Seal up the draughts for win­ter

Matamata Chronicle - - Winter Warmth -

It is hard to keep a draughty house warm and com­fort­able but the prob­lems are usu­ally fairly cheap and easy to fix.

Even well in­su­lated homes can be hard to heat if draughts con­stantly re­place hot air with cold air. Good build­ing, air­tight­ness and con­trol­lable ven­ti­la­tion lets you man­age air re­place­ment for a warmer, health­ier, more com­fort­able home.

Block­ing up draughts is usu­ally cheap and rel­a­tively sim­ple to do.

There are sim­ple tricks for find­ing draughts – on a cold, windy day look for cur­tain move­ment or use a damp hand or a can­dle to trace the source of your draughts.

Com­mon sources of draughts and sim­ple so­lu­tions:

Check hinges and catches or latches. If they are loose, tighten them up.

If they don’t fit in their frames snugly, find out how to re­pair them. Get tips on win­dow and door re­pairs from the Con­sumerBuild web­site.

Weather strip­ping can be used to seal gaps around many doors or win­dows. Check your hard­ware store for the right types to use.

If you get draughts from around door or win­dow trims, seal be­hind them with clear or paintable sealant.

For gaps un­der doors, you can fit draught ex­clud­ers, ei­ther brush strip types or for ex­ter­nal doors, spring loaded au­to­matic seals.

Dam­aged rub­ber seals around alu­minium joinery can eas­ily be re­placed.

Chim­neys and fire­places

Gaps around the chim­ney where it goes through the ceil­ing. Close the gap us­ing a non-com­bustible sealant.

Unused fire­places. Block the chim­ney – a rub­bish bag filled with shred­ded news­pa­pers works well or you can buy in­flat­able bags to do the same job. Make sure it’s very ob­vi­ous so no one tries to light the fire with a blocked chim­ney.

Ceil­ings and floors

Ceil­ing hatch. Make sure it’s cor­rectly fit­ted and use weather strip­ping to seal it.

Gaps be­tween floor­boards. Use a flex­i­ble, clear sil­i­con­based or la­tex sealant to fill the gaps. For holes, cover from un­derneath with a small square of tim­ber and glue a bung of match­ing wood into the hole. Cut out the bung with a hole saw mak­ing it slightly big­ger than the hole for a good fric­tion fit. Fill the cen­tral pilot hole with wood filler and sand smooth.

Un­sealed skirt­ing boards and cor­nices. Use flex­i­ble sil­i­con-based or la­tex sealants to seal the top and bot­tom of skirt­ing boards and cor­nices, or re­move them and foam the gap where the floor and wall or the ceil­ing and wall meet.

Ap­pli­ances and light­ing

Gaps around elec­tri­cal wiring and plumb­ing pas­sages. Seal us­ing sil­i­cone sealants (for smaller gaps) or polyurethane foam (for big­ger gaps). Th­ese pas­sages are of­ten hid­den so don’t for­get to look be­hind kitchen and bath­room cab­i­netry and in­side wardrobes and hot wa­ter cup­boards.

Ex­trac­tor fans and range­hoods. Mod­els with back­draught shut­ters help pre­vent draughts – if you have them, check that the back­draught shut­ter is work­ing prop­erly.

Air leak­age through some re­cessed down­lights. Air leak­age and heat loss can be a real prob­lem with older style re­cessed down­lights. Up un­til mid-2012, most styles of down­lights could not be sealed or cov­ered as it could cause a fire haz­ard, so holes were re­quired in in­su­la­tion to cre­ate a safety bar­rier pre­vent­ing this. The best so­lu­tion is to re­place th­ese old style down­lights. Sur­face mounted or sus­pended light fit­tings al­low you to plug the holes in the ceil­ing and can be in­su­lated right over, and all down­light fit­tings in­tro­duced af­ter mid-2012 are able to be in­su­lated up to or over the top of.

Choos­ing and fit­ting weather strip­ping

You can seal up gaps around open­able wooden win­dows and doors with weather strip­ping – it’s cheap to buy and easy to in­stall.

Com­mon DIY weather strip­ping prod­ucts avail­able from se­lected hard­ware and on­line stores in­clude:

Self-ad­he­sive foam draught seals. Th­ese are quick and easy to in­stall, but be­come less ef­fec­tive over time due to per­ma­nent set (mem­ory). They are avail­able in vary­ing thick­nesses to suit dif­fer­ent gap sizes.

Self-ad­he­sive V-seal. This is made from a plas­tic strip that is folded into a V-shape and molds it­self to the gap. It is very ver­sa­tile as it fits a wide range of gap thick­nesses, is ef­fec­tive for un­even gaps and can be used for both hinged and slid­ing doors and win­dows. [The Warm Up New Zealand: Heat Smart pro­gramme uses V-seal type prod­ucts.]

Self-ad­he­sive soft rub­ber seals. Th­ese pro­vide durable com­pres­sion seals and come in vary­ing shapes and sizes to suit dif­fer­ent ap­pli­ca­tions and gap sizes.

Self-ad­he­sive soft wo­ven pile draught seals for slid­ing door and win­dow ap­pli­ca­tions.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from New Zealand

© PressReader. All rights reserved.