As we discussed in the intro, gaps in your floorboards, loft hatches and skirting boards are all likely culprits for allowing cold air in – and hot air to escape. Even plug sockets are responsible for draughts, so it’s important to go around the house and check every last nook and cranny. Silicon sealer is your best friend, here, and it’s a cheap, quick, and easy way to make an instant impact.
Some gaps will be too large for sealant, so you need to look at other options. For example, your exterior door might benefit from some sealant strips or a brush trim. Your letterbox might be a culprit, too – and another place for brush trim to keep the cold out. Still having problems? Invest in a draught excluder. You can pick them up at your local homeware store, and they won’t cost a fortune. Failing that, you could even make one yourself in a pattern and design of your choice!
No matter how your windows are, it’s always worth checking them for drafts. Again, a sealant is a perfect option that will make a difference almost immediately. However, if you have sash windows, it might be better to invest in some simple brush strips. It’s also worth spending on some heavier curtains or blinds – particularly for use in the cold winter months. Not only will they prevent draught circulation, but they’ll also form a heat trap and keep your house warmer.
Still having window trouble? It might be worth investigating the possibility of having double glazing installed. Not only are they better for keeping the heat in, but they also double up as better noise insulation – although triple glazing might be a more sensible option if you live near a busy road or in a ‘lively’ part of town.
If you have no intention of lighting an open fire, why not block your chimney entirely? It’s a semi-permanent solution, so think carefully before you do it. But, essentially, the fireplace is one of the biggest culprits for lost heat in the home. If you still like the idea of a real fire, consider getting a wood burner. The unit can be sealed into the chimney, the hole completely covered, and you’ll get the benefit of a super warm house with no draught at all. However, as a final point, never seal an area with an open fire or open flue – once it’s blocked, you just cannot use it.