As much as we love those draught-busting door snakes our nannas knit, it is safe to say they aren’t the most scientific solution when it comes to stopping draughts coming through windows or doors. But in the spirit of keeping wintry draughts out, we are launching Australia’s first study of air leakiness in Australian homes.

Door snake

Knitted snake used to block draughts.

Door snake, just like nanna used it knit. Flickr/The Bunny Maker


The aim is to create a snapshot of the energy efficiency of  newer homes in different Australian cities.  The study will assess 140 homes in capital cities across Australia. Volunteers are being sought to take part in the study which will focus on seals around doors and windows and insulation quality.

Energy efficiency experts will conduct a blower door test to assess the air tightness of the building  and carry out an insulation inspection using thermal imaging of each home to identify hotspots for heat loss/gain.

A blower door test involves attaching a sealed frame containing a fan into one exterior door and closing all other external doors and windows. The fan can raise and lower the air pressure inside the house. This causes air to flow in through all unsealed cracks and openings and the rate of air movement through the house can be measured.

The study, being conducted on behalf of the Department of Industry, will focus on homes less than four years old. Home owners who volunteer to take part will be given a report on their home’s air tightness and insulation quality and a copy of the CSIRO Home Energy Saving Handbook.

Volunteers are being sought in Adelaide, Brisbane, Darwin, Hobart, Perth and Sydney. Data has already been collected on homes in Melbourne and Canberra. You can register your interest in taking part here.