As winter kicks in and temperatures drop, are you noticing certain rooms in your home are colder than others? Have you been sat in the living room and felt a rogue draught sweep through the room? If you are noticing this, you’ve got some areas in your home that need addressing to prevent the cold getting in.
How to spot a cold spot
There are a few methods to find out. You can do the obvious, walking around your home and look around windows, doors etc for gaps. Chances are you’ll feel the slight breeze when you put your hand near a gap.
Alternatively, you can try using incense sticks – hear me out – close all windows, doors and vents and make sure that the heating is turned off. Then turn on any extractor fans in the house. This will prevent a negative pressure in your home, which will suck air into your home through any cracks. Walk around areas prone to air leakage with the incense stick. Hold it near the potential areas and watch the smoke’s movement…if it wafts away from the area, there’s probably a draught.
If you don’t want to turn to old school methods and fancy getting your tech on, there’s this gadget – the Black & Decker TLD100 Thermal Leak Detector (pictured above). It’s pretty self explanatory (it detects draughts by pointing the device at areas suspected of leaking heat) and could be the best £25 you’ve ever spent – draught proofing your home can save between £10 and £50 per year according to the Energy Saving Trust!
From the windows to the walls
If you have a timber door, it may have a small gap between the bottom of the door and the frame, which will send a terrible chill to your toes, or around the edge of the door frame. This can be easily fixed with some sealant, however, draughts creeping in under the door cannot. Use door brushes/weather strips (easily screwed onto the bottom of your door) as they will stop the cold air entering.
Your letterbox and keyhole can also be letting air into your home. This can be fixed with a metal disc to cover the keyhole and for the letterbox, consider fitting brushes.
For your windows, again check on the outside of the frame, as occasionally gaps can appear, but this is easily resolved with some sealant (for non-opening windows) or metal/plastic strips with brushes or wipers attached.
If you have single glazing, check where the glass meets the frame as the hard putty that holds the glass on may have begun to disintegrate, causing air gaps. If this is the case, it may be time to call in a professional to give your windows an update, or to improve the efficiency of your home further, invest in double or triple glazing.
If it’s not coming from your windows or doors, it could be because of a lack of insulation in the walls, allowing the cold to penetrate your home. To try and combat this you’ll need wall insulation; this advice from the Energy Saving Trust will help you decipher which wall treatment is ideal for your home.
Chimneys are other areas of your home that are bound to be letting cool air into your home. If the chimney is unused it may be worthwhile installing a draught excluder (like the Chimella) or getting your chimney pot removed altogether. These will prevent down draughts so your room will stay warmer for longer, but if you decide to light a fire, make sure you remove any device in place.
The final places to check in your home are spots around pipes or beams that lead to the outside of your house. They could have spaces between the wall, which can easily be filled. The same goes for cracks in walls too.
Heed this advice and you should be able to blockade those draughts and enjoy a warmer home.