At home

Draught proofing

Around one-third of home heating can escape through gaps and cracks, so draught proofing is an easy way to reduce your household energy bill. And if warm air can’t get out, neither can it get in, which means your cooling costs in summer will also be lower.

Look for visible obvious gaps around windows, skirting boards, door, skylights – anywhere there are joins. Feel for moving air, check for visible light or moving curtains, listen for rattles or whistling wind.

diagram of a ceiling diagram of a downlight

There are a variety of products available to seal gaps around doors and windows, including draught excluders, draught strips and seals, and weather seals and strips. The most effective places to seal are around:

  • External doors and windows  Make doors to high-ventilation areas, such as bathrooms and laundries, a priority. Remember to draw blinds or curtains to reduce heat-loss in winter.
  • Cracks or gaps in floors, walls, skirtings and ceilings  Seal wall vents (but not if you are using non-flued gas heaters).
  • Fireplaces  Use a chimney damper when an open fireplace is not in use.
  • Fans  Install self-closing exhaust fans. For ceiling fans, obtain a cover that will seal it with shutters when not in use.
sources of many draughts in a house

If you're renovating or building a new home, consider installing automatic door closers to prevent heat escaping from a heated room, but avoid louvre windows or recessed downlights. The ventilation gaps required around downlights to stop them overheating will allow warm air to escape, and the clearance that must be maintained above them will decrease the effectiveness of ceiling insulation.

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Page last updated: 10 December 2015