Save money by draft proofing your home

Draught-proofing is one of the cheapest and most effective ways to save energy and money in any type of building. Controlled ventilation helps reduce condensation and dampness, by letting fresh air in when needed. However, draughts are uncontrolled: they let in too much cold air and waste too much heat.

How much could you save by draught-proofing?

Draught-proofing around windows and doors could save you around £30 a year. If you have an open chimney, draught-proofing your chimney when you’re not using it could save around £20 a year. Draught-free homes are comfortable at lower temperatures – so you may be able to turn down your thermostat, saving even more on your energy bills.

How to find draughts

Draughts come into your house through gaps and cracks. First, look for any obvious gaps – visible light under and around doors and windows is a good clue. Listen for rattles and whistling noises, especially during high winds. Take time to feel for moving air – around doors, windows, floorboards, beams, skirting boards, and any air conditioning units. Check stairways and fireplaces, too. You can often see curtains moving, which is a sure indication of draughts.


Draught-proofing strips work for windows that open. Self-adhesive foam strips are cheap and easy to install but may not last long. A longer-term but slightly more costly solution is metal or plastic strips with brushes or wipers attached.

Sliding sash windows need brush strips. Consult a professional if you have any queries.

Make sure you measure the windows well; too much material and the window may not


Draught-proofing outside doors can save a lot of heat – and money. A metal disc cover for your keyhole is essential. Measure your letterbox and install a flap or brush, too.

Gaps need to be filled – use a hinged flap draught excluder or a brush to cover the bottom of the door and use foam, brush or wiper strips around the edges.

Draught excluders work well on inside doors, too – you can make a simple one from bags stuffed with spare material. Keep inside doors closed if they lead to an unheated room, to prevent cold air mixing with warmed air and flowing around the house.

Floorboards and skirting boards

With age and use, floorboards and skirting boards often expand, contract, and even move slightly. A silicon-based filler works well to block any holes – check for gaps between skirting boards and the floor, too.

Chimneys, pipes and cracks

Ask a professional to fit a chimney draught excluder if one wasn’t fitted during construction. Remember to remove the excluder if you light the fire. If you don’t use your fireplace, get a professional to install a cap over the chimney pot.

Silicone fillers work well for small gaps around pipes. Fill more significant gaps with expanding polyurethane foam.  Old extractor fan outlets may need to be filled with bricks or concrete blocks and then sealed from both the inside and outside.

DIY or professional?

Draught-proofing costs will vary depending on how much and which areas of your home you want to draught-proof. Professional draught-proofing could cost around £200-300 for your whole house. DIY draught-proofing will be cheaper.

If you’re happy carrying out simple DIY tasks, draught-proofing will be no problem. However, some homes, especially older homes with single glazing, will be more difficult to draught-proof.