Winterise Your Home and Reduce Your Heating Bills
By Maren Schroeder
With the mists rolling off the Forth again and the first dead leaves crunching underfoot, hardier souls than me are turning their heating on this month. The cold season might only be a few months away, but there’s plenty of time to get your house ready.
One of the easiest steps in reducing your winter fuel bills is to tackle the heat lost through draughts. Consumer website Which states that “Full draught-proofing could save you an average of £55 a year.” If you lose a lot of heat through too many gaps in floorboards or around doors and windows or holes around pipes, you will save considerably more. Which also points out that once your house is draught-free “you should be able to turn down your thermostat. Turning down your thermostat by just one degree could save you another £65 per year.”
For practical solutions, easy-to-follow instructions and entertaining clips to help you get started, I’ve turned to Youtube. Here are my favourite videos and products to draught-proof your house:
How to draught-proof skirting boards
How to draught-seal around doors and window frames
The charming Aussie presenter is using foam core rods (aka backer rods) and caulk to fill gaps in skirting boards and around doors and windows. I found these rods online starting from a few pence per metre – a cheap, cost effective and easy solution.
How to draught-proof your home
This Lambeth Council video gives a good overview of all the places where you may find draughts in your house using incense sticks. Gaps in floorboards are sealed using a cheap, innovative British product called Stopgap.* (available in dark brown and clear at £3.99 per 5m roll/£19.99 per 40m roll)
Draught proof your home
How to Install Weatherstripping Around a Door
These two videos show you how to install “draught exclusion strips that really work” using rather more expensive weather strips.
Green Dream Group: “How To Seal Your Door Tight”
This video shows how to seal a door using the cheaper foam strips, which can be just as effective (as the before and after infrared pictures demonstrate).
A lot of heat can be lost through an unused fireplace. If you don’t want to cap the chimney, you can install a chimney balloon, as seen in this next fun-to-watch clip simply titled
The tip of including a small pipe to prevent damp from building up inside the chimney is particularly helpful if your house is rather damp. The balloons are widely available online for about £20 for an average size fireplace. My favourite find for this post, however, is the similarly priced Chimney Sheep*, an eco-friendly solution which is even easier to install and remove:
Chimney Sheep*™ – The Draught Excluder for Chimneys
Before the frosts kick in, I will use some of these tips and products to reduce the draughts in our house. I hope you’ll join in and let me know how you got on.
*other brands/breeds of draught proofing measures are available|