What is draught proofing?
Draught proofing is finding and fixing draughts to make your home more comfortable and energy efficient. Draughts are similar to ventilation, in that both let fresh air into your home. Good ventilation helps reduce condensation and damp and can help cool down a hot house. Draughts, on the other hand, are uncontrolled – they let too much cold air in and waste too much heat.
Watch our video – Energy Efficiency At Home: Draft-proofing – to learn more.
Benefits of draught proofing
Draught proofing stops warm air from escaping your home in winter and hot air from entering in summer, saving you money and making your home more comfortable. Up to 25 per cent of winter heat loss from existing houses is caused by air leakage (also known as draughts). In fact 9 out of 10 homes in Victoria have unwanted draughts.
Draughts come into your house through gaps and cracks around doors, windows, exhaust fans, fireplaces and so on. To draught-proof your home you will firstly need to find the draughts.
- Look for obvious gaps
Visible light under and around doors and windows is a good clue.
- Listen for rattles or whistling
Take time out, especially during strong winds, to listen for rattles and whistling around doors and windows.
- Feel for moving air
Feel around doors, windows, fireplaces, air outlets, vents, stairways, floorboards, exposed rafters and beams, built-in heaters and air conditioners, architraves and skirting boards.
- Look for movement in curtains
Movement in and around curtains can be an indicator of draughts.
Warning! Internal gas appliances
Special care needs to be taken in houses that have internal gas appliances, especially houses with:
- flueless gas heaters
- a gas heater installed in a chimney
- an open flued gas heater.
All flueless gas appliances require a certain amount of fixed ventilation to expel the products of combustion from the home and operate safely. Open flued gas heaters – which draw combustion air from the room in which they are located – require a supply of fresh room air to operate safely.
Fixed ventilation openings required for flueless and open flued gas heaters must not be blocked.
If you undertake draught sealing in your home and you have one of these types of heating, you should get a licensed gas fitter to check the safe operation of the appliances before they are used. Other indoor gas appliances, such as internal open flued gas water heaters or ducted heaters, should also be checked by a licensed gas fitter.
It is recommended that you have your gas appliances serviced at least every 2 years. Energy Safe Victoria provides further information on the safe operation of gas appliances.
How to draught-proof your home
Your approach to sealing draughts, and the products that you'll need, will vary depending where the draughts are located.
- Block chimney draughts
- Seal evaporative cooling outlets
- Seal exhaust fans
- Seal gaps around doors and windows
- Seal gaps around walls and floors
The Victorian Energy Saver Incentive Scheme provides support to Victorians who install certain draught-proofing and weather-sealing products.