Tips for Draft-Proofing Sash Windows and Keeping Out the Cold

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Sash Windows Refurbish specializes in providing repair and restoration services for wooden windows and doors in the UK, as well as various types of carpentry. During the process of fulfilling orders, we utilize a range of tools and paints, including saws, sprays, primers, resins, and adhesives. With more than 20 years of experience in carpentry, we have tested and used various brands and types of work tools, making us well-equipped to offer helpful advice on selecting the right tools and paints for your needs. Read more ...

Is DIY Draught-Proofing Possible for Sash Windows?

Many homeowners wonder if they can tackle draught-proofing sash windows on their own. The answer is a resounding yes. With the right tools and a bit of patience, DIY draught-proofing can be both achievable and cost-effective. Start by inspecting your windows for gaps and cracks.

Once identified, these areas can be sealed with specialized draught-proofing materials readily available at hardware stores. Simple yet efficient, this method empowers homeowners to take control of their home’s insulation without breaking the bank.

Using Silicone: Is It Effective for Draught-Proofing Windows?

Silicone sealant is a popular choice for draught-proofing windows. Its flexibility and durability make it ideal for filling gaps and cracks around sash windows. Applying silicone along the window frames creates a tight seal, preventing cold air from seeping in. This method offers a relatively quick and easy solution, ensuring a snug fit that keeps your home warm and draught-free.

Employing silicone sealant to seal windows against drafts is a practical approach, but it’s best suited for individuals who have no intention of opening their windows in the future.

Effectiveness of Adhesive Draught Strips on Sash Windows

Adhesive draught strips are another practical option for sash window draught-proofing. These strips, made from materials like rubber or foam, can be easily attached to the window frames. When the window is closed, the strips compress, forming a seal that blocks out draughts.

This method is especially useful for older windows that may have irregular shapes or gaps. Adhesive draught strips are affordable, readily available, and simple to install, making them a popular choice among homeowners looking for effective draught-proofing solutions.

Many individuals seeking a do-it-yourself approach to draught-proofing favour self-adhesive foam weatherstrips like the Tebrun Window Draught Excluder Tape, which can be conveniently purchased on Amazon.

Brush Seals: A Reliable Method for Draught-Proofing Sash Windows?

Brush seals, also known as pile or bristle strips, are excellent for draught-proofing sash windows while allowing for smooth operation. These seals consist of densely packed bristles that create a barrier against draughts when the window is closed.

Brush seals effectively block cold air, dust, and noise, enhancing both comfort and energy efficiency in your home. They are durable and long-lasting, making them a reliable choice for those seeking a lasting solution to window draughts.

Temporary Solutions to Prevent Draughts: What Works?

While long-term solutions are essential, there are also temporary methods to prevent draughts, especially during extreme weather conditions. One such method is using draft stoppers or door snakes. These fabric tubes filled with insulating material can be placed along the bottom of the window, creating a barrier against cold air.

Additionally, heavy curtains or thermal blinds can be hung to provide an extra layer of insulation, minimizing draughts and maintaining a warmer indoor environment.

Professional Techniques for Efficient Sash Window Draught-Proofing

For homeowners seeking a comprehensive and tailored approach to draught-proofing, professional services offer specialized techniques. One such method is the installation of secondary glazing. This involves fitting an additional pane of glass or acrylic to the existing window frame, creating an insulating barrier that significantly reduces heat loss and draughts.

Sash Window Refurbish also often include a thorough inspection of the window frames and sashes to identify and seal any gaps effectively. These professionals use high-quality materials and tools to ensure a precise and long-lasting draught-proofing solution tailored to your home’s specific needs.

What sash window draught-proofing kit includes?

A typical sash window draught-proofing kit includes:

  1. Draught-proofing strips: These are usually made of rubber, silicone, or brush pile and are installed around the edges of the sash window frames. They effectively seal the gaps between the window frames, preventing cold air from entering and warm air from escaping.
  2. Sealant: This is used to fill larger gaps or cracks in the window frames. It ensures a tight seal and helps in reducing drafts.
  3. Beads and carriers: These are components that hold the draught-proofing strips in place. Beads are often installed on the window sashes, while carriers are fixed to the window frames.
  4. Brush strips: These are attached to the meeting rails (where the two window panels meet) to prevent drafts from entering through the top and bottom of the window.
  5. Fixing screws/nails: These are used to secure the draught-proofing strips, beads, carriers, and brush strips in place.

Proper installation of these materials can also help in reducing noise pollution and enhance overall insulation in the house.

This illustration demonstrates the expertise of professional technicians in repairing sash windows, exemplified by Sash Window Refurbish. They adeptly install brush piles around the edges of sash windows, providing a highly efficient method for preventing drafts.

Costs of Draught-Proofing

The choice of your approach will determine the expenses incurred for sealing your sash windows against drafts.

Self-adhesive weatherstrips are priced at approximately £5-£6 for a 5-meter roll, whereas self-adhesive brush pile carriers, measuring 2.2 meters, can be obtained for as low as £1.40.

As per the Energy Saving Trust, a comprehensive professional draught proofing service for your entire house could amount to approximately £225. (This estimation is based on a standard semi-detached property in England, Scotland, or Wales.)


What is the best draft proofing for sash windows?

The best draft proofing for sash windows typically involves using weatherstripping and draught excluders. These can be installed around the window frame and sashes to prevent cold air from entering and warm air from escaping.

Are sash windows draughty?

Traditional sash windows, especially older ones, are often prone to drafts due to their design and ageing components. Gaps between the sashes and frames can allow drafts to enter, making them draughty without proper maintenance.

Are modern sash windows drafty?

Modern sash windows are designed with better insulation and materials, reducing the likelihood of drafts. However, if not properly installed or sealed, they can still develop drafts over time. Regular maintenance is key to ensuring their efficiency.

About the author

Glen Ramsey, who presently holds the positions of customer support and content manager, is a cherished member of the Sash Window Refurbish team. He is in a unique position to provide advice on all questions pertaining to the renovation of historic windows because he has a wealth of experience in all elements of window renovation, dealing with clients regularly and assisting them in choosing the best window-related course of action. He oversees the creation of information for all of our platforms in his capacity as content manager, including web content and other materials. Glen has witnessed the whole gamut of Sash Window Refurbish's window restoration activities, from our work on significant listed Georgian homes to a wide variety of smaller-scale private residential projects.


My technician Andrew replaced all my sash windows that had rotten sills. Accessing the rotten sills was not an easy task. He explained to me what needed to be done in order to fix the problem. He is a great person and I’m happy that he was the one who did the job. He is reliable, tidy, friendly and very professional. I highly recommend him.



I hired Andrew and Alex a while back to repair my damaged sash windows. They were was very considerate and very patient as he did his job. A few days ago, I had another problem with one of my sash lock keys and I called him again to come and fix the problem. I’m very impressed that Liam responded quickly and he not only fixed the problem but he also gave me a spare key. What a great after sales service!

Alan W.


I’m very impressed with the new windows that Andrew installed and also the reconditioning job that he did on other sash windows. The quality of his work is by far more superior than what we got when we hired another company a few years back. We will certainly hire him again if any window work arises

Kelly (Sleaford)


Our decorator referred us to Andrew because some of the work needed a window expert. Andrew together with our decorator did a fantastic job. The work was done efficiently and to the highest standards. Andrew is understanding, committed and very professional. I recommend him without any hesitation.

Steaven Reader


Alex did a great job in fixing windows in our terraced house. The windows were broken, frames damaged and the wood was also rotten. Alex's job was high quality and he did it pretty fast. I was also very impressed that he was considerate of my son’s asthma condition and maintained cleanliness. Top work.



Andrew just recently replaced three sash windows in my Edwardian house. He also repaired and replaced some sills and draught proofed three windows. In addition to that, he also did some carpentry work. What I like the most about Liam is that he did a clean job. He is very professional and always updated me about the timescales and costs. He also did his job with minimal disruptions. I highly recommend him.

Cris M.