Draughty doors & windows exposed by the big freeze

When the weather turned milder after the “Big Freeze” in December 2009/January 2010 it would be foolish to think that such Arctic conditions will not occur again. If you remember back to that time, you will no doubt recall having noticed the areas of your property that are exposed to the elements, like doors, fireplaces and windows that let in freezing draughts or where cold penetrated and consequently heat escaped.

In the “old days” front and back entrances were covered up by a large thick curtain being drawn across the door when closed to keep out the cold and draughts, but nowadays we have tended to abandon curtains for double glazed doors. However, the recent low temperatures exposed any flaws in thermally inefficient doors and windows, many of which were fitted years ago and consequently are not in the same league as the high quality energy rated products available in today’s marketplace.Keep some of the chill out with a sausage dog draught excluderTwo important tips for keeping out as much of the draughts and cold as possible is to ensure both sides of your letterbox are shut. The other (assuming you have a double glazed door) is to lift up the door handle as if you are going to lock the door. The engages the rubber gaskets, giving your property the best possible seal against the elements. You will be amazed the difference remembering this simple tip will make in cold weather. If you have a wooden door, you can fit draught excluder to all the edges to reduce draughts and put a sausage dog to block the cold coming through the door threshold.

One option is to go back to installing a hanging curtain which you can draw in the coldest winter months, but if you buy a modern thermally efficient insulated double glazed door, there is no need to have to resort to such “old fashioned” measures, unless you want to as heavy, thick lined curtains that drape onto the floor do act as an excellent, though slightly unsightly and inconvient barrier to the cold if you have wooden entrance doors, or early double glazed doors that are not as thermally efficient as some modern equivalents, such as high quality composite doors which are now the amongst the best at providing insulation from the freezing cold.

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