Miscellaneous Heat Saving Information
A lot of the information below is aimed at reducing draughts and it is vital that rooms remain properly ventilated, especially when they contain boilers and fires. If in doubt get professional advice.
Gaps around any cables or pipes going through the ceiling into the loft space can lead to heat loss, these gaps are usually very simple to seal - where possible seal the gap on both sides. Often there are gaps around light fittings which need sealing - be careful here and get advice if you are unsure about dealing with electrical fittings.
f you live in an older property with unused chimneys make sure they are sealed top and bottom, a lot of heat can be lost up an open chimney. Make sure there are no damp patches around chimneys which can often indicate a leaking seal on the chimney.
Doors to the outside can be a big source of heat loss and draughts.It is surprising how many doors fit the frame so badly that you can see daylight along the edges. Use draught proofing strips to minimise draughts and don't forget the keyhole. A simple key hole block can be purchased or made from a disc of thin metal (you will be amazed at the benefits of such a small change) - remember for maximum effect fit a disk to both sides of the door and don't leave the key in the lock. Where practical a good heavy curtain drawn over the door works wonders. If the door has glass in it make sure it is double glazed ( even if it is only secondary double glazing. The bottom of the door can usually be sealed using a screw on brush strip or rubber strip available from most DIY stores. Fit an insulating flap to the inside of letter boxes
- these flaps can be obtained from most DIY stores and are not expensive. Draught proofing letter box flaps helps to minimise draughts and heat loss. Poorly sealed door frames can lead to lost heat and draughts, they need to be properly sealed both inside and outside. On some wooden doors the paneling is so thin it is worth adding a secondary panel sandwiching an insulation layer - I have used radiator insulation (referred to below) to do this. The same principles are also worth applying to doors from the house to unheated garages and outbuildings.
To minimise heat loss through ground floor floors use good quality thick underlay under carpets and in the case of wooden floor make sure they are sealed against draughts from below (it is important there is proper under floor ventilation so make sure air bricks and vents are not blocked up). Seal gaps around pipes and cables coming up through the floor. A common cause of draughts is where electric, water and gas mains enter the house through the floor.
Probably an area with the most draughts and heat loss. The ideas below can have a big effect if the garage is part of the house. The door(s) are usually poorly sealed so fit draught proofing strips to the top and sides and a rubber strip to the bottom of the doors. The sides of up and over doors can be effectively sealed below the pivot point using 'brush strips'.
The skirting boards around the bottom of rooms often do not fit properly also there can be a large gap beneath them to allow the carpet to fit underneath. Check both the top and bottom edges fro draughts and seal any gaps.
External cavity walls should be insulated, it does cost money but the cost will be repaid over a few years and make the house more comfortable to live in. Often grants are available from local authorities for cavity wall insulation. Deal with any damp spots on walls, a common cause is soil bridging the damp course. Make sure all gaps around pipes and cables passing through external walls are sealed on both sides of the wall, be sure to look under pipes as they are often sealed on the top and not underneath. Another source of heat loss is poorly sealed window and door frames, they need to be properly sealed on both inside and outside walls. Check beneath window sills for gaps that need sealing inside or outside. The outlets of any extractor fans should be fitted with vents that only open when the fan is running to stop back draughts.
These are often another source of draughts, use draught proof strips to reduce draughts from poorly fitting opening windows. If there is only single glazing consider using secondary double glazing if it is not practical or cost effective to fit proper double glazing. Secondary glazing works especially well with metal framed windows. Doing this will also help reduce condensation. The use of heavy curtains will also help considerably - make sure the curtains are not hanging over a radiator. Close the curtains at night even if the room is not in use. Another source of heat loss is poorly sealed window frames, they need to be properly sealed on both inside and outside walls. Check beneath window sills and around the frame for gaps that need sealing inside and outside. If you do have double glazed windows check all the seals for draughts - these seals do deteriorate/shrink over time which leads to draughts and heat loss.