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.
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.
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.
- How energy efficient are replacement windows?
- When choosing replacement windows, you can check its energy efficiency by looking at the BFRC energy label. The higher the energy rating, the more energy efficient it is. At the moment there is no obligation for window manufacturers to label their products, however by opting for a high rated window you know you will be buying the most efficient window.
- 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.
- Do replacement windows need to comply with building regulations?
- Yes, except where there are restrictions that prevent you doing so, such as planning restrictions. Before you do any work, make sure you check with your local planning office, particularly if you live in a conservation area, have an Article 4 direction on your property or have a listed building.
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