Putting Plastic Over Windows

How to do it, and is it really worth it?

Gimmick or best kept secret? We’ve all seen the $30 “window insulation kits” at the hardware store. Many resist buying them wondering just how effective putting a layer of plastic over a window can really be. If you feel even a slight draft coming from one of your windows, then our answer is, “Yes!! It’s worth it!”

Window insulation kits can save as much as 50% of a home’s heat when installed properly. The caveats lay in buying the right kind of kit and installing it properly. Pay attention when making your purchase as similar kits serve different functions. Some are designed to reduce glare or provided added privacy. Make sure to get an insulation kit meant to keep heat from escaping a drafty window — the thicker the plastic, the better!

Follow the instructions exactly. Stretch the plastic as best you can over a window and use a hair dryer to shrink the plastic around the edges. This ensures the plastic is tightly sealed.

This is a quick fix that can save some serious money in winter months so long as you can get over the aesthetics. If you have chronically drafty windows, however, you should entertain the idea of upgrading them.