Excessive draughts can lose up to 15% of your household heating. Draught-stripping is a highly economical energy saving measure. If your house is not fully draught proofed we recommend that you have it fitted. This could be financed through the Green Deal, or if you are in receipt of benefits through ECO or NEST, see earlier section on funding schemes.
Investment: Around £100 diy
Financial saving: Up to £120/year
Carbon dioxide saving: Up to 150kg/year
Draught stripping is available at most DIY stores and is a fairly easy DIY job. We recommend strips that nail on in preference to those that stick on.
If you are in any doubt, have a radon check after increasing draught proofing. You can see an online map showing areas of highest risk at www.ukradon.org
- Sausage type door draught-excluders (the sausage type suitable for placing across the bottom of internal doors).
- Sash windows can be very draughty and are worth sealing but this is a competent DIY or a professional job unless you are fixing them shut. For a comprehensive list of suppliers of DIY kits, see www.sash-style.co.uk/draught-proofing.php
- Skirting boards, and floorboards without tongues, can be sealed using a product called Stopgap. See www.stopgap.co.uk, or ring 02920 213736.
- Unused chimneys can be sealed with a chimney balloon. These can be supplied by the following: www.chimneyballoon.com. Ring 01252 319325. or The Clean Energy Centre, Gas St, Newtown. Call Jeremy Thorp on 07722 722863.
- Redundant air bricks can be sealed but an air brick is not redundant if it is providing cross ventilation under a suspended floor, or there is a stove, range, fire or boiler in the room drawing in air supply from the room.
Most modern boilers have a ‘balanced flue’, which draws in its own air supply from the outside, not from the room. These flues will look like either a metal biscuit tin on the wall, a short double concentric tube on the wall (metal or plastic), or a plastic tube rising vertically through the roof. If all stoves or boilers in a room have such a flue, and there are no other appliances requiring an air supply, then air bricks ventilating that room are redundant, and that room can be draught sealed to the highest standard.
However, if your boiler or stove does draw in air from the room, then vent apertures should be sited as near as possible to the stove or boiler to avoid cross-room draughts. If the stove, fire or boiler is situated too far from an external wall and the room has a suspended floor, consider whether you can run a ventilation pipe from the outside to the appliance under the floor and then seal the air brick or vent to prevent cross-room draughts. You should consult a HETAS installer to ensure that this complies with regulations for your system.
Ventilation in buildings is best controlled and planned,