Question: ‘I want to draught-proof my house to help reduce the cost of my energy bills over the winter. How can I do this in a stylish way?’
DIY expert, Jo Behari, says: Draught-proofing is essential to keep warmth in and energy bills down. Unfortunately, the common forms of draught-proofing, such as bristles attached to doors and windows to close gaps, often don’t look very good.
A lot of work has been done over the past few years to improve the design of these products, and you can now apply more inconspicuous foam strips to the inside of doors and window frames for the same effect. Unwanted cold air can come in through letterboxes too, which can easily be prevented by fitting an internal flap. Unlike brushes, it won’t crush your post – or the postman’s fingers!
You can also use rubber strips to seal gaps in floorboards, which do blend in well, but if your end goal is to keep air circulating in your home while stopping draughts in cold weather, simply investing in stylish soft furnishings can help.
Rugs placed on bare boards will reduce cold air coming up through the floor and help keep feet warm in winter. Pairing curtains and blinds on windows is also effective and, if you want a successful solution that adds style too, investing in shutters is a great idea.
These methods also ensure that air can still circulate – vital to prevent condensation building up around windows, which in turn can cause woodwork to rot and allow mould to grow on walls.
In some rooms, ventilation is essential. Bathrooms and kitchens need constant air flow in order to stop mould growth, as do rooms with fireplaces where draught-proofing could cause a build up of dangerous gases when the fire is in use.
It may even be worth having an energy survey, where warm air is blown into your house while an infrared camera tracks how it leaves. This way, you can see where the main problem areas are and concentrate on fixing these with more rigorous draught-proofing, while using soft furnishings for the less critical area.