With energy bills set to reach unprecedented levels this winter, even with the government's energy price cap, the need to retain as much heat as possible in your home is more important than ever.
Tufts have some top tips to help you keep your home as cosy and warm as possible. Remember we are always on hand for friendly advice and we stock a wide range of insulation materials and draught excluders.
Insulating your Loft
Everyone knows that hot air rises so the best place to start if you want to retain the heat is in your loft.
Check to see what insulation you have in your loft and also its thickness. Wearing protective gloves is advisable when handling loft insulation. Take a tape measure up into the loft and measure the total thickness. By the way, if it's nice and warm up there you may already have arrived at the conclusion that it's time to upgrade your insulation.
If your insulation has been up there for a while it might well be too thin to be effective. Current building regulations recommend a total of 270-300mm. This can be made up of a 100mm base layer then a further layer of 170-200mm.
Calculate how many rolls of insulation you need by working out the size of the area in square metres (length x width = number of metres squared) and then check the coverage of the rolls. Around 10% can be deducted to allow for ceiling joists.
You can fit loft insulation yourself if you are reasonably competent at DIY providing you have appropriate lighting, and safety equipment such as gloves and protective mask. Crawling boards placed on joists that allow you to move around more easily will also help you complete the task.
An ill-fitting door can make it difficult to exclude draughts. Ideally your front door should only have a 2mm to 3mm gap at both the top and the sides, with a 5mm gap at the bottom.
Self-adhesive foam can offer extra protection for draughts from doors, sealed around the edges and additionally at the top of the door frame.
A draught excluder can be invaluable in preventing cold air coming in through the bottom of external doors. Plastic or metal strips have a rubber seal or nylon bristles which act as barriers against a cold draught. Make sure the seal or bristles overlap the door frame so they can be fully effective.
Don't forget your letterbox! This can be an easy entry point for draughts, so it is worth investing in a letterbox draught excluder.
Flexible sealant can trap draughts appearing between the skirting boards and floorboards. Simply squeeze sealant between floorboards and the base of the skirting in a smooth and continuous motion.
In older homes, a balance needs to be struck between allowing ventilation to prevent rot and condensation, but preventing large amounts of draught rising in winter. However, a flexible sealant will make a difference here too. Use a clear sealant to fill spaces between boards. If there are larger gaps they can be reduced by inserting thin strips of wood.