If your doors and windows are letting in cold air, you’ll be only too aware of the effects it can have on your home and your pocket. A draughty home is miserable, energy inefficient and expensive to run, but if funds are tight you don’t have to panic. Whilst new windows and doors would be the best solution, you can keep your home snug and cosy without spending a fortune.
“Most DIY stores sell foam weather strips for just a few pounds, and when installed correctly they can make a huge difference to your energy bills and the overall atmosphere in those draughty areas” advises Belgravia estate agent, Best Gapp. There are a few options to choose from.
Sticky backed foam tape– these self-adhesive foam strips provide a quick and easy solution to household draughts. The tape stops air from coming in from any gaps and adds a little soundproofing when doors are slammed. It can last anything up to five years and is a surprisingly effective way to seal doors and windows.
Felt– felt strips are a more old fashioned way to stop draughts sneaking in but they work just as well. They can take a little more time to apply because they’re not always adhesive and often have to be nailed in place, but they’re still a nice inexpensive option.
EPDM Rubber Weatherseal Tape– Also adhesive, these strips of insulation are more durable than the foam version and give even better protection from cool air and noise.
V Strips– Made from vinyl, these flexible and durable v shaped strips are highly effective at sealing gaps and are backed with adhesive, making them easy to apply.
Door Sweeps– these are applied to the bottom of the inside of doors to seal any gaps. They work particularly well when used with strips which are applied to the sides of doors, providing total protection from the elements.
Some words of advice from You Choose Windows: “Before you start, it’s important to inspect your door frames and window and deal with any holes that the tape won’t be able to cover. If you have any cracks or holes, fill them with caulk- this is a filler you’ll find in any DIY store. Also make sure the area is totally clean and free from grease to ensure that the adhesives take to the surface.”
Measure the length of the door/window you want to seal before cutting off the insulating strips then cut to the correct length before application. Strips that are too short will end up looking unsightly and failing to do their job.
If you’re working on your windows as well as your doors, it helps to invest in some shrink film window insulation kits too. These are a great way to add an extra layer of warmth and keep any draughts from sneaking in and can be found in any DIY store.
You’ll need to have clean, dry windows before you start and if possible have someone else to help you with larger windows. Attach the film to the window by applying the double sided sticky tape in the pack all around the frame, then use a hairdryer to blow hot air onto the film, creating a secure and virtually invisible barrier.
Fulham estate agent, Lawsons and Daughters concludes, “Whilst nothing beats a good, solid new door and some sturdy double glazing, these DIY options are surprisingly effective. Just follow the instructions, prepare the surface before you start and ideally have someone on hand to help.”