Why there’s more to draught-exclusion than keeping out the chill

Thursday, 21 March 2013

How to draught-proof your home

In association with the Draught Proofing Advisory Association Ltd

Draught proofing your home is one of the simplest, easiest and most cost effective methods of insulation there is. Older and larger properties can be particularly vulnerable to heat loss, but even a relatively new building could benefit from some additional protection to eliminate cold draughts and slow heat loss.

What are the benefits of draught-proofing your home?

With effective draught-proofing your home could feel warmer and more comfortable during cold winter months, and as a result you’ll be less reliant on heating – which can significantly ramp up your energy bills. From double glazing and insulation to sealing gaps and draught excluders, you could benefit from making some simple draught-proofing changes to your home.

If your home has older, external wooden doors, the larger gap between the edge of the door and the floor can be a potential entrance point for mice, as well as a draught point. Draught excluders add an extra line of defence to prevent these unhygienic pests from getting into your property.

Similarly, by ensuring that any gaps and holes in your building are properly protected, you can ensure that electric cables and electrical enclosures aren’t gnawed at by rodents, which can lead to electrical faults and safety hazards (it rarely ends well for the rodents either…)

Draught-proofing is also a great way to reduce your carbon footprint and make a positive contribution towards a greener lifestyle. According to the Carbon Trust, switching six medium to large windows from single to double pane could save up to 4,536 kg of CO2 per year, while updated wall and ceiling insulation could save an additional 907 kg of CO2.

Tips on choosing the right window and door seals

Draught excluder on doorThe Draught Proofing Advisory Association (DPAA) offers the following guidance on choosing seals:

There are a wide range of draught-proofing products on the market, utilising diverse materials, fixing methods and ways of operating. Compression seals and wiper seals are among the most commonly used.

A compression seal is one of the simplest, most cost effective ways to draught proof the vast majority of windows and doors. They are designed to perform at the points where the fixed and moving edges of a door or window come together in the closed position, and should effectively seal any gaps without causing excessive force to be required to open.

Wiper seals are most commonly used on doors and windows with a slide-open mechanism, but can also be used on standard hinged items. These surface mounted seals form an effective barrier to air movement around perimeters, without creating excessive friction.

You can purchase compression and wiper seals from a variety of homeware retailers and wholesalers, but to ensure quality of fit to maximise comfort and energy saving benefits, it is strongly advised that you employ a professional contractor.

The Draught Proofing Advisory Association provides product information and a directory of accredited specialists for a variety of draught proofing concerns. Only contractors who reach their high standards are invited to become members. You can find information and contact details for an accredited contractor in your area in their directory of members. Please visit the Draught Proofing Advisory Association website to learn more.

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