Although your home may be well-insulated and heated, in the cooler months cold air can leak in and out through gaps around windows, doors, vents, skirting and other areas of your home. Sealing these pesky openings will make sure your home is comfortable all season long by eliminating draughts, plus it will keep out rain water, dust, noise and insects. The best news is – draught proofing is an easy task to conquer in a weekend.
How do you find out exactly where the draughts are coming from? The simplest way to pinpoint the source of a draught is to burn a stick of incense in the vicinity of the problem, then closely watch where the smoke drifts. Once you’ve found the gap, here’s what you can do next.
Unwanted draughts most often enter the house through the gap under the front or back door of your home. The simplest way to prevent this is to place a rolled-up old bath towel along the bottom of the door or block the draught with a door snake. But for a more permanent solution that moves with the door when it swings open and closed, install a plastic or metal door seal with a wiper. This will not only eliminate cold air coming in (and hot warm escaping), it will prevent creepy crawlies, dust particles and noise entering the house.
You’ll find draughts may enter your home around the edges of doors too, but this can easily be solved with self-adhesive weather stripping. Weather stripping (also sold as draught excluder) typically comes in a variety of lengths and widths to suit a variety of doors.
The same spongy, self-adhesive weather stripping used around doors can also be applied between the sash and frame of your windows. Any gaps that may appear around the edges of your windows can be sealed with caulk (a waterproof sealant and filler).
Typically spotted in older brick homes, fixed ceiling and wall vents are essential in rooms that have un-flued gas heating or an open fire, and in hot and steamy areas (such as your bathroom, kitchen and laundry) to allow satisfactory ventilation. In other rooms, they’re just draughty holes! If they’re not essential in your home, you can look for (or make) vent covers, replace the old vents with closable versions or remove the vent and plaster the area.
Other draughty zones
Other common spots to look for air leaks around your home include the junctions between two building materials, such as where your skirting meets the wall, and where plumbing pipes and electricity cables leave the house. The most effective way to fill these small openings is by using off-the-shelf gap filler, while larger gaps are best blocked up with expanding polyurethane spray foam.