Fitting windows and doors are a major source of heat loss, as well as causing cold draughts. Fitting efficient draught stripping around them will reduce the losses and cut down the draughts, and is a simple job to carry out. Modern self-adhesive foams are much more efficient and longer-lasting than older types, and are ideal for windows, while doors and sash windows are best draught proofed with pin-on (rack-on) plastic or sprung metal strips or types containing a compressible rubber seal. Special draught excluders are available for door thresholds (saddles), and can be fitted to the door bottom or across the threshold. There are even excluders designed to fit over letter-box openings.
Remember that draught proofing a home will close off many ‘unofficial’ sources of ventilation, turning it into a well sealed box. Fuel-burning appliances such as boilers and room heaters must have an adequate source of fresh air to burn safely, so it is wise to ask a fuel supplier to check that there is adequate ventilation in rooms containing such appliances. Often a ventilator in a window pane will solve the problem. Efficient draught proofing may also increase condensation, especially in kitchens and bathrooms. This can be prevented by providing controlled ventilation in these rooms with an extractor fan.
- The simplest type of door-bottom draught excluder is a brush seal mounted in a wood or plastic strip. Cut it to length and screw it on to the foot of the door.
- Alternatively, fit a threshold (saddle) strip. Cut the metal bar to length and screw it to the sill, then air the compressible sealing strip in the channel.
- Draught proofs a letter-box opening by screwing on a special brush seal. Neither checks that it does not foul the letter plate flap if this opens inwards.
- Draught proof the sides and top of the door frame by pinning (tacking) on plastic or sprung moral sealing strips. Pin the edge farthest from the doorstop head.
- Alternatively, stick lengths of sell-adhesive foam excluder to the stop head against which the door closes. At the hinge side, stick it to the frame.
- A third option is to use lengths of self-adhesive brush strip excluder. These three types can also be used for draught proofing hinged casement windows.