With winter and colder weather well on its way, now is the time to make sure that all of your windows are draught-proof. If your windows aren’t draught-proof, you’ll know about it as soon as the weather turns. There will be a chill throughout all of your home that you just can’t seem to beat even with the heating on.
If your house is cold and has consistent draughts, it also means that you’re losing heat through your windows, and as a result, energy is being wasted to heat a home that simply doesn’t retain the heat. Neither you nor your energy bill will appreciate the loss of heat through your windows because they aren’t draught-proof.
Before you start draught-proofing your home, you first need to find where your draughts are coming from and if the room they are in needs to be draught-proof in the first place.
To find draughts that need sealing but aren’t quite so obvious at first, put the back of your hand around any of your window frames and take note of whether you can feel cold bursts of air coming from them. If you can, you’ve got yourself a draft that needs sealing.
Where to Seal Draughts
While it is a good idea to draught-proof most of your home, there are some rooms that require more ventilation than others, and trapping draughts in these rooms can slow and prevent ventilation. If your living room has an open fire that you use frequently, this room will require more ventilation than others and doesn’t need draught-proofing. This also goes for rooms such as kitchens, utility rooms and bathrooms where there is more likely to be moisture that needs to be ventilated and can build up and become trapped if there isn’t proper airflow.
A living room without an open fire and most bedrooms should be draught-proof, however.
1. Compression Seals
A common way to prevent draughts through windows is to stock your windows up with compression seals. For smaller windows in your home, a compression seal will do the job of sealing the gap that is allowing heat to pass out. They are available in a variety of different materials to suit the look of your home and give it a polished finish, and they can either be drilled or glued to the window frame. These seals are a quick and effective solution to reduce heat loss and draughts in your home. They will perform well on even narrow window gaps that, at first glance, you might think aren’t worth proofing, but are still contributing to the heat and energy loss in your home.
2. Foam Strips
These are not a long-term solution to draught-proofing your home and don’t suit sash windows, but they provide a great short-term relief from draughts while you search for a permanent solution that best fits the types of windows you have in your home. These are easy to install as most are self-adhesive, simply stick them to the frames you wish to draught-proof, and they are cheap as well. If you need to buy some time before you install a more long-term, efficient solution to your draught issue, then foam strips make a great placeholder for the time being.
3. Silicone Sealant
Gunned silicone sealant is an excellent way to seal gaps in your window frames and prevent draughts in your home. This method requires a little technique, but it is not too difficult to get a good grasp of it.
To keep your windows clean, stick two strips of masking tape on either side of the area you are going to seal. Then, squeeze the sealant evenly into the spot you have created. Smooth it down, leave it to dry, then peel off the masking tape once it has dried. You should be left with a cleanly sealed window frame!
It may take some practice to get it perfectly right, but this method guarantees the eradication of draughts if applied correctly.
4. Brush Strips
For sash windows and larger windows, other methods are often more effective.
To install brush strips to your windows, you will first have to attach them to a carrier which can then be attached to the window frame. Brush strips can be quickly installed to immediately remove any effects of draughts and the draughts themselves.
If you want to maintain the aesthetic of your home and keep it draught free at the same time, an excellent way to do this is to use a wooden carrier for your brush strips. It’s not advised to paint the strips because this can decrease their effectiveness, even if they would blend in more naturally with your home. Place the brush strips in a wooden carrier, and guests will be none the wiser, except for the fact that they won’t feel a single draught.
5. Thick Curtains
To provide an extra layer between the outside, your window and your home, hanging a set of thick curtains can help keep draughts at bay. A pair of curtains won’t stop the draught at its source like the other methods will, but they will provide another layer of insulation that can stop draughts in their path. It is well advised to use thick curtains alongside another method or two of draught-proofing to ensure that all your bases are covered; draughts can make their way through the tiniest of gaps that you might not even spot or be aware of, and a set of thick, heavy curtains can help combat this when working with another insulation technique.
Draught proofing your home, even if it is an older property, means your home will retain heat more effectively, and you can save on your heating bill, but your savings aren’t the only reason why you should proof your home. Using less energy this way means your home will be contributing less to CO2 emissions, which is incredibly important in our world today.
Do your bit for your savings, your home and for your planet by draught-proofing your home and making your home as energy efficient as it can be.