Introduction to Draught Proofing

What is draught proofing?

Draught proofing (or draught exclusion) is one of the cheapest and easiest ways to save energy costs in the home, whether you live in a house or a flat. The concept is really simple: stop cold air coming in and prevent warm air from escaping, using things like draught excluders. Keeping the warm air inside will save you money on your utility bills as the existing heating system will need to work less hard to keep the home at the required temperature.

Draughts or gaps in the home act like ventilation shafts, allowing cold air to seep in and hot air to escape. When the household heats their home, these uncontrolled ventilation gaps let expensive hot air escape.

Although more often than not, some heat escapes regardless of the actions of a householder, addtional temporary draughts occur by leaving doors, windows and letterboxes open.

Potential savings from installing draught proofing

It is estimated that installing draught proofing measures in an average UK home could save the household £60 per year on heating bills.

According to the Energy Saving Trust, if all homes were to do this in the UK, the total energy savings could be worth as much as £190 million, and the energy saved would heat nearly 400,000 homes.

how do I identify a draught?

You will be able to find draughts just about anywhere in your house that links directly to the outside. They are so common that you could easily be in front of one now. For example, they are found by doors, windows, loft hatches, keyholes, electrical fittings on the ceilings, under the floorboards, piping leading outside and any drilled holes for cabling that leads to outside. Remember that day when you had that cable or Sky TV installed and the drilling that took place?

The best way to deal with these draughts is to close the gaps using draught excluders and block the holes.

Some rooms in the home need natural ventilation, such as bathrooms, kitchens or rooms with an open fire. These types of rooms generate a lot of condensation and by blocking the ventilation outlets, you may also encourage damp and mould to form, which may end up being unpleasant and costing you additional money to fix.

Draught proofing – DIY vs. professional jobs

Draught proofing pays for itself in just a couple of years in most cases, by reducing your energy consumption and therefore your energy bills. Draught proofing can be carried out as a fairly simple home DIY job, although in some situations, such as a home with single glazed windows, the job is more difficult meaning that professional help may be required.

Obviously, if you are uncomfortable carrying out the work yourself we strongly recommend getting in a professional to complete the work regardless. A professional should be able to identify the draughts very quickly, and will know what to fill them with, therefore saving you a lot of time and energy.

Draught proofing applied to deal with the problem areas

The following section provides links to each of the draught proofing problem areas found in the home. There is no one-size-fit-all approach and an individual will require different materials to satisfy different needs.

We hope these sections will help you select the most relevant products for each area in the home and decrease draughts.

Financial assistance for draught proofing

Individual homeowners can apply for various grants to deal with the cost of draught proofing, from the government, local authorities and energy suppliers. Please find out from your energy supplier whether they offer assistance or deals.

Landlords, on the other hand, can offset any investment on draught proofing as a saving on their tax bill. According to statute, landlords can claim a taxable allowance of £1,500 on each property they own. This covers other forms of insulation and not just draught proofing.

Draught proofing is also one of the solutions covered by the Green Deal, meaning you could get your property draught proofed without paying any up front costs to cover the work (the cost of the draught proofing is paid off via the energy savings on your energy bills). For more information on the Green Deal please visit our Green Deal homepage.