent draughts.

Should I draught proof every room?

Draught-proofing will plug unwanted gaps but be sure to leave good ventilation in rooms like your bathroom, kitchen and utility rooms where a lot of moisture is produced. Intentional ventilation, such as extractor fans, wall vents and trickle vents, are needed to allow air to flow in and out of your house keeping rooms fresh, healthy and dry.

Can draught proofing help with noise reduction as well?

While the primary purpose of draught proofing is to prevent air movement, certain draught proofing materials and products, such as Mitchell & Dickinson’s secondary glazing product CosyGlazing, heavy curtains and door sweeps, can also contribute to noise reduction by acting as additional barriers.

Is draught proofing a DIY project, or should I hire a professional?

Short-term draught-proofing measures, such as hanging heavy curtains or adding draught excluders to doors can easily be done as DIY projects. However, for more complex or extensive draught proofing needs, or if you’re unsure about the process, it’s advisable to consult with a professional such as Mitchell & Dickinson.

Are there any specific considerations for draught proofing in period properties?

Period properties, especially those with original features like sash windows, wooden doors, and chimneys, may be more prone to draughts compared to modern homes with contemporary construction materials. The level of heat loss depends on the presence and extent of gaps and openings in the building.

Consultation with specialists familiar with historic preservation such as Mitchell & Dickinson will be beneficial to ensure the integrity of the building is maintained while improving energy efficiency.