<div style="display:inline;"> <img height="1" width="1" style="border-style:none;" alt="" src="//googleads.g.doubleclick.net/pagead/viewthroughconversion/1028731116/?value=0&amp;guid=ON&amp;script=0">
6 ISSUES FOR £6 Subscribe to Hertfordshire Life today click here

How to winter-proof your home

PUBLISHED: 13:47 23 February 2017 | UPDATED: 13:47 23 February 2017

Here's how to work on improving home insulation

Here's how to work on improving home insulation


Wrap up in woollies, scarf, gloves and hat and you’re ready for winter weather, but what about your property? Matthew Craker of Fine and Country estate agents in Brookmans Park gives his tips on improving home insulation

Preparing your home for winter can seem like an unnecessary hassle, but it’s likely that the financial benefits will outweigh the effort you put in. Ensuring your property is adequately prepped can keep heating costs to a minimum, protect your home into the future and make it more appealing to potential buyers if you’re looking at putting it on the market.

Walls & ceilings

As everyone knows, heat rises, so one of the easiest ways to retain heat is to install insulation – such as roof and loft and cavity wall – and check the condition and effectiveness of any insulation installed. If you own an older home, it may have inadequate insulation, meaning heat escapes easily. If you have an attic or loft, make sure that all the loft hatch and holes, such as where plumbing pipes comes into a room below, are covered and sealed.

Windows & doors

Next on the list are windows and doors. According to the Energy Saving Trust, draught-proofing is one of the cheapest and most effective ways to save energy – and money – in any type of building. Check for draughts around windows and doors and caulk inside and out, where necessary, to keep heat from escaping. Silicone caulk is best for exterior use – it won’t shrink and it’s impervious to the elements. For opening windows, buy draught-proofing strips to stick around the window frame and fill gaps. Floorboard draughts can be addressed by squirting silicone-based filler into the gaps. On windows, thick drapes can also keep heat in, while a few warm throws on the sofa can reduce the need for additional heating.

For exterior doors, if your keyhole is uncovered, purchase a cover – a moveable metal disc covers the keyhole, keeping warmth within and draughts out. Letterboxes can be fitted with a letterbox flap or brush, and if there’s a gap at the bottom of the door, used a brush or hinged-flap draught excluder.

Interior doors need draught-proofing only if they lead to an unheated room. Keep the doors closed and if there is a gap at the bottom of the door, block it with a draught excluder. Remember that some rooms, like bathrooms, need good ventilation, so these doors are best left untouched. Don’t block any wall vents.


If you have fireplaces that are not used, solar energy installer EvoEnergy says this could be costing you hundreds of pounds each year. You can cap a chimney or if you use the fireplace on occasion, blocking the draught with a removeable inflatable chimney balloon. Alternatively, a Perspex fireplace cover seals a functional fireplace when it’s not being used. It costs upwards of £80, but can save far more than its price in reduced heating bills. 

Heating system

Plumbing can also be an issue during winter, with burst pipes a common occurrence. The best way to stop this happening is to keep your pipes warm with foam lagging, which reduces heat loss and insulates pipes to stop them freezing.

Check your radiators are functioning properly too. If they are colder at the top than the bottom, they have trapped air inside that’s stopping heat from circulating correctly. Bleed the radiators to release the air, and they will run more efficiently.


A few final exterior checks are also worthwhile to protect your property. Make sure gutters are free of fallen leaves and grime to minimise water blockage and seeping down walls. And keep trees close to the house trimmed back to reduce foliage fall.

Keeping your home cosy will help to keep your spirits high in the cold, dark months. If your property is on the market, presenting a snug, energy-efficient home is a good selling point. If you’re viewing properties, check whether these simple fixes are in place, showing a cared-for home.


Welcome , please leave your message below.

Optional - JPG files only
Optional - MP3 files only
Optional - 3GP, AVI, MOV, MPG or WMV files

Please log in to leave a comment and share your views with other Hertfordshire visitors.

We enable people to post comments with the aim of encouraging open debate.

Only people who register and sign up to our terms and conditions can post comments. These terms and conditions explain our house rules and legal guidelines.

Comments are not edited by Hertfordshire staff prior to publication but may be automatically filtered.

If you have a complaint about a comment please contact us by clicking on the Report This Comment button next to the comment.

Not a member yet?

Register to create your own unique Hertfordshire account for free.

Signing up is free, quick and easy and offers you the chance to add comments, personalise the site with local information picked just for you, and more.

Sign up now

More from Homes & Gardens

Mon, 13:36

A grand refuge for French nuns to flee persecution and latterly a school and orphanage too, a former convent in Baldock has many tales to tell. Pat Bramley explores the history of the site, newly-converted into luxury homes

Read more
January 2018
Friday, January 5, 2018

During January and February, elusive little white signs of spring pop up around the county in the form of snowdrops. We have gathered some of the best places to go for a snowdrop walk in Hertfordshire

Read more
Tuesday, January 2, 2018

It’s a tale of love, both for a building and a builder – Pat Bramley met the family who converted a Victorian church near Welwyn GC into a unique family home

Read more
December 2017
Tuesday, January 2, 2018

Hawk Interiors offers a truly bespoke service to create your dream kitchen, here’s how...

Read more
Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Make new friends, get gardening tips, expand your horticultural knowledge and visit inspirational gardens, these are just some of the benefits of joining a local horticultural club

Read more
November 2017
Tuesday, November 7, 2017

An Arts and Crafts home in Chorleywood plays a key role in a star-studded film set for release early next year. Pat Bramley met its proud long-term owner

Read more
November 2017
Thursday, October 19, 2017

See our breakdown of Herts’ districts and compare how much a square metre of land costs in your area. You might be surprised...

Read more
Tuesday, October 3, 2017

With meticulous attention to detail, luxury and class a new St Albans home is designed to be an ergonomic, future-proofed family home. At £6m, 53 The Park is the most expensive new build in the city

Read more
October 2017
Tuesday, September 12, 2017

RHS Chelsea Gold medal winner Anne Godfrey of Hertford’s Daisy Roots nursery tells Philippa Pearson her must-have plants for late summer

Read more
September 2017
Monday, September 11, 2017

Inspired by the extravagance of gothic, a couple found the perfect place in Much Hadham to create a fantasy home. Pat Bramley visits

Read more
September 2017
Great British Holidays advert link

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to the following newsletters:

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Topics of Interest

Food and Drink Directory

Job search in your local area

Local Business Directory

Hertfordshire's trusted business finder

Search For a Car In Your Area

Property Search