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How to Fix Air Leaks and Minimise Drafts

Understanding Air Leaks and Drafts

What Causes Air Leaks?

Air leaks occur when there are gaps or cracks in your home's exterior that allow outside air to enter. Common areas for air leaks include windows, doors, and attic spaces. Poor insulation and old, worn-out weatherstripping are also frequent culprits.

Real-life example: During winter, Emma noticed cold air entering her living room. Upon inspection, she found gaps around the front door where the old weatherstripping had worn out.

Signs of Air Leaks and Drafts

Identifying air leaks is the first step to fixing them. Look for these signs:

  • Feeling cold drafts near windows and doors.
  • Increased energy bills due to heating or cooling loss.
  • Visible gaps or cracks around door frames and windows.

Steps to Fix Air Leaks and Minimise Drafts

1. Inspect and Seal Gaps

The first step in fixing air leaks is to inspect and seal any gaps.

Steps to seal gaps:

  • Check around windows and doors for visible gaps.
  • Use caulk to seal small cracks and gaps. For larger gaps, use expanding foam.
  • Check for gaps in the attic and basement and seal them accordingly.

Real-life example: John sealed the gaps around his windows with caulk, significantly reducing the drafts in his home.

2. Install or Replace Weatherstripping

Weatherstripping is essential for sealing gaps around doors and windows.

To install or replace weatherstripping:

  • Remove the old weatherstripping if it's damaged or worn out.
  • Measure the length of the areas needing weatherstripping.
  • Cut the new weatherstripping to size and attach it around the door or window frame.

Table: Tools and Materials for Sealing Gaps and Installing Weatherstripping

Tool/Material Purpose
Caulk Sealing small cracks and gaps
Expanding foam Filling larger gaps
Weatherstripping Sealing gaps around doors and windows
Utility knife Cutting weatherstripping to size
Caulk gun Applying caulk smoothly

Advanced Solutions for Severe Drafts

1. Installing Door Sweeps

Door sweeps help to block drafts at the bottom of doors.

To install a door sweep:

  • Measure the width of the door.
  • Cut the door sweep to match the width.
  • Attach the door sweep to the bottom of the door using screws or adhesive.

2. Using Draft Stoppers

Draft stoppers are an easy and effective way to block drafts.

Steps to use draft stoppers:

  • Place the draft stopper along the bottom edge of the door.
  • Ensure it fits snugly to block the draft effectively.

Preventative Measures

Regular Maintenance

Regular maintenance can help prevent drafts and air leaks.

Tips for maintenance:

  • Inspect and replace weatherstripping annually.
  • Check and seal any new gaps or cracks.
  • Ensure doors and windows close tightly.

Improving Insulation

Improving your home's insulation can also reduce drafts.

To improve insulation:

  • Add insulation to the attic and basement.
  • Use insulated curtains or blinds on windows.
  • Install insulated doors for better thermal efficiency.

By following these steps, you can effectively fix air leaks and minimise drafts, making your home more comfortable and energy-efficient.

Explore our range of bespoke doors and door hardware to enhance your home's energy efficiency. For more solutions, check out our external doors.

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