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Draught-proofing is an easy DIY task. Many sealant strips are self-adhesive for easy fixing, and fitting brushes to doors and letterboxes is also simple. But good ventilation is as important as draughtproofing, and is essential if you have a solid fuel fire, a gas fire or a boiler with an open flue.
Surface-mounted, flexible nylon and brush are the simplest and cheapest type of draught excluder to fit. A nylon seal is most effective on smooth floors and works well on the top of the door as well as the bottom, while a brush seal is useful on the inside of an exterior door and where the floor surface is less even.
Wiper seals are also used for sliding sash windows and sliding patio doors, where a good fit with low friction is necessary.
The smallest gap around a window or door will create a draught, which will result in your home's insulation being less effective, and your heating bills more costly! Even double glazing and wellfitted frames will not entirely eliminate draughts.
Keyholes and letterboxes are common causes of draughts in the home. Both problems can easily be solved – a keyhole with an escutcheon coverplate is simple to fit, while letterbox draught excluders are available to suit all tastes.
Fit a letterbox draught excluder behind the letterbox on the interior of the front door, to stop cold air from entering the house and preventing heat from escaping.
Never block or cover any air vents in your home. Do not draught-proof in kitchens and bathrooms, or in the vicinity of any fuel-burning appliance, without seeking professional advice first.
The best way to draught-proof the house is to fit UPVC or wood double-glazed windows and doors. This can be an expensive option, but savings from lower heating bills will be very beneficial.
If you order your own doors and windows, make precise measurements. Measure across all dimensions – top, bottom and middle – as openings are often not exactly 'square'. Measurements should take into account the narrowest and widest points.
Check with the local planning office as you may require planning permission to fit new windows and doors, especially if you are considering UPVC windows. If you, or your builder, are not affiliated to a professional organisation such as FENSTRA, installation must be inspected by the local building control officer.