Draught proofing (or draught exclusion) is one of the cheapest and easiest ways to cut energy costs in the home, whether you live in a house or a flat. No matter what age your home is, it's always a good idea to pay attention to draught-proofing in the winter to cut down on your home heating bills. We can learn a lot from our very frugal overseas cousins about how to keep homes draught free.
The main areas to focus on are:
* Doors to the outside
* Doors inside
* Attics and hatches
* Pipes that go outside
- Replace Your Door Sweeps, or Add Them
For outside doors, replace or install a sweep to help block cold air from getting in underneath. Some resemble bristles. On a wooden door, add them inside and out. Measure carefully so they fit as close to the floor as possible without touching.
- Buy Draught Excluders
Also known as a door snake, these items are usually made of a sturdy fabric with some sort of stuffing to help block draughts and stop moisture from seeping in. You can make them yourself with some felt and old clothes. Or, simply roll up an old towel to block air coming in at the base of the doors and windows. If your garage is connected to the house, keep the door closed in winter and use draught excluders too.
- Use Weatherstripping
Weatherstrips are an inexpensive way to help seal draughty doors and windows. Some are reusable, so you can peel them off in the spring and use again next time the weather starts to get cold. Make sure the garage door is a good fit. If it isn't, edge the door so it is free to move up and down but not let cold air gush in all around.
- Use Window Film
This goes over the window like plastic wrap and then you usually shrink it with the heat of a hairdryer to get a good seal. Make sure you have another adult handy to pull the wrap tightly on both sides to seal in large windows.
- Hang Insulated Curtains
These will be heavier than regular curtains and help keep the warmth in. Also hang one over all outer doors using a simple pole for a curtain rod, and large rings so there is no danger of yanking down the curtains when coming in and out of the house. Don't forget any door that leads to an adjoining garage.
- Attic Insulation
Make sure your attic is insulated with thick foam and with a plastic membrane. Use foam tape or weatherstripping around the hatch unless you tend to go up there often.
- Re-Caulk Windows and Doors
Sooner or later, it starts to peel or break down. Check the exterior of all your windows and path as needed.
- Re-Caulk External Pipes
As you are making your rounds, check the seals around any pipes that lead into the house to make sure they have not weathered.
- Cover Exhaust Fan Outlets with Plastic Film with Some Holes Poked in It
If you do a lot of cooking, you need an exhaust fan to help remove the smells and moisture from your pans. However, sometimes the exhaust can be so large you are literally letting hundreds of dollars leak away. Cover with plastic window film and poke holes in it. The kitchen air can go out without a lot of cold air pouring through wide slats.