Warm Up: The 'Fastest' Manual Draft Elimination Tools You Can Make for Free to 'Save Energy and Money'

Warm Up: The ‘Fastest’ Manual Draft Elimination Tools You Can Make for Free to ‘Save Energy and Money’

Paying for heating while sticking to a tight budget is something many families will struggle with this winter, and for most people, paying for expensive forms of insulation simply isn’t an option. Pull-ups are one of the easiest ways to save energy and money, and you can even make your own for free using old fabrics from your home. All you need is an old quilt, pillowcase or pair of pants – and of course some stuffing.

According to the Energy Saving Trust, a draft audit is one of the “cheapest and most effective ways to save energy” – and money – on any type of building.

An expert at the Trust said: “Controlled ventilation helps reduce condensation and dampness, by letting in fresh air when needed. Drafts, however, cannot be controlled: they let in a lot of cold air and waste a lot of heat.”

With nearly a fifth of a home’s heat lost through air gaps in glass windows, using padding materials to prevent drafts is an excellent solution for a quick fix, and there are several ways to make tall, cushion-shaped baffles from scratch.

Quilt exclusion project

Depending on the size of your duvet, this may be quite bulky so it will be suitable for doors that don’t open often, for example in a guest room.

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To make the excluder, roll up the quilt as tightly as possible and tie the end in place with ribbons or string to seal it.

Place a draft screen at the foot of a door or on a wide window sill to stop drafts around window frames—especially wooden ones that are more prone to heat loss.

Pillow cover excluded

For a smaller but equally effective solution, all you need is a pillow case. According to an expert at Local Heroes, the “quickest” option is the no-sew option, but you’ll get a much neater finish if you don’t mind digging in some needles and thread.

Start by filling a third of the box with your chosen filling. The expert recommended using sand, rice, dried beans, plastic bags, old clothes or newspaper, old towels, or unused cat litter.

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Always place filling along the longest edge of the pillow case and fold the excess fabric over to the filled side once it is filled.

Tie the stuffing fabric in place with tape or string to ensure the hole is closed securely. If you can, sew up the opening before folding and tying the material in place.

old socks

According to an expert at Local Heroes, an old pair of pantyhose—or even two pairs of child-size socks sewn together can make good throwbacks for a DIY draft at home.

They explained that the only thing to check is that all the holes and passages that go through the main part of the material are stitched to prevent the stuffing from escaping.

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Start by cutting the tights in half from the waistband into a gusset to create two separate legs.

Fill one leg with stuffing and tie the open end once complete, using some strong string. If you are using baby tights, stuff both legs separately and sew them together.

“You may need more than two legs, so cut off the toes from the middle sections so you can sew them together into one long tube,” added the expert.

Old clothes

Draft excluders can be made with almost any type of garment although you will need some basic sewing skills for some of the items.

As with the tights, you will need to start by sewing any existing holes that aren’t for your arms or legs before you begin.

T-shirts and blouses

Start by removing a length of any arm fabric with scissors and sewing on the remaining cuffs.

Fill the fabric with stuffing along the length and fold over the excess. Thread or sew the holes to hide the filling.

Jeans and shorts

To make a bulkhead from the bottoms, separate the legs by cutting them from the waistband to the gusset and stitching the ankles.

Fill with stuffing and sew up any remaining holes.


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