Is sash window draught proofing effective?

Sash windows are a hallmark of traditional architectural design, admired for their beauty and functionality. However, they’re often associated with draughts, which can lead to an uncomfortable home and skyrocketing energy costs. But does sash window draught proofing actually work to alleviate these issues? Let’s dig a little deeper to find out.

The Anatomy of a Draughty Window

To understand the effectiveness of draught proofing, it’s essential to first comprehend why draughts happen. Older sash windows especially can suffer from general wear and tear, and lack of maintenance. This deterioration can result in gaps forming in the window frame, or between the window and the frame, which permit cold air to infiltrate your home and warm air to escape.

In some instances, the draughtiness isn’t just a minor annoyance; it can make rooms genuinely uncomfortable. The constant flow of cold air can create a chilling environment, making it hard to relax or even concentrate.

How Does Draught Proofing Work?

Draught proofing aims to tackle these issues head-on by sealing the gaps that allow air movement. To draught-proof a sash window, the sashes must usually be removed first. Once they’re out, draught-proofing material like weatherstripping or seals is applied to the areas where air typically escapes. After the material is secured, the sashes are reinstalled.

The process may sound simple, but precision is key. The wrong material or a botched installation could render the draught proofing ineffective. And nobody wants to go through the process twice.

Benefits of Draught Proofing

Enhanced Comfort

First and foremost, draught proofing enhances the comfort level in your home. Sealing those niggling gaps can prevent the chilly breezes that can make your living room feel like the Arctic. You’ll be able to enjoy your home more fully, without needing to bundle up in extra layers or continually adjust the thermostat.

Reduced Energy Bills

Most of us are continually looking for ways to save on bills, and draught proofing offers an excellent opportunity for this. By insulating your home more effectively, your heating system won’t need to work overtime to keep your space warm. This improvement in efficiency can lead to noticeably lower energy bills.

Noise Reduction

The same gaps that let air flow in and out can also let in noise from the outside world. Applying draught proofing materials can double as a soundproofing measure, helping to create a quieter, more peaceful indoor environment.

Preserved Aesthetic Value

Draught proofing allows you to retain the original charm and character of your sash windows while improving their functionality. This dual benefit ensures that you don’t have to sacrifice aesthetics for comfort.

Effectiveness: The Verdict

So, is draught proofing effective? The short answer is yes, particularly when high-quality materials are used and the job is performed by someone who knows what they’re doing. However, effectiveness can be compromised if the project isn’t handled correctly. Shoddy workmanship, low-quality materials, or incomplete sealing can make your draught-proofing efforts go in vain.

The Importance of Professional Help

Although draught proofing can appear to be a straightforward DIY task, hiring a professional is often the better route. Experts have the knowledge and tools to assess your sash windows’ specific needs and can recommend the best materials for the job. Furthermore, having an expert perform the installation ensures the work is done right the first time, potentially saving you time and money in the long run.

Long-term Maintenance for Continued Effectiveness

It’s worth noting that draught proofing isn’t a one-time job; it requires regular upkeep. The materials used in the sealing process will degrade over time, so it’s essential to inspect them periodically. Replacing worn-out materials is key to maintaining the benefits of your draught-proofing project.


Sash window draught proofing is a highly effective way to improve your home’s comfort, reduce energy costs, and create a quieter living space. However, for the best results, high-quality materials and skilled installation are crucial. Regular maintenance will also ensure your draught proofing stays effective for years to come. By considering these points, you can make a well-informed decision that brings lasting benefits to your home.