Nobody wants a draughty home. Aside from your home feeling colder than it should, it could also lead to an unwelcome rise in your heating bills.
If your home is feeling less than, or if you’ve noticed a sudden spike in your heating bills, it may be that you’ve got a draught somewhere.
Draughts appear when your windows are less effective at preventing the outside air from entering your home. This can be caused by a number of factors including damage to the frame through repeat use or exposure to the elements, or deterioration in the rubber seal around the glass. Luckily, there are some things you can do to get rid of the draught.
Identifying the draught
The first thing you need to do is identify where the draught is coming from.
If you have a window frame that is noticeably damaged, you should start there.
If not, check all the windows in the areas of your home that feel colder than they should.
Run your hand around the frames and see if you can feel anything. You can also use a candle or a lit match to help; where the flame flickers is where the draught is likely coming from.
Fixing draughty windows
There are a couple of products available that will help to overcome any draught you might have found. These help to reduce or remove the gap between the window and window frame.
The first of these is foam rubber strips. These are a reasonably affordable solution and are easy to install.
Simply peel off the backing and stick them down to the frame where they will close the gap once the window is close. Just be sure to get the right size: too thick and you’ll be unable to close your window; too thin and they won’t properly repair the draught.
The other option is a brush strip. These are bristled strips which attach around the window frame to create a seal between the window and frame. Although slightly more expensive, these are more effective on sash style windows, for which the rubber strips are not appropriate.
Fixing draughty doors
The most common area for draughts to appear is around your door, particularly if the door opens straight to the outside and not into a porch.
Draughts appearing under the door can be fixed with a brush strip, similar to that described above for windows. You can also apply a draught excluder to the base of the door.
Draughts can also enter through your letterbox and keyhole. To prevent draughts coming through your letterbox, purchase a letterbox flap or brush – just be sure to measure the opening first as these come in a range of shapes and sizes. The keyhole draught can be repaired using a keyhole cover, a moveable metal disc that drops over the keyhole when not in use.
Well-fitted, quality windows and doors should remain draught-free for years to come but if your windows are getting on in age or are out of warranty, or if the draughts are persistent, even after carrying out repairs, it may be worth considering upgrading to new ones.