Wednesday, September 3, 2008

How to insulate a window for under $2

Jennifer's "Stop the Leaks" challenge has me all pumped up. So lets start with window insulation. First seal all cracks and leaks with caulking. This is easy to do. Just watch this video:

If you dont have dou-pane windows, you are losing a lot of heat through your windows. Storm windows - the answer? Not necessarily,First they are expensive. Second, not easy to put up (especially 2nd and 3rd story windows). 3rd, if you rent, it will be like pulling teeth to get your landlord to pay for them.Install NEW Dou-pane or Tri-pane Windows? Got a loan. So what's a guy to do? Well for a couple of bucks, you can get a Shrink & Seal Window Kit. They are available at most home improvement stores. They are easy to install. The only tools you need are a box cutter. And a hair dryer. I know most of you gals and a few guys already know how to handle one of those. Even Bald Rob has a hair dryer. I used to have hair! and I need one to dry stinky dinky binky after his bath. It is easy as pie. You simply put the double backed tape around the frame and then spread out the plastic sheet and put around the frame. Then when the film is tight take the dryer and heat the film, this should take out any wrinkles. All this and it only costs about $2 per window. The savings on your fuel bill will be higher. And more than pay for the film kits. When I lived in Ye olde mobile home, I had storm windows but the large picture window was missing the storm window. So I used these kits because those windows were something else drafty. My current house has duo-pane windows except one which will get this treatment this winter.
This video will give you the idea, but remember most kits are for the interior. But the idea is the same. I have never seen this particular product from 3M.


Burbanmom said...

"stinky dinky binky"? Seriously? Why do guys even feel it's necessary to name it anyhow?

And ps... do you always blow it dry or only on special ocassions?


BTW, I've used the film stuff before... works like a charm. However, duct tape and reusable plastic film works just as well.

Robj98168 said...

Burbs- Stinky dinky Binky is my yorkshire terrier, my member's name is Anaconda

Robj98168 said...

And do you mnean to tell me you can't reuse heat shrink window plastic? Well damn- cause i always reused it whenever something called for a sheet of plastic ;)

Anonymous said...

Okay, so what about us out here in Northern California where we don't have an actual winter season that's cold enough to seal the window completely shut for a few months?

Our issue is that sometimes, during the day, it's sunny and warm enough to open the windows a little for ventilation and then when the sun goes down, you want to close them against the cold and wind.

How I wish we had double panes, but we don't, and we rent, so it sucks at night in the winter.

I know, we should buy heavy duty insulating drapes. But they are expensive and we have a lot of windows and I'm not the only one holding the purse strings.

Oh forget it. This whole thing about sealing leaks and house insulation makes my brain bleed.

Burbanmom said...


If you're not too picky about design and color, has GREAT prices on insulated curtains.

Jennifer said...

Being an old house person, I'll disagree on storm windows not being the answer... studies have proven that a good old fashioned, properly glazed wooden window with a properly fitted storm is BETTER than a double pane window! (Notice the qualifiers... PROPERLY.) Ours are not properly fitted and glazed right now.

I'll have to put that plastic on the worst of the offending windows on the back of the house this year, too... they are HUGE double paned windows with no storms, and the heat loss is incredible. We actually had ICE on the inside last year. I will actually have to go and buy a hairdryer... I think my heat gun MIGHT be a little strong for this. :) Goodwill should have a bunch for $1

Of course, if one can bear to lose the light coming in, you can always hang heavy curtains in front of the window... no plastic involved.

thanks for the tips!

Anonymous said...

Stepping in here to address insulated drapes- I have seen the designers on HGTV make their own insulated drapes, google how to make insulated drapes or you can hang a haevy blanket on the windows

Robj98168 said...

Well I guess there are no perfect answers.I agree storm windows properly fitted and glazed are probably best. But they are costly- when I tried to order replacements for the mobile home missing ones the cost made me sit at work with my mouth hanging open.
Fittted insulated drapes are pricey, too. But I have seen them online for $30-$50. I disagree with Jennifer that Storm windows are better than insulated dou-panes
but then I don't live in a cold climate either. But that is what these blogs are for -to exchange ideas and experiences.
You can make your own insulated drapes, but gawd I would have to retake home-ec to do that. And I thnik it is better to save fuel than to get all worried about using a small amount of plastic. No offense to my plastic fish friend.

Chile said...

I have used the shrink-seal window kits many times in the past. However, I've run into problems with them. After remodeling my MIL's house and using a case, yes, a CASE, of caulk on it, we thought about the windows. The house is a 1917 Craftsman bungalow with the original art deco windows. We don't want to replace them but they aren't the most efficient. Due to the design of the window frame with extended sill, it is very difficult to do the tape for the kits. It has to go from a vertical surface on the sides to horizontal on the sill. It is near impossible to get that angle to seal! And then, it stipped the paint off when we removed it in spring. Grrr!

Window quilts would be her best option. Actually not, since we're trying to sell the damn place. Anybody want to move down south?

Tony said...

With cheap items from the hardware or grocery store, you can insulate your windows for winter and surprisingly, it is not a tedious job to do (unless you are impatient). But if you found out that your window is dilapidated, you can just call for assistance with your local contractors. Surely, they can help you with the installment of your vinyl replacement windows. Minneapolis, which is where I live, has a winter season. That is why, it is best to have a window that is weather-proof and insulated, so the cold wind won't seeped in.

In our place, there are a lot of servicemen who repairs windows in St. Paul. It's probably due to the fact that we have a large number of homeowners who still haven't possess windows that is suitable for every weather condition.

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