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Reducing home heat loss

Draught-proofing

Benefits

  • keep your home warm and energy efficient
  • save money on your fuel bills
  • lower your carbon footprint

Draught-proofing is one of the cheapest and most effective ways to save energy – and money – in any type of building.

Controlled ventilation helps reduce condensation and damp, by letting fresh air in when needed. However, draughts are uncontrolled: they let in too much cold air and waste too much heat.

To draught-proof your home, you should block up unwanted gaps that let cold air in and warm air out. Saving warm air means you’ll use less energy to heat your home, so you’ll save money as well as making your home snug and warm.

How much could you save by draught-proofing?

Draught-proofing around windows and doors could save you around £20 a year*. If you have an open chimney, draught-proofing your chimney when you’re not using it could save around £15 a year*.

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.

* Savings based on a typical gas-fuelled semi-detached property in England, Scotland or Wales.

DIY or professional?

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 your whole house*. DIY draught-proofing will be cheaper.

*Based on a typical semi-detached property in England, Scotland or Wales.

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.

Ventilation

Air needs to flow in and out of your house so it stays fresh, dry and healthy. Make sure you don’t block or seal any intentional ventilation, including:

  • extractor fans – these take out damp air quickly in rooms where lots of moisture is produced (for example, kitchens, bathrooms and utility rooms)
  • underfloor grilles or airbricks – these help keep wooden beams and floors dry
  • wall vents, which let small amounts of fresh air into rooms
  • trickle vents – modern windows often have small vents above them to let fresh air trickle in

Dealing with draughts

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
  • rooms where a lot of moisture is produced, such as the kitchen, bathrooms and utility rooms

These are the most common areas to find draughts, with suggestions on how to fix them.