How you can draught-proof your own home

Over time we’ve made our draughty 20’s home far more energy-efficient, with cavity walls insulation, double glazing and further loft space insulation; nevertheless the icy wind that sweeps off the sea keeps looking for ways into our north Kent home. It scythes under doors, blusters down chimneys and creeps via the letterbox: my entire life seems to be one long battle to ensure that it stays out – particularly since the gas bill for the winter quarter is here and prompted stiff whiskies.

You will find, however, numerous ideas and products at hand, newer and more effective plus some hundreds of years old, all proclaiming to plug draughts and lower expenses, so with a screwdriver in one hand and mouth inflation tube in the other, I’ve been testing several on our crevices.

INSULATED LETTERBOX FLAP

We’ve made a number of unsuccessful attempts to deal with this issue. We looked at boarding it up entirely and possessing an American-style stand-alone mail box, but in our area it could be bound to attract unwelcome interest from the local literary society or end up being filled up with beer cans.

We’ve attempted various bolt-on plastic structures with brushes across the opening, but either these are terribly flimsy, or perhaps our postman is specially energetic: the covering flap usually breaks off within days.

We’ve, nonetheless, discovered success using the Ecoflap, a new, strong letterbox insulator, that is attached onto the inside of the door and eliminates draughts fully and has to date stood up to our postman’s energetic shoving.

Of all of the draught-busting items I tried, this was the most effective and has made a genuine impact on our hallway area.

DRAUGHT EXCLUDERS

Not really a break through, but one this is being regularly tinkered with. The most up-to-date version has solved the issue of our living room door, which is badly fitted, and leads onto a draughty corridor this is in continual use, so a sausage dog-type excluder across the floor wouldn’t work. German manufacturer Wenko has invented a stylish solution: door-width cylinders of insulating polystyrene, joined by a strip of material so the excluder can slide beneath the door and remains in place regardless of how often you open or close it. It wouldn’t work on an outside door with an unequal threshold however, and isn’t as pretty as the antique material snake placed across our door after the last member of the family has come home for the night. The snake is also filled up with buckwheat husks, so if it ever came to it, we could turn it into blinis.

DRAUGHT-STRIPPING THE FRONT DOOR

It was a job we got carried out in summer time and also, since January has been severely tested. We paid a contractor £75 to install the wooden grooved strip around the external side of the door frame, yet B & Q sell several styles of draught strips from lower than £7 a metre. The result is certainly better than before, but nonetheless a candle flame gutters whenever held against the frame on stormy nights. It’s possible to fit insulated door and frame doorsets, made by the Green Building Store in Huddersfield. They’re air-tight, and also conform to ”passivhaus’’ standards, but they are costly — from around £1,200 a door as well as frame.