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Keep out the draughts ... and give your room a touch of colour and humour!

AS the nights become longer and the weather gets chillier it's time to think about insulating your home.

Insulation is a great investment but at this time of the year it can be tricky to find the money. Draught-proofing is often overlooked - but it's one of the cheapest and most efficient ways to save energy and money in any type of building.

Draughts are a bit like ventilation - both let fresh air into your home.

Good ventilation helps reduce condensation and damp. But draughts are uncontrolled. They let in too much cold air and waste too much heat.

To draught-proof your home you should block up unwanted gaps that let cold air in and warm air out. Saving warm air means you'll use less energy to heat your home, so you''ll save money as well as making your home snug and pleasant.

Full draught-proofing will save you on average pounds 55 per year. Draught-free homes are comfortable at lower temperatures - so you'll be able to turn down your thermostat. This could save you another pounds 60 per year.

If every household in the UK used the best possible draught proofing every year we would save pounds 190m and enough energy to heat nearly 400,000 homes.

Draught-proofing outside doors can save a lot of heat and will only cost you a few pounds. There are four main things to think about: ? The keyhole - buy a purpose-made cover that drops a metal disc over it.

. ? The letterbox - use a letterbox flap or letterbox brush but remember to measure your letterbox before you buy.

? The gap at the bottom - use a brush or make or buy a draught excluder.

. ? Gaps around the edges - fit foam, brush or wiper strips like those used for windows.

Inside doors need draught-proofing if they lead to a room you don't normally heat such as your spare room or kitchen. Keep those doors closed to stop the cold air from moving into the rest of the house. If there is a gap at the bottom block it with a draught excluder, you can make one or buy one.

Draught excluders conserve energy and can reduce heat loss by 10 to 20% for a small investment of time and money. Excluding draughts is a simple, inexpensive and effective energy efficiency measure with a fast investment payback period.

Estimates vary but even the lowest one of 10% means that draught exclusion measures can cut that ever rising fuel bill.

Here's our pick of fun and funky designs to keep your home cosy this winter (see left).? The Beach Huts draught excluder will brighten up any room with seaside charm.

Crafted mainly in felt it's a beautiful, nostalgic way to keep cosy this winter. pounds 39.06 from www.idealmoments.co.uk ? Avoid draughts and keep your room nice and toasty with this draught excluder train. pounds 37 from John Lewis Liverpool One or www.johnlewis.com, ref: 82295276. ? Smartly suited in a rustic red and golden brocade fabric with complementing tassels the Rufus draught excluder will sit at the foot of your door ensuring the room stays warm and cosy. When not on duty you can hang him on the door handle. pounds 22.99 from Lakeland Liverpool One or www.lakeland.co.uk cat ref: SKU40252
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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:Daily Post (Liverpool, England)
Date:Oct 25, 2011
Words:548
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