Draftproofing your home is just as important to keeping it warm as good central heating and insulation are. Sorting your air leaks out can save you money and reduce your carbon footprint. But where to start?
All homes are supposed to be tested for air leaks when they’re sold these days. Basically a dude comes to your house and fits a giant fan into the doorway, then measures how much the pressure inside changes due to the air leaks. The result goes on your Energy Performance Certificate, which rates the home’s carbon footprint. You can pay to have this done, but you’re looking at £200 or so, which is unlikely to be worth it.
You can approximate the procedure yourself if you have an extractor fan:
- Close all windows and vents, mask over any remaining vents and air leaks with tape.
- Turn off your heating and crank the extractor fan up to maximum.
- Slowly go round your house with a smoke pencil or jos stick
- Badly sealed doors and windows. Sort these with stick on draft strip.
- Gaps around pipes under the sink, in the bathroom, and where any other pipes disappear into walls and floors. Squirt expanding foam into these.
- Unsealed wooden floorboards are a carbon footprint nightmare. A mixture of wallpaper paste, newspaper and floor stain can fill the cracks.
- Open chimneys or flues. If these aren’t being used seal them with a chimney cap or balloon.