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Learn how to draught proof your home

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Draught proofing your home is one of the simplest upgrades you can undertake to increase your comfort level while also reducing your energy bills and carbon emissions by up to 25%, according to the Australian Government’s Your Home website.

Air leaks are year-round issues. In winter, they allow valuable hot air to escape and unwanted external cold air to enter. In summer, the reverse occurs. Air leakage accounts for 15−25% of heat loss in buildings in winter, plus it can contribute to a significant loss of coolness in climates where air conditioners are used.

Most Australian houses will benefit from improved air sealing. The best time to air seal your home is during construction or renovation. If you are concerned about air leakage in your home there are some simple ways to check for leaks yourself.

Test Your Home for Air Leakage

To test your home for draughts, on a windy day carefully hold a lit incense stick or candle next to your windows, doors, ceiling fixtures, skylights and other places where air may leak. If the smoke stream travels horizontally, you have located an air leak that may need addressing.

So How Do I Seal My Home Against Air Leakage?

Usually the most cost effective solution is to start sealing the largest and most obvious leaks, and then move to significant cracks and penetrations. When these are sealed, smaller leakages become more obvious using the above detection methods. Because large leaks in roof spaces may be difficult to locate and seal, professional advice may be required.

There are many different techniques to use to seal your home against air leakage including:

  • When the home is under construction seal gaps around windows and door frames before architraves are installed.
  • Install weather stripping to entrance doors.
  • Use caulking (no more gaps) to seal where plumbing, ducting or electrical wiring comes through walls, floors, ceilings or over cabinets.
  • Large cavities may require a foam expansion joint spray sealant.
  • In older homes it may be necessary to block off old unused fireplaces.
  • If your home has timber floorboards and is built on bearers and joists consider installing underfloor insulation or use a sealant to fill in gaps where timber floorboards may have shrunk over time.

For more detailed information about sealing your home against air leakage, visit the Australian Government’s Your Home website, which has some great information about building environmentally sustainable homes.

If you are planning to build or renovate a home in Newcastle or the Hunter region, visit the builders section of our website to find a builder to assist you.

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June 16, 2020 |

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