Empowering community members to encourage friends and family to get draught-busting
Project duration: October 2011 to October 2012
Each winter, a typical house will lose around 15% of its heat through gaps in the doors, walls and windows. Chimneys, letterboxes, keyholes, window and door frames, and skirting boards and floorboards are some of the biggest culprits – however, there are plenty of ways people can take action to counter this.
Draught-busting Saturday was an ambitious drive to engage a large number of active community members from across Bristol in order to train them in basic draught-proofing, and consequently help roll-out the draught-proofing message to more than 200 friends, family, neighbours and other community members across the city.
While measures such as loft and cavity wall insulation, and even solid-wall insulation, will save most householders hundreds of pounds on their fuel bills, they can be costly and time-consuming – and they are not actions the average householder can carry out quickly and easily themselves.
The idea behind holding Draught-busting Saturday was to demonstrate the big difference that draught-proofing can make – and to show people that there are plenty of 'quick fixes' which even the most inexperienced DIY-er is able to undertake. Actions which will also save householders money on their fuel bills and make their homes warmer and less draughty.
CSE began by undertaking its own practical training session, with a handful of staff being trained themselves by an insulation specialist, about different draught-proofing materials and DIY techniques, to sit alongside their already strong knowledge about draughts and home energy.
The team then recruited around a dozen active community members to whom they could then pass their expertise and skills on.
By the end of their training, volunteers were able to:
- Identify the main sources of draughts within the home – and the range of materials and techniques for stopping them
- Effectively install and demonstrate a range of draught-proofing materials to an audience
- Identify the planning and preparation required for organising a draught-busting workshop
- Assess the possible risks involved with holding a draught-busting workshop
- Give an effective health and safety talk as part of the draught-busting workshop
More than half a dozen draught-busting sessions were then held on or around Saturday 29 October as well as a CSE draight-busting stand at the Bristol Home Show, a new exhibition held at the UWE Exhibition and Conference Centre over the weekend of 29-30 October. Members of the Bristol Volunteers Get Energy team were also available in person or on the telephone during the draught-busting events to provide volunteers with support if necessary.
Everyone who attended a training session also received a draught-busting pack, which included:
- a letterbox cover
- a door brush seal
- a perimeter seal (to be used on doors or windows)
- secondary glazing film
- a DIY draught-proofing leaflet
Around 270 householders undertook the draught-busting session, with packs given to each of those that attended.
Verity Saunders was part of the draught-busting team which organised the event. She said: “Untreated daughts contribute enormously to the thermal warmth of a house and there are huge benefits for anybody looking to cut their energy use and save money. These are simple actions which almost anyone can carry out at home.
"The Draught-busting Saturday events will have helped to provide the knowledge and skills, as well as some of the materials, necessary to plug the gaps in almost 300 homes across Bristol."
Draught-busting Saturday is part of CSE's Bristol Volunteers Get Energy project. This element of the project was funded as part of Bristol City Council's Green Volunteers, Bristol 2011.
'Letterbox' image © Paul Groom Photography