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Draught Proofing


Draught proofing is one of the most effective changes for energy use that can be made to a building. Although ventilation is needed as it helps to reduce condensation and damp excessive or uncontrolled draughts let in too much cold air leading to wasted heat.  

Effective draught proofing can be done by sealing up unwanted gaps that let cold air in and warm air out. This can be through doors, loft hatches and chimney flues. Windows can also be sealed up. To ensure adequate ventilation, any areas of intentional ventilation such as extractor fans, underfloor grilles or airbricks, wall vents or trickle vents should not be sealed. 

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Draught proofing will primarily need to be done to external doors only, unless there is significant temperature variation amongst internal rooms. Similarly, fire doors or doors of special historical/heritage value shouldn’t be draught proofed. For suitable doors you can: 

  • Draught proof around the door edge using fit foam, brush or wiper strips. 
  • Draught proof around the letterbox using a flap or brush. 
  • Insulate the door itself- a thin layer of suitable insulation material can be added to the doors panels. 
  • Cover keyholes with purpose made covers. 

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Loft hatches

Significant amounts of heat can be lost by letting warm air escape out of a loft hatch or by letting cold air in from the roof area- especially if you have an insulated loft or roof space. If the loft is getting insulated, draught proofing the loft hatch should be done at the same time otherwise the loft insulation will be less effective. 

If the loft hatch rests on a frame of the loft entrance you can put a compression seal or foam strip around the perimeter of the bottom of the loft hatch. When the hatch sits in place, the seal should ensure that all draughts are stopped. 

If the hatch is hinged and swings down you will need to put either the compression seal or the foam strip on the outside perimeter on the top of loft hatch. You will also need to put an equivalent strip on the inside of the hatch frame so that the two strips meet, creating an airtight barrier to stop the draughts. 

For additional measures you can insulate the top of the loft hatch to ensure no heat is lost through this space. This can be a fairly simple step of attaching insulation materials to the top of the hatch. 

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A chimney can be a large draw of warm air out of a room, whether or not it is in use. The amount depends on a variety of factors such as building height and outside temperature which becomes known as the “stack effect”. To reduce this effect there are a few options you can take. 

One affordable option is to put a draught excluder in the chimney which blocks the passage therefore stopping air getting pulled out. This can be specifically designed chimney balloons or chimney sheep.  

Another option is a chimney cap or cowl which covers the top of the chimney and can stop excess air getting pulled out as well as providing protection from nesting birds and other debris. 

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