Friday, 26 February 2010

ban the draught

I dreamed of draughtproofing last night, which shows me how obsessed I've become about blocking up the winds that sweep through our Victorian house. Until this winter I'd been quite happy to live with the cold until my stepdaughter came to stay to have her baby and we needed to have the house at a steady, warm temperature. Then I realised that as soon as the heating went off the temperature dropped back down to the icy levels of the outside, with frost on the inside of the windows, and so on.

It all culminated in a Transition Town Lewes Draughtbusting Sunday last weekend, a demonstration of all the things I had done and was planning to do. In the amazing absence of any online resources the energy group and I prepared a basic information sheet. The research was so complicated, my lack of basic carpentry skills so lacking, and the learning curve so steep that we felt that we needed to start pooling our wisdom and courage to get anything moving. Half the housing in Lewes is pretty ancient and as I keep on saying, many of us are totally unprepared and unresilient for when energy prices really rise, especially if climate change means more winters like this last one.

Apparently, since up to 20% of our heating goes straight out the door, windows and other cracks, that's a potential 20% of heating bills saved withe some draughtproofing, much of which can be done on the cheap. My favourite tool in the draughtproofing armoury is a roll of gaffer tape, available in white or black from Wenban Smith. As a quick fix, you can go round the rattling sash windows and simply tape them up in the winter. If you don't want to mess up the paint, there's other proprietary brands, including brushes for under doors and around the front door, from Architectural Seals, who are offering a 12.5% discount (thanks to Transition Town Lewes) for Lewesians (code LEWES125). A lot can be done with secondary glazing, which can range from cheap plastic film that you put on each year to the full blown replacement windows, via a cheap local chippie, Kai - all revealed in the instruction sheet.

But I'm obsessing. I really need to get out a little.

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