Draught busters

Draught proof your home

Here’s something we can all agree on: homes should be cosy. When the nights draw in and temperatures start to drop, the last thing you want is a chilly breeze whistling through your house.

The good news is, it’s not hard to banish that pesky draught for good. And here’s your chance. With a touch of DIY and a dab of creativity, you’ll soon be basking in the warm glow of a toasty home, reduced energy bills and some hefty carbon savings.

So, whether you want to make a draught-excluding snake from some old tights or play ‘hunt the draught’ with some low-cost filler, now’s your moment to shine.

Why

Here are a few reasons to take action.

Click for more info or scroll to read them all.

Cosiness

We’ve nothing against a bit of fresh air, but draughts should know their place and stay outside – where they belong. A draughty home is full of gaps that let in too much cold air and waste too much heat. The result? Well, let’s just say I’ll be leaving my hat and gloves on when I come to visit.

Fed up of feeling the chill? It’s time to plug those draughty gaps and get cosy.

Climate change

Draughty houses are the bane of Britain. We all know the discomfort of a bitter breeze sneaking under the front door on a cold winter evening, but did you know the effect that’s having on our country’s climate emissions? The housing sector accounts for about 20% of the UK's greenhouse gas emissions, with three-quarters of that coming from the generation of heating and hot water - a legacy of Britain's vast housing stock of old draughty homes.1

By draught proofing your house, you could save 145 kg CO2 a year,2 equivalent to watching TV for 69 days without stopping!3

Money

Draught proofing will save you on average £55 a year.4 And that’s before you save money on all the thermal vests and extra thick socks you’ll no longer need.

The cost of draught-proofing varies from house to house but shouldn’t come to more than about £100 to install yourself. Which means you'll make back what you invested within two years, and start saving £55 per year after that. Snug and smug. A pretty smart choice, really.

Global Goals

In September 2017, a historic agreement was signed by UN member nations agreeing to work towards 17 Global Goals for Sustainable Development by 2030, otherwise known as the SDGs.

Achieving these ambitious goals will require action from governments, businesses, NGOs, and individuals alike. We can - and must - all play our part.

By making the 'Draught busters' pledge, you are contributing to the following SDG targets:

7.3: By 2030, double the global rate of improvement in energy efficiency

12.8: By 2030, ensure that people everywhere have the relevant information and awareness for sustainable development and lifestyles in harmony with nature

13.3: Improve education, awareness-raising and human and institutional capacity on climate change mitigation, adaptation, impact reduction and early warning

How

How

Ready to make your home cosier?

The best place to start is by figuring out where your main draughts are coming from. That means looking for gaps and feeling for cool air around doors, windows, letterboxes and – if you have one – your chimney. Here’s a handy guide to draught-hunting.

With your hit-list in place, it’s time to get draught-busting.

  1. Draughty windows? Use strips of either self-adhesive foam or brush to stick around the window frame. It couldn’t be simpler or cheaper.
  2. Draughty doors? Here’s one for all the family… make a crafty draught excluding snake to keep guard on all your outside doors. If you’re short of time (or old tights), you can either buy a draught excluder or put more of those self-adhesive foam or brush strips around the door. While you’re at it, it’s well worth covering the keyhole and letterbox too. Again, you can make something yourself with some thick felt, or buy covers online.
  3. Draughty skirting boards or floorboards? This one is surprisingly satisfying. Armed with nothing more than tube of floor filler, just fill any gaps you spot, wipe off any excess and wait for the warm glow of satisfaction from a job well done.
  4. Draughty chimney? Chimneys can be incredibly draughty – it’s kind of what they’re there for! If you have an unused or little-used fireplace, it’s worth filling it with a chimney balloon. Just remember to remove it if you do ever light a fire… and on Christmas Eve of course.

Before you dash off to get draught-busting please remember that some ventilation is a good thing. Draughts are uncontrolled and excessive, but kitchens, bathrooms and areas with open fires or flues can all benefit from a bit of moving air.

Don’t seal your house off altogether!

There are a host of grants and discounts available to help you out, handily compiled in the Energy Saving Trust's great search tool.

Success Stories

413

Pledges
in total

53,691kg

CO2
pledged

This was my mothers pledge that I did for her.

Not as many windows, as I meant to, but what I did do worked! Will do in future homes.

Most of the property is draught proof, but I have one door that I still need to organise!

It's been too hot to draught proof! The draughts are welcome at the moment. Will look to do this in September before the Winter starts.

It meant I kept the heating down too!

Installed curtains to insulate better my front and back door and have reduced my gas consumption on cold days (4-6 degrees C)!!

I just did the windows of my house, still left the 2 doors and a small gap in the stairs, but definitely I will do it.

I am pleased to confirm that I nailed the Draught busters pledge and will continue to do so.

I added foil behind the radiators. But I didn't get the curtain rails up...yet!

Have done the doors which were the worst offenders for draughts. The windows are as good as they can be!

Don't have double glazing but used the bubble wrap tip to draught proof!

A lot better now, but will finish some bits in the next couple of months.

4 rooms done, remaining ones ongoing.

What a difference a few pounds have made, thank you. Without the nudge I would have kept putting this off, now done the house feels cosier and i have seen a difference in gas used, slight but still a change.

This was surprisingly easy to do once we worked out what needed draught proofing. Few more rooms to do when we have a chance.

Saving the environment and saving me money on heating bills. Win, win!

Even with two young children in the house this was easy to do.

References

  1. Business Green
  2. The Guardian
  3. A 32 inch LCD flatscreen TV uses 88 g CO2 / hour (source: How Bad are Bananas, Mike Berners Lee); 145,000 gCO2 / 88 gCO2 / 24 hours = 68.7 days.
  4. Energy Saving Trust - Draught Proofing