Eco Tip – Take action on draughts

EVEN IF YOU have a modern house with double glazing and cavity wall insulation, you may be losing expensive heat due to draughts. The older the house, the more likely it is there will be draughts. Follow this simple process to assess your own home, and then go to: for practical guidance to fix the draughts.
So what does Tony look for when visiting properties? Starting at the front door, he looks for draught strips, letter plate seals, and a weather bar. In the house, he looks at holes around radiator pipes, and gaps in floorboards and under skirtings.
Heading upstairs, he checks the loft trap for draught proofing strips and notes whether it is insulated. In the loft, he looks for daylight. It is acceptable to see daylight when looking down through ventilation slots but not upwards through roof coverings. Is insulation present, how thick is it, are there gaps or bits missing? Are the water storage cisterns and pipe work, including the overflow, insulated? Then is there a draughty gap around where the soil pipe or other pipes which go down into the house?
In the bathroom he looks to see if there is a fan, or if the window can be left open in a secure position to provide background ventilation when needed.
In bedrooms he checks for gaps under window boards or around the window frames, and draught strips around the windows.
Airing cupboards may have gaps around pipes or old unfilled pipe holes into the loft.
Back downstairs, he checks the living rooms for old air vents or gaps under skirtings and around heating pipes. Are there draughts under window boards and around windows and are the casements draught free? Do windows shut properly, and will trickle ventilators close? And, if there is a chimney, is it unused?
In the kitchen, are there holes around pipes leading outside, redundant ventilation grilles, is the window or back door draughty?
That’s the checklist for you to follow. Then look for help on how to fix these on the Draughtbusters website: The cost for fixing most of these things usually comes out at less than £30 (although not if your loft requires insulation so see whether your energy company or the local council offers any help with this).