Energy Efficiency and Historic Buildings: Draught-proofing windows and doors
Historic windows and doors make a major contribution to the significance and character of historic buildings and areas so every effort should be made to retain them rather than replace them. Windows and doors can tell us a lot about the history of a building, changing architectural taste and style, social hierarchy, building economics, craft skills and technical advances.
Older buildings are prone to heat loss through cracks and gaps which develop as various building elements move and distort over a long period. This is often the case for windows and doors which can be a major source of heat loss. However, less than a quarter of the heat lost through a typical traditional window escapes by conduction through the glass, the rest is by draughts (air infiltration). Since draughts make people feel colder, the occupants often turn up the heating and run it for longer.
Windows and doors should be assessed for repairs before embarking on any draught-proofing measures. Traditional windows and doors can almost always be repaired, even if in very poor condition.
This guidance forms one of a series of thirteen guidance notes covering the thermal upgrading of building elements such as roofs, walls and floors.
First published by English Heritage March 2012 (51680).
- Repairing windows and doors
- Draught-proofing rather than double glazing
- Issues to consider before draught-proofing
- Draught-proofing and the Building Regulations
- Draught-proofing products
- Where to get advice
- Series: Guidance
- Publication Status: Completed
- Pages: 24
- Product Code: HEAG084
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Also of interest...
It’s important to know your windows before deciding on work to them. Historic windows are important additions to your home.
Historic doors - both internal and external - play a key role in your house's character and should be retained wherever possible.
Follow our practical advice on how to save energy in older buildings.
How to improve the energy efficiency of older buildings in ways that are sympathetic to their historic character.