Now that the weather has chilled down, how comfortable is the temperature in your home? If you find yourself wearing layer upon layer of clothing because you can’t keep the place warm enough, it is time to troubleshoot and resolve problem areas around your property.
Sending shivers racing down your spine like rainwater down your collar, irritating, persistent draughts can really make winter a miserable time of the year. Instead of ‘making-do’ with this annoying problem, it is time to take action!
1. Diagnose the draught-zones
For this step, you’ll need an incense stick, a lighter or some matches, a ruler or measuring tape, a pen and some paper:
- Close all of your windows and doors, then carefully light the incense stick so that it starts to spew a steady stream of smoke.
- Carefully and methodically bring the smoking incense stick over to your doors and windows, slowly hovering it around the entire area, ensuring that you don’t burn yourself or anything in the vicinity of your test area (like curtains, etc.).
- Watch the stream of smoke carefully as you move it around your windows and doors: you are looking for signs of draughts which will become apparent due to their effect on the smoke.
- When you notice an area that has a draught, take a note of it, measuring its exact position so that you can target it later on.
2. Stop the draughts coming in
This is easier said than done, if you go down the route of patching up draught zones:
- Use a foam weather-stripping product to seal around doors and windows: most of these products consist of a cut-to-size, adhesive-backed tape which can be applied to windows and doors to eliminate draughts: make sure to read the instructions and find out the best way to apply it to your particular home setup.
- Draught excluders can be used to stop cold air rushing in from gaps underneath your doors: you can opt for the brush-like variety which can be fitted directly onto your door or use a temporary unit – the fixed variety will, however, prove to be more practical, as it doesn’t impede the movement of the door.
- You can also use a sealant product to fill in small cracks and the like: make sure that this is compatible with your window/door material and follow the manufacturers’ instructions.
3. A more permanent solution
Whilst cutting draughts is one thing, if your windows and doors are not inherently energy-efficient, you could end up losing much of your heat through poorly-insulated, inefficient units.
Modern double-glazed windows and robust UPVC doors can really help to stop heat escaping and make your home a more comfortable place over the winter.
The author of this article specialises in home improvements, such as UPVC Windows and conservatories.