Why stop draughts?
A draught is air moving around your home, usually caused by gaps around the outside of the building that are allowing warm air out and cold air in. You need ventilation in your house, to stop it getting damp, but you need to be able to control it.
Windows, doors, floors, letterboxes, keyholes and loft hatches can all let warm air escape from your house and let cold air in. The sensation of air moving around your house also makes you feel colder.
If you’ve got draughts, you’re losing heat you’ve paid for and you have to run your heating more to keep up the temperature in your home. It costs you more and increases your carbon footprint.
Sealing up these draughts can often be very straightforward and most people with basic DIY skills can tackle them.
It’s not uncommon for windows to close less tightly over time. It can be quite easy to solve this yourself, depending on the issue.
Start by opening the window or door and cleaning out any dirt and debris inside the frame.
If that doesn’t help, you might need to adjust the closing mechanisms. There are lots of helpful videos online that will show you how to do this, and you should be able to find one for the type of mechanism you have.
If adjustment doesn’t help, you might need to replace some of the components, such as the hinges. If this isn’t something you want to tackle yourself, contact a local window and door supplier for advice.
Tricky… very tricky!
Air tends to come in through the gaps between the sliding sashes and from the rope openings. It can happen even with brand-new units, just because of the sliding nature of these windows.
There are DIY options like stick-on seals. If you’ve tried those, you’ve probably found that they come unstuck over time.
There’s a reusable product called GapSeal, which you work into the gaps between the sliding sashes as the cold weather approaches. It means you can’t then open your windows, but you can remove it in the spring, and keep it for the next winter. We haven’t tried it yet but we plan to and we’ll post an update here.
You can also pick up some helpful advice on the DIY Doctor website.
We also recommend Historic England’s guidance on draughtproofing sash windows.
This is where you fit an additional window unit between your outer window and the room. It stops the draughts from your outer window coming any further into your room.
They can be helpful when you have single-glazed or draughty windows that you can’t replace (for example, if your home is listed).
They come in a lot of different styles nowadays. We’d suggest contacting your local window firms to find out what options they can offer.
Find out more:
Shutters can be a good solution for reducing heat loss through the glass in your windows. In fact, they’re as effective as double glazing, according to Historic England.
Depending on the type you choose and the nature of your walls, though, they may not be as effective at stopping draughts. If draughtproofing is one of your reasons for installing shutters, they’ll need to make a good seal around the window reveal. Discuss this with your installer.
Shutters can be fitted internally (inside your room) or externally.
Draughtproofing wooden doors
There are DIY options for draughtproofing wooden doors – both internal doors and your external ones.
Your best option will depend on a few factors:
- How much frame width you’ve got around the door
- Whether you want to screw or affix anything to your door or frame
We recommend the metal strips with rubber seals, which screw onto your door or frame, as they last longer than the self-adhesive ones. We tend to use them for our draughtproofing schemes. You can also wooden strips instead of metal, if you prefer.
Some are fixed onto the door with pins instead of screws, but we recommend the screw-in ones, as there’s more scope for adjusting them to suit your door, making a better seal.
When you search online, the range of seals can be a bit baffling – more than a dozen by just one of the popular manufacturers, Stormguard.
Watch our how-to videos on this page to learn how to fit draughtproofing strips. The Stormguard website also has some good videos and fitting guides – you’ll find them on the product pages.
You can buy self-adhesive foam strips that you stick around the door frame.
They come in a few sizes, to seal different sizes of gaps.
We’ve found that they can soon start to peel off, however, so we’d generally recommend the screw-on ones.
Draughtproofing uPVC doors
As with uPVC windows, these doors can close less tightly over time.
The problem could simply be debris in the frame, or the door mechanisms might need to be adjusted.
Follow our tips for uPVC windows, above.
How to draughtproof doors and chimneys
Watch our short videos to learn how to draughtproof your door frame, the bottom of your door, letterbox, keyhole and chimney.