A cheap and efficient way to save money on bills is to draught proof your windows. Even the tiniest of gaps will let cold air in and warm air out and by blocking these gaps, you will stop the draughts.
Casement Window Draught ProofingDraught proofing is one of the easiest DIY tasks. For casement opening windows you can buy draught proofing strips to stick around the window frame. There are two types of strips to choose from. Self-adhesive foam or rubber strips are the cheaper of the two and very easy to fit to your windows. Metal or plastic strips with brushes attached are a little more costly, but will outlast the adhesive ones.
The foam and rubber strips come in different sizes and colours. You will need to measure the gap in your window and use the correct size strip. If you use too big a strip, it will compress and get damaged, too small and you won't fill the gap.
Draught Proofing Sash WindowsBrush strips are particularly good for sash windows as the brushes will stand up much better to the friction caused by opening and closing the windows. If you have sash windows, you may find fitting brush strips a little more complicated than the adhesive variety.
Kits complete with instructions are available. The best way to fit the brush strips is to remove the existing beading that holds the windows into their runners and replace it with beading embedded with a brush strip.
Leaving Beading in PlaceIf you feel this is too much work you can leave the original beading and instead fit a combination of brush and adhesive strips. The brush strips must be fitted to the inward facing sides of the lower sash and the outward facing sides of the upper sash. Simply cut the strips to size and screw in place.
Where the windows meet in the middle fit your brush strips on both sides. The strips must face each other and just touch. Open the window and fit your adhesive strips on the top and bottom of the frame so no draughts get in when the upper and lower sashes close on to the frame. Rubber strips are more hard wearing than their foam cousins.
Silicone Sealant Around Window FramesFor modern double glazed windows you will probably find a line of silicone sealant filling any gaps round the edges of the frame. This sealant doesn't last forever and you may have to replace it from time to time. With a bit of luck it might come off in one go. If it doesn't, remove it with a sharp knife, taking care not to cut yourself or the window frame. Get rid of any residue with a solvent.
It is best to invest in a good quality sealant and a sealant 'gun', which will help you control the flow of the silicone. Squeeze the trigger of your gun and apply the silicone to the gap. This method is also useful for windows that do not open. If you haven't done it before, you might find you need a little practice!
Don't Go Too Far With Draught ProofingWhile you are draught proofing, do bear in mind that every house needs ventilation to prevent condensation, which could cause harmful moulds and aversely affect your health.
Don't block up air vents and open your windows during the day to air the house. Draught proofing is important and will keep you snug and warm in the winter, but houses do need to breathe.