Draught busters


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.



For people

Fed up of feeling the chill? It’s time to plug those draughty gaps and get cosy. Draught proofing will save you on average £45 a year. The cost of draught-proofing varies from house to house could cost around £250 with professional help, or less if you're going to flex your DIY skills. The general rule is the more professional the job, the more draughts you'll keep out. You'll make back what you invest through savings in energy bills.

For planet

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.

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


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.


Business Green

The Guardian

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.

Energy Saving Trust - Draught Proofing