Winter is rolling around for another year, and households across Australia will soon be turning to their heaters to keep their homes comfortable through the coldest months of the year.

As you turn on the heater this winter, don’t forget that you can reduce your reliance on artificial heating by ensuring that your home is draught-proof. In doing so, you will be saving money on your electricity bills, reducing your greenhouse gas emissions and your impact on the environment, and adding long-term value to your home by naturally making it more comfortable year-round.

Generally speaking, the older the home, the ‘leakier’ it is, meaning that more steps will need to be taken to draught-proof older homes. The CSIRO notes that draughts are a big concern for homeowners in southern Australia, where they can add up to 20 per cent to a household’s energy bill.

As we continue to spend more time at home, especially during the working week for those who now work from home, finding economical ways to make our homes comfortable year-round should be a priority for every homeowner. So, whether you’re renovating your existing home, building a new home, or looking at DIY projects that will add value to your home, it’s worth considering draught-proofing your home for year-round comfort.

Eight sure-fire ways to draught-proof your home

Here are eight sure-fire tips, courtesy of the CSIRO, that will help you to draught-proof your home in time for winter 2021.

Cover those windows

Windows left uncovered can account for as much as 40 per cent of a home’s heat loss over winter. Reduce draughts entering through your windows by installing lined, heavy curtains that extend below the bottom of your windows. Also, inspect your windows for cracks and gaps, and seal them with a waterproof filler or insulation strips.

Tend to your doors

Sealing off all gaps around your doors is key to draught-proofing your home. For internal doors, buy or make ‘door snakes’ to block those gaps between the bottom of your door and the floor. For external doors, block the gaps using a door seal with wipers to create a barrier that can’t be penetrated by draughts.

Seal up your home

Older homes often feature old heaters, fireplaces, and hot water systems that may have been removed or are no longer in use. Where this has happened, inspect the site to ensure the hole from inside to outside has been covered. If not, seal it up pronto. Do the same exercise for your built-in appliances, cupboards (check the very back), and under your kitchen sink. If you identify gaps, products such as expanding foam can be used to fill them.

Address wall vents and exhaust fans

Often older brick homes feature fixed ceiling and wall vents, which need to be blocked off to reduce draughts and stop air from moving into and out of your home. If your home has old exhaust fans, use a ventilation cover to block the vents over winter to ensure draughts aren’t entering your home that way.

Evaporative cooling units

While evaporative cooling units should come with winter covers or dampers to help combat the harsh winter months, these covers and dampers are often not effective to truly prevent draughts from entering your home. Eliminate this problem by placing magnetic strips around the vent receiver in your ceiling, which will make it draught-proof.

Investigate for other gaps

Search your entire house for other gaps where draughts may be entering the home. Listen for rattles or quiet whistling and feel for moving air; sometimes it’s obvious, sometimes it’s more subtle. Start by looking at your kitchen cabinets (particularly where pipes and joints are present), while also look at areas where skirting meets the wall and bricks meet the wood trim. Once identified, seal small gaps with silicone sealant, and larger gaps with expanding spray foam, paying careful attention to internal gas appliances, which require fixed ventilation.

Rugs and carpets

If you’re not already doing so, use rugs and carpets on your floors as a layer of insulation to stop cold air from entering your home through the floorboards. This is particularly an issue in homes with raised floorboards.

Invite the sun in

During the day, pull those blinds and curtains as wide open as they can go and let that light in. This tactic will be especially productive in all north and west-facing rooms.

Smiling woman looking out window

Have you considered underfloor insulation?

While looking for economical, effective, and easy to install solutions for draught-proofing your home, it’s worth considering how underfloor insulation can help you keep your home comfortable year-round. Quality underfloor insulation products provide an effective barrier to the flow of heat through suspended timber sub-floors and help to draught-proof your home and make it comfortable year-round. Expol Underfloor Insulation is cost-effective, easy to install, and adds long-term value to your home.

Trusted for more than 20 years, Expol Underfloor Insulation is easy to install, available in four convenient joist widths (560mm, 470mm, 410mm, 360mm), and a popular option for DIY underfloor insulation projects.