Home Insulation: Avoiding Draughts

Draughts

Draughts can cause needless discomfort but can be greatly reduced. A completely air-tight home, though almost impossible to achieve, would be very uncomfortable. There have to be regular air changes to remove stale air.

Movement of air within a building is caused by outside wind pressure and warm air, which rises, filling the colder areas.

Doors and windows

The main sources of draught are from ill-fitting windows and doors and, in homes with open fires, the chimney. A fire must have air in order to burn but a great deal of heat can be saved by fitting a chimney throat restrictor.

It is very important to realise that insulation does not mean no ventilation, as all solid fuel and gas appliances need a balanced free flow of air. An electric fire should be placed in front of the chimney opening to prevent loss of heat up the chimney.

Draught excluders

It has been estimated that the gap round the average door is the equivalent of a 4.25m3 hole. Under-door draughts can be cured by a draught excluder.

There are two basic types: the coupled draught excluder, which is fitted to the door, and the threshold type, fitted to the floor or door frame.

The coupled draught excluder works on a drop-bar principle, in which a bar of metal, wood felt or plastic adjusts to different floor levels, forming an effective seal when the door is closed. The bar rises as the door is opened, clearing the carpet.

An excluder made of felt rides more easily over uneven surfaces. Some draught excluders can be fitted into a groove made under the door but this is a longer job as the door must be removed first.

Threshold excluders are made of metal, wood or plastic. They are fixed with screws panel pins or adhesive. This type of excluder is usually chamfered or shaped to prevent the hazard of tripping.

Coupled excluders suitable for either internal or external doors are available. For external doors a metal extruder with a water bar should be used.

Metal stripping

Another method of insulating the door surround is to use sprung metal strips, made of either aluminium or bronze. These are fixed around the door frame and then ‘sprung’ outwards so that the metal strip presses against the door when it closes to form a seal. A metal threshold seal on the door sill is also needed.

It is possible to fit ‘sprung’ metal strip windows, but it can be an expensive business. Some cheaper and effective methods of stopping draughts include foam rubber or plastic which is fixed to the frame usually with adhesive.

Some foam rubber strip has self-adhesive backing; you merely peel off a strip of protective paper and press the foam rubber into place. The surface must be grease-free and dry to ensure good adhesion.

10. November 2011 by admin
Categories: Featured, Handyman Tips | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on Home Insulation: Avoiding Draughts

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