How To Insulate Windows and Reduce Heating and Cooling Costs


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window film home depotAs part of the BooneyLiving Energy Conservation Challenge case study my husband and I spent the day installing window insulation film on the windows in our home.

Let me kick this article off by saying that I am in love with heat shrink plastic window insulation film. In the past I’ve struggled with insulating windows by using window insulation tape and taping up clear plastic. To tell you the truth, I absolutely loathed the idea of putting it up because it’s so difficult to make a tight seal and even if you are able to make a tight seal, you can’t see out of the window very well because it’s full of wrinkles and it’s just not that clear.

This time we decided to do it up right and install Frost King window insulation kits. This stuff is so much fun to install that when we were finished installing it, I was left wishing that we had more windows to do.

How To Install Heat Shrink Window Insulation

You don’t have to be a bonafide handyman to install window plastic insulation. You don’t even need many tools. Below you’ll find the tools and supplies that you’ll need for this job.

  • Window Insulation Kit
  • Utility knife
  • Scissors
  • Small bucket of water and a rag
  • An electric hair dryer

Video Instructions For Insulating Windows For Winter

Once you’ve got the necessary tools and supplies rounded up, you’re ready to begin a fun and rewarding home improvement project that will really pay off in terms of energy savings.

  1. With a slightly damp rag, wash the entire window sill to make sure that the tape has a clean surface to stick to. Here’s a tip that wasn’t included in the instructions. In the kitchen, no amount of wiping was getting the window sills clean enough for the tape to adhere properly. I assume that this is because of the greasy residue that is often left behind while cooking. After washing the kitchen window sill with soap and water, the tape stuck really well. The most important thing to remember about this step is if the tape doesn’t stick really well, it will pull off when you start heat shrinking the do it yourself window film.
  2. Apply the double stick tape to the entire perimeter of the window sill making sure to press firmly to ensure good adhesion. The instructions for the Frost King insulation for windows that we were using said to wait 15 minutes to give the tape time to bond with the window sill.
  3. Measure the window that you will be insulating making sure to add about an inch to each side so that when you stick the plastic insulation film to the double stick tape, an inch of the film hang over the outer perimeter of the tape. Then cut out a piece of this energy saving window film using the measurements that you just took. We used scissors for this because we didn’t want to accidentally cut into our carpet with the utility knife.
  4. Carefully remove the top covering of the double sided tape to expose the sticky side for the plastic insulating film to adhere to. Here’s another handy tip. We found this to be the most difficult part of the project. For some reason we had a really difficult time getting a hold of the edge of the tape’s covering without pulling up the entire tape. We found that using the sharp edge of a utility knife, it was easier for us to get a hold of just the covering of the tape.
  5. Hold the plastic window film up to the freshly exposed double stick tape and press one corner of the window, press the film to the tape. We found that it was easiest to firmly adhere the clear plastic window insulation to either the right or left side of the window first. Then we did the same to the top edge. Then we applied gentle pressure to the bottom and other edge of the film to stretch out as many wrinkles as we could before pressing these edges firmly in place. Don’t worry if you don’t get it really tight or you can’t get all the wrinkles out. You’ll see why in a minute.
  6. Next, you turn your hair dryer on at its highest setting and use it to blow heat onto the clear window film. Move the hair dryer around just like you were drying you hair and you’ll see the film start to shrink and get tight. This was my favorite part! As if by magic, the film will tighten up and the wrinkles will vanish right before your very eyes!

After applying this product to our windows we could feel in immediate improvement. It was quite obvious that no more cold air was leaking through our windows. In my opinion this is the best way to insulate windows because the product makes an air tight seal and after using the blow dryer the film was wrinkle free and actually clear enough to see through!

I love this stuff and I highly recommend it. Now, I just can’t wait to see how much doing this saves on our daily electricity consumption. I’ll be providing more information about how much it actually saves us in a couple of days. If you’re interested in seeing the results, click here: Ways To Save Money On Electricity.


2 Responses to “How To Insulate Windows and Reduce Heating and Cooling Costs”

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  1. Bill Osler says:

    Any unbiased studies on how effective this is?

  2. Ruth says:

    We moved into a home with wooden windows that seem like they let cold air right in. We were thinking of replacing the windows but know we have to replace the roof first. Hope this worked for y’all because this is my next project 🙂

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