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Draught proofing

Hold the palm of your hand up against the windows in your home. If you feel cold air coming through at all, even just a little; this means that warm air is escaping. In fact, in a typical home, 20 per cent of all heat loss is due to ventilation and draughts.

Draught proofing is an easy, cost-effective way to reduce heating bills, and most of the materials needed to draught proof your home are readily available from DIY stores.

If you decide to source your own draught proofing materials, you should take due care and consideration when choosing them. The quality of the products will affect their performance and durability over time, meaning that cheaper options may deteriorate and need to be replaced – so you should check that all materials conform to the BS 7386 standard.

There are several types of materials available - from brushes, foams and sealants to strips and shaped rubber or plastic.

There are some other things you could think about when insulating your home:

  • Adequate ventilation is as important as draught proofing - and essential if you have solid fuel fires, gas fires or a boiler with an open flue
  • Ventilation is especially important in kitchens and bathrooms
  • Draught proof internal doors, if needed, but leave kitchen and bathroom windows alone to keep condensation under control (If condensation is a problem, an extractor fan will help)
  • Open a window while cooking, running hot water or drying clothes
  • Trickle vents in the window frame provide background ventilation - not usually enough on their own, but they reduce the need to open windows
  • If you have chimneys, sweep them regularly and check air bricks for blockages.

Typical draught proofing prices

 Cost of fitting (installer)

 from £75

 Cost of fitting (DIY)

 from £50

 Annual saving on fuel bills

 around £20

 Costs recovered (installer)

 around 4 years

 Costs recovered (DIY)

 3-5 years

Source: The Energy Saving Trust January 2007.

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As an energy consumer, you have a wealth of choice when it comes to selecting an energy supplier – and there’s a chance that you might not currently be on the most competitively-priced tariff available.

To see if you could be paying less for the gas and electricity you use in your home, you can use an online price comparison tool to view different tariffs side by side, and then decide if you want to change to a different provider.

You could receive quotes based on your individual energy use in just minutes, ensuring that you’re paying as little as possible for the energy you use to heat and power your house. Enter your postcode into the form on the right to get started.

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