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April 19, 2010 | by  | in Opinion | [ssba]

Stop the draught!

With your friendly VUWSA environmental officer, Zack Dorner!

Daylight savings is upon us again as the weather gets crap. A perfect time to start preparing your flat for winter.

This is the first of a somewhat monthly column to help you to stay warm and maybe even save a bit of money. To find out more, go to and click ‘Warm My Flat’. This month, a bit of advice about how to stop those pesky draughts.

Draughts can be responsible for up to 10-15 per cent of all heat loss in your cold old flat. Here are some simple things you can do to help (in between not doing your readings and not doing the cleaning).

Sherlock Holmes that shit

Check around your windows and doors—you may be surprised to find how widespread draughts actually are. Wave a stick of burning incense close to any potential draughts. If the smoke goes sideways and not up—Sherlock, we have a problem.

Sticky strips

Buy foamy draft stoppers from your local hardware store to seal your windows when shut. Go on, do it.

Snakey strips

When trying to keep your room warm, snakes are great to place across the bottom of your door. I’ve fashioned me one out of two old tube socks and filled it with newspaper and never looked back.

Seal the deal

Thick, thermal curtains to close when it gets dark will seal the heat in from cold windows. Buy some off TradeMe and keep them for your next flat. If you’re feeling extra creative (and cold) you could tape some cardboard across the top of the curtains and add some Velcro to the sides to seal them all round.

Phil McCracken

If your windows or doors have cracks in the frames, get your landlord to fix them. Ask nicely—remind them that tenants are more likely to choose and stay in warm flats.


This is the best thing you can do to warm your flat. If your flat is uninsulated, ask your landlord now. Leave it any later and winter waiting lists will mean you probably won’t get it installed till the end of winter. Your landlord should be eligible for up to a 60 per cent subsidy— has all you need to know.

This column was put together with the help of the Home Energy Advice Centre. Call them on 0800 388 588 or visit for free, independent advice.


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  1. LonkshanksMcGee says:

    If you’re landlord’s a proverbial, and you’re also broke, insulation tape is your best friend when it comes to non-wind-stopping window frames.

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