Q. My cottage is very draughty. Are there any cheap ways of fixing this?
A. Draughts can account for a significant heat loss element in any house, even a well insulated house. This explains why on a frosty still day a house may seem warmer than on a milder windy day. Plenty of insulation can be rendered near useless by draughts.
Here are some simple solutions:
At the front door either replace any perished rubber seals or screw on new external draught strips on the sides and top of the door frame. Also internally screw on a brush draught excluder.
At the edges where windows meet brick or plasterwork renew seals on all sides.
Replace or apply draught proofing seals to openable windows.
Avoid large temperature differences between rooms. For example, a cold hall can create an internal draught in a heated sitting room.
Replace internal covers of wall vents with humidity-controlled vents (e.g. Aereco.ie ).
Provide draught stripping to attic trapdoor.
Fireplaces sometimes are problematic but if you use a chimney balloon ensure that there is a wall vent or else condensation might be your new problem. Some companies (eg. fire-genie.com or chimneydraughtstop.ie) provide neater solutions for closing off flues which can otherwise account for significant heat losses, as well as draughts.
Finally, some older houses with suspended timber floors downstairs have draughts between the square-edged boards so, if the floor boards are up for rewiring or re plumbing, I would strongly recommend that rigid insulation be inserted and secured between the timber joists underneath before the floor boards are re-laid.