Draught Proofing

Draughts are unwanted ventilation. They allow warm air to escape and cold air to enter when you want to keep the cold out and the heat in your house. Wherever there are gaps to the outside cold air can enter, such as through letterboxes, key holes and also in gaps in the construction, such as around doors.

Stopping draughts can stop the air that you have heated escaping. By stopping draughts you can keep your house warmer and therefore reduce the amount you spend on heating.

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How Draught Proofing Works?

Stopping draughts is a very cheap and effective way of saving energy, and therefore money and CO2. They are very easy and cheap to stop which makes tackling them and a very effective way of saving on your heating bills.

You simply need to find and block any gaps that are letting in any unwanted air.

Installation of Draught Proofing

Most good DIY Stores will provide all the materials that you need; this is something that you can do yourself in most cases. And draught proofing measures qualify for grants under the ECO (Energy Company Obligation) scheme so you could get up to 100% of the cost back.

Common areas where draughts occur:

  • Around windows and doors
  • Lofts hatches
  • Fittings and pipes particularly if they lead outside
  • Suspended floorboards and ceiling–to-wall joints

Some rooms need ventilation so be careful not to block the ventilation in these areas. The most common are:

  • Where moisture is produced – such as kitchens and bathrooms. It is important that the moist air is taken away before it condenses and can cause damp
  • Where there are open fires or flues – such as living rooms. This ventilation is required so that the fuel can burn in fresh air and waste gases can escape safely

For a list of registered installers visit the National Insulation Association website. Work by these installers will be guaranteed for 10 years. You can find products, installers and manufacturers at the Draught Proofing Advisory Association.

Or complete the energy assessment to see which options are suitable for your home

Costs and Maintenance

You can block any draughts in your home yourself for around £100, or get a professional to assist you for about £200. There is a wide range of product that you can buy in DIY shops from door draught proofing to window insulation film and draught excluders. A shop assistant will be able to advise you.

Once fitted there is very little maintenance required and most measures will last for many decades offering you ongoing savings. British Standard Institution accredited products have a 20 year life where properly installed and maintained, so you should ensure that the products are marked with the BSI logo.

Benefits of Draught Proofing

It will really depend on how draughty your home is, but the Energy Saving Trust suggests that the average home will be able to make savings of at least £25 per year.

But the biggest saving is because a home that is not draughty will be more comfortable at a slightly lower temperature you can turn your thermostat down which will save you another £55 per year.

Whether you fit your draught proofing yourself or get a professional the payback will be only a couple of years at most and then you can enjoy the benefits and savings for years to come.

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What type of glass is best for double glazing?
The most energy efficient glass for double glazing is low emissivity (Low-E) glass. This often has an unnoticeable coating of metal oxide, normally on one of the internal surfaces - next the gap. It lets sunlight and heat in but cuts the amount of heat that can get out again, instead reflecting it back into the room.
What keeps the two panes of glass in double glazing apart?
The panes are separated by pane spacers set around the inside edges to keep the two panes of glass apart. For a more efficient window, look for pane spacers containing little or no metal - often known as 'warm edge' spacers.
Which window frame type would suit my home?
The frame you choose will depend on your home's style and your personal taste, as well as any planning restrictions in your area. The popular material types are; uPVC, wood, aluminium, steel or composite frames.
Do you need extra ventilation if you install double glazing?
Because replacement windows will be more airtight than the original single glazed frames, condensation can build up in your house due to the reduced ventilation, so it can be a good idea to get replacement windows which have trickle vents incorporated into the frame that let in a small amount of controlled ventilation.
Can fitting double glazing cause condensation?
If there is not a sufficient level of background ventilation in the room, condensation can occur, but some replacement windows will have trickle vents incorporated into the frame that let in a small amount of controlled ventilation to stop this. Condensation can sometimes occur on the outside of new low-e glazing. This is because low-e glass reflects heat back into the home and as a result the outside pane remains cool and condensation can build up in cold weather - this isn't a problem. Low-e glass actually prevents condensation appearing on the inside of your window as it would if your double glazing featured standard glass, as in the inside pane is kept warm by its special coating.
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