How to draught proof your home

In the colder months draught proofing helps to keep the heat from your central heating inside your home and stops the cold outside from getting in. Draught proofing is an important step to help reduce heat loss and keep your home warm this winter.

Benefits of Draught Proofing

Draught proofing your home has many benefits:

  • It stops cold air drafts from getting into your home, which makes your home cosier and improves comfort.
  • Sealing any gaps around your home means that your central heating system won’t have to work as hard to maintain the temperature you set it to, helping with your energy efficiency.
  • When your energy efficiency improves, you will use less energy to heat your home and save money on your heating bills. In England, Scotland or Wales, draught-proofing the windows and doors of a typical gas-fuelled, semi-detached property could save you around £30 per year.* With cold draughts removed from your home, you would also be more comfortable at lower temperatures so you could turn your heating down and save even more.

Check your Ventilation

Before starting any winter home improvements, it is important to check that your home is properly ventilated. Rooms where condensation or smoke are created would still need to be ventilated to avoid damp and mould e.g., in your kitchen or bathroom. Ensuring that you don’t draught proof these ventilation areas is important to prevent mould, so keep an eye out to not block extractor fans or wall vents.

Identifying Draughts

Once you have identified what ventilation needs avoiding, you can start draught proofing your home by initially finding any gaps or openings that could be allowing cold air in. This can be done by feeling around your windows, doors, walls, and floorboards for cold air or by looking for movements in curtains from the draughts. Once you have identified the different areas that need draught proofing you can carry out some DIY using certain materials to cover these spaces and help heat retention.

These are some suggestions for home insulations to add for different areas of your home:

  1. Windows and Doors

You can seal gaps around windows by fitting foam, plastic, or metal strips with brushes on (weather-strips) around the edges to cover the gaps and stop the cold air flow getting in. Draught excluders, which are rolls of fabric with stuffing, can be placed at the bottom of doors to stop draughts entering that way. You can also make DIY draught excluders using old clothes, such as jeans, and filling them with a stuffing, like rice or newspaper. Adding thicker curtains with thermal lining can also help to keep out some of the cold.  

  1. Floors and Walls

You can use a filler to seal any smaller gaps in hard floor (e.g. wooden), walls and around the skirting boards. A filler will set quickly and stay permanently, so be careful to wipe the excess from the floor. If the cracks are larger, it may be better to use an expanding polyurethane foam or consult with a professional to check that they won’t get any bigger.

  1. Ceilings

To stop heat leaving your home through the roof, you can get more insulation added into your loft, seal any gaps in the ceiling with filler and fit insulation strips around any loft hatches. We advise contacting a professional to do this for you.

  1. Letterboxes and Keyholes

Installing new brush excluders onto letterboxes can stop cold air entering your home, while still allowing your post to get in. You can also purchase and add keyhole covers to stop excess air from going in or out of your keyhole.

  1. Fireplaces and Chimneys

If you have a fireplace that is not in use, you could insulate your chimney to stop excess heat leaving your home or cold air getting in. You can purchase draught excluders made specifically for your chimney – either inflatable or a wool excluder made to fit the exact size of your chimney. A chimney draught excluder could lower energy bills and save you around £90 per year. **

  1. Pipes and Cables

You can fill any gaps around pipes or cables that lead outside with a silicone filler to stop warm air from escaping. If the gap is slightly larger however, it may be better to use an expanding polyurethane foam. Both types of fillers can be purchased in a DIY store.

When to Consider Professional Help

If you are looking for a longer lasting draught-proofing option, booking a professional to install home insulation could help you save even more energy. For example, getting double glazing installed on older windows will help to stop more cold air coming into your home. You could also get extra insulation added into wall and loft spaces to further reduce your heating bills. If you live in a semi-detached house and install up to 270mm of insulation into walls and lofts at a cost of £300, you could save around £165 a year on your energy bills***.

What else can be done to help your central heating’s efficiency over winter?

Over time gas boilers become less efficient and can struggle to heat your home. Getting a new A-rated boiler installed is another great way to improve the efficiency of your central heating system.

At Swale Heating we have over 50 years of experience within the heating industry and maintain homes across the South East, London and East Anglia. Our engineers are Gas Safe and MCS certified, and we pride ourselves on offering outstanding customer service.

If you’re ready for a new boiler, you can get an estimated price and book an appointment for a time that suits you, using our handy online estimator. Or you can give the sales team a call today on 0800 731 33 44.


 Information sources:

*Energy Saving Trust

**Energy Saving Trust

***Energy Saving Trust