Posted on 14 07 2021

How to draught-proof your house on a budget

People spend a lot of time and expense trying to heat their homes in the colder months, but this can be a useless exercise if you are battling against draughts allowing cold air in and warm air out.

It’s essential to find and block draughts. Likely places these come from are around openings like windows, doors, pet doors, ceilings, and floorboards (especially if there is no insulation), and through other openings like extractor fans, range hoods, and wiring and plumbing.

The good news is that there are several cost-effective ways that you can draught-proof your home to help keep it warm and healthy.

Doors and windows
As they are the main opening to the outside world, doors and windows are an obvious source of draughts if they are not appropriately sealed. Check your windows and doors to ensure they are well-maintained, appropriately aligned and that there are no gaps allowing air through when they are closed.

Tighten any loose hinges, catches, and latches, replace worn rubber seals around aluminium joinery, add weather stripping or sealant to wooden frames, and if doors or windows don’t fit their frames properly, consider getting them repaired by a qualified tradesperson.

You can also add draught-proofing products like vinyl or rubber weather strips, brush strips, or door sweeps that can be screwed on to doors and windows, and for internal doors, use door snakes or sausages to block draughts.

Double-glazing, adhesive window film kits, and, of course, good quality curtains can also help reduce draughts and keep in the heat.

Poorly fitted or broken pet doors can also let in cold air, so maintain these well and fit them with magnetic locking systems, so they don’t blow open in the wind.

The best way to stop any draughts from your ceiling is by installing insulation in your ceiling or roof cavity.

There are several affordable options available:

  • Segments – which are rectangular sheets installed between the ceiling joists in the ceiling cavity.
  • Blanket – which is installed over the ceiling joists
  • Loose-fill – which is loose form insulation which is blown into a ceiling cavity with a specialised machine.

You should also check your ceiling hatch to ensure it fits correctly and using weather stripping to seal it if necessary.

Recessed downlights can also be culprits for draught as they create a hole in your ceiling and insulation that draws warm air into the ceiling spaces, so avoid using these, or replace them with new ones that are better sealed and can be covered with insulation.

Underfloor insulation is the best way to reduce draughts, reduce heat loss through the floor, and reduce rising damp by preventing moisture from penetrating the house from a damp floor.

There are two main underfloor insulation options:

  • Bulk insulation, which is typically made from polyester, natural wool, rock wool, or expandable polystyrene material
  • Reflective foil insulation, which is made up of either single or double-sided foil laminates, bubble wrap, or foam foil-faced wrap.

If underfloor insulation is not possible, cover floorboards with rugs or thick carpeting to help block draughts and seal skirting boards.

Extractor fans
Some extractor fans and range hoods have shutters to prevent backdraught, so the shutter may not be working correctly if there is a draught coming through. Get a qualified technician to check the appliance or replace it with one with a shutter installed in it.

Wiring & plumbing
Sometimes wiring and plumbing are installed poorly and not sealed correctly, allowing draughts to come into the home. These types of openings can sometimes be well hidden, so check around kitchen and bathroom cabinets, hot water cupboards, and wardrobes for any gaps, and seal them with silicone sealant or expanding foam.

Greenside can help you identify gaps and draughts around your home as part of our Home Energy Assessment and have a range of affordable products to block gaps and sources of draughts.

Our team of experts will help you choose the right options for dealing with draughts in your home, from ceiling and floor insulation to options for dealing with window and door draughts, so get in touch with us today to see how we can help keep your home warm, dry and energy-efficient over winter.


As an Owner-Occupier You May Be Eligible for a Warmer Kiwi Homes Subsidy