How to draught-proof your front door
Not only is your front door one of the most notable features on your property, but it is also one of the most functional. As well as being the main entry point to your home, your front door provides vital protection from the external elements and security for you and your belongings.
Maintaining a front door is key to its longevity and practical use, so as well as making sure its locks and handles are in good working order, it's also a good idea to check that your external door isn’t letting in a draught.
Draughts are a common issue that affect a lot of front doors, but they can be prevented quite easily and resolved quickly if they do occur. In this guide, we’re going to look at some of the causes of draughts in external doors and explain how you can prevent this.
Causes of draughts in external doors
Intentional ventilation such as extractor fans is important around the home as it can control condensation and damp by letting in fresh air. In comparison, draughts are uncontrolled ventilation caused by unwanted gaps that let in cold air and allow warm air to escape. The key is to find out exactly where the draught is coming from.
In some cases, this might be easy to spot. For example, if you have a letterbox that flaps and bangs a lot, especially when it's windy, this is more than likely to be the cause of your draught. In other circumstances, it might not be so obvious. Moving your hand around the door frame might help to locate where the draught is stemming from. Quite often, unwanted draughts enter a property through the bottom part of the door frame.
As well as feeling for a cold draught coming in, take a good look at all parts of the front door, including the hinges, to identify any cracks or areas that may have become loose or defective. If your front door features a window or sidelight, check the sealant around the edges of the glass and window frame. Bear in mind that the keyhole could also be responsible for a draughty door.
An old door is more likely to cause draught problems than a new one, as it will have been subjected to more wear and tear over years of continual use. However, even if you have a new front door, you should still check that it has been installed correctly and isn't letting in a pesky draught.
Why you need to draught-proof your front door
Draught-proofing your exterior door makes sense for several reasons. Letting cold air into the home and losing heat to the outside stops your home from being the comfortable and inviting space it’s supposed to be. If your front door opens directly onto a living area, it will make for a chilly place to sit during the cold winter months.
Most importantly, draught-proofing doors can help to save you money. If your home is subjected to heat loss from a draughty front door, you'll need to crank up the heating to compensate for this.
By fixing the draughts in your home, experts reckon you could save around £50 on your annual heating bill. Staggeringly, if all homes in the UK tackled draught-proofing problems, the total energy savings could amass to as much as £190 million.
Plus, it’s estimated that around 15% of heat from a home is lost through doors. With energy prices continually on the rise, it makes sense to find ways to reduce heat loss in the home and improve energy consumption. Draught-proofing is a simple and effective solution to achieve this. Do bear in mind, however, that some level of ventilation is required in a home, so if you're not sure how much is required, speak to the experts.
How to draught-proof your front door
The good news is that draught-proofing doors is relatively easy. While you might wish to consider calling out a professional, DIY draught-proofing doesn't demand a lot of technical knowledge or expertise so you could save money by tackling this yourself.
The most effective method of draught-proofing is to have your door properly and professionally installed in the first place. This will avoid any issues with gaps at the bottom, incorrect alignment and ineffective fixtures and fittings.
How you draught-proof your front door depends on where the draught is coming from. Most draughts stem from the bottom of the door, and the easiest option is to add a draught excluder (also known as a door snake) to the foot of the door so that the gaps allowing air to move through are blocked. The only downside with this option is that they only work if you're inside the house—if you go out, you can't properly position the excluder in place behind you as you leave, so cold air could still get in through your front door.
Another option is to fit a door sweep or brush strip. This is a thin strip of metal with a brush attached, which prevents air from entering or escaping while still enabling you to easily open and close the door. A hinged flap draught excluder works in a similar way but features a flexible strip of plastic instead of brushes. These are all inexpensive and simple to install with screws or a self-adhesive strip. They can also be cut to fit the exact width of your door.
If your letterbox is the source of draughts then letterbox draught excluders are what you need. These can easily be screwed onto the internal opening of the letterbox, and come with a metal strip at the top and bottom of the box with brush strips to stop the letterbox flapping, while still allowing your post to be delivered.
To prevent keyholes from letting unwanted draughts enter your home, you can simply fit a keyhole cover. This is an inexpensive metal disc used to plug any air gaps. Check around the hinges of the door as well in case there are any gaps allowing air in. In which case, you may need to adjust or shim the hinges.
Martin Burgess - Customer Service Manager
About Martin Burgess
For customers, Martin is one of the key people at Vufold and looks to offer technical advice, resolve any issues or problems that they may have. Martin is passionate about protecting the reputation of Vufold and likes to see a positive impact on the business due to his day-to-day efforts. Martin’s proud of the team he’s built around him and is dedicated to constantly improving the way the company meets its service commitments and delivers on its promises.Read more about Martin Burgess