heating

Keeping warm is one of the keys to winter happiness.

Energy efficiency isn’t about being cold in winter. It's about making the most of the warmth that is around – whether it is from the sun, your heater or your hot little body.

How to draught-proof the bottom of a door

Draught proofing bottom door

This GIY job is all about putting a stop to draughts (and limbo dancers) that come in under your doors. In this video I show you how to draught-proof the bottom of an internal hinge door with an adhesive weather strip. 

Yes, you could spend all winter arranging the door snake to block the gap but do this GIY job and your battle with the door snake will be over. You might also need to draught-proof around the door - watch this GIY video to see how it's done.

This is a really quick, easy and effective GIY job that will stop draughts and save your energy.

Trickiness rating: EASY

How to draught-proof a hinge door

Draught-proofing around door

Draught-proofing doors that lead to 'unconditioned' spaces (i.e spaces that are not heated or cooled including your laundry, bathroom and spare rooms) can make a huge difference to your comfort and energy bills.

In this GIY video I show you how to draught-proof an internal hinged door with draught-proof tape. It's an easy GIY job.

You might also need to draught-proof under the door if there is a gap. I've got the GIY video on how to do that here or just use a door (ssssss) snake.

Once it's done, you just have to remember to keep the door shut. That will be the hardest part of this GIY job.

Trickiness rating: Too easy (can do in your PJ's before breakfast)

NEW: How to draught-proof evaporative cooling vents

Haatsaver

Evaporative cooling vents can be a huge source of draughts and heat loss in winter.

In this GIY video I show you two simple ways to seal them up for winter. One uses clear contact and is super quick and effective. The other uses a product specifically designed for the job - a HeatSaver vent cover. 

This is a solution for evaporative cooling vents only. 

TRICKINESS RATING: Easy

NEW: How to use polyurethane expanding foam to fill gaps and cracks

Expanding foam

Some gaps and cracks are , well, crackers. Too big for the standard gap-filling materials of gap filler rod and caulk.

They need something that will do the job without wasting your time (and lots of products).

Polyurethane expanding foam is the answer. It comes in an aerosol can and sprays on through a nozzle-tube expanding to fill the gap. It cures to a hard foam which can then be cut back, sanded and painted to look real nice.

It can also be left to look like you've just filled gaps with a a solid whipped cream. (I've done that in this GIY video as it's hidden behind a dishwasher.)

I know it's not the 'greenest' product on the market but in small amounts it's better that a draught. You could use old socks if you really wanted to.

It's easy to use but there are lots of great tips in this video on how to do it with minimum fuss.

Trickiness rating: Easy

Stickiness rating: Very (but managable with nail-polish remover or acetone)

NEW: How to draught-proof architraves around windows and doors

Architrave

Architraves around windows and doors are a common source of draughts with huge gaps and cracks behind them. Unless you were looking for them, or wondering why your house gets cold so quickly, you would never know they are you would never see them.

They are a quick and easy GIY job to fix - grab some gap filler rod and some caulk and get ready to seal the suckers up.

Trickiness rating: Easy

WATCH NOW: How to load a caulking gun

Caulk the caulk

In this quick GIY video I show you how to load a caulking gun. It's an easy thing to do when you know how to get started.

Not only will you be able to draught-proof anything but you can tap into your inner Charlies Angel and combat anything. Of that I'm sure. 

It was a very quick film and edit and lacks the finess of my other GIY videos! Quick is good and if you can excuse the ocasional camera wobble and single take feel of it, I think you'll enjoy it. It's very raw. Yeah.

Trickiness rating: Easy

WATCH NOW: How to draught-proof an extractor fan with a Draftstoppa®

Draughtstoppa image with play icon

Extractor fans are great for getting rid of smells and steam when they're switched on but the rest of the time they are drafty holes in your ceiling.

Seal them up when they aren't in use with a DraftStoppa® - a plastic casing that goes over your extractor fan in the roof cavity. It has a set of balanced shutters, a bit like butterfly wings, which open when the fan is turned on and close automatically when the fan is turned off.

It is a simple but brilliant idea that works to help stop drafts (hence the name).

WATCH NOW: How to draught-proof wall vents

Wall vents video play 300.jpg

Wall vents are so passé. 

*They are essential in rooms that have an un-flued gas heater or open fire, and in hot and steamy areas (bathroom, laundry and kitchen) to allow good ventilation but are just drafty holes in all other rooms.

If you are using energy to heat or cool your house it is a good idea to draught-proof these vents to stop the precious air escaping.  This GIY job is a good temporary solution.  

If you want some fresh air you have to take control of it - windows that open and close are great. Permanent wall-vents are bad (except *). 

Trickiness Rating: EASY

WATCH NOW: How to draught-proof skirting boards

Skirting board with play

Skirting boards - the bits of wood that cover the gap where the wall meets the floorboards - look like they would be doing a good job of stopping cold air leaking under their skirts. Don't be fooled by this clever charade.

They are a common place for drafts to sneak in to your house but are really easy to fix.

Another adventure, stalking around the house with the caulking gun, awaits.

Trickiness rating: EASY

Rebates Abound

Solar Hot Water

There are some great rebates and incentives available from your local, state and federal government to help you reduce your energy and water use.

Check out these sites to see what you are eligible for.

WATCH NOW: How to draught-proof ducted gas heating vents

Heating vent with play

Your ducted heating vents may look like well-sealed units but lift a lid and you may be surprised to to find that not all is as it appears.

When you turn your heater on, warm air rushes through the ducts into your house but also draws freezing cold air in from the underfloor space though the gaps around the duct. (quack quack). This doesn’t make for really energy efficient heating.

Grab the caulking gun and seal the gap so you can heat your house without cooling it at the same time.

Trickiness Rating: EASY.

WATCH NOW: Secondary glazing windows with window insulation film.

Secondary Glazing

Windows are the weakesk link (thermally speaking) in the average house. They cause more heat gain and loss than any other area of your home  - even when they're closed.

To stop this you have to insulate them - double glazing, heavy curtains or some form of secondary glazing that traps a layer of still air.  In this GIY project we insulate a timber sash window with a plastic film called Clear Comfort (this is an Australian product but there are a wide range of similar and cheaper products available in the US).

It is affordable (between $5 and 12/mdepending on the brand), easy to install and really makes a difference.

Trickiness rating: EASY

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