Insulate your windows with heat-shrink film

Why? Drafty windows and doors contribute to a home's heating and cooling losses. If you have single-pane windows and are not ready to invest in storm windows or professional window sealing, consider using heat-shrink film. This plastic film forms a barrier that is resistant to drafts and moisture and can make your living space more comfortable. Heat-shrink film can also help lower your heating costs by reducing the need to turn up your thermostat.
How it works: Plastic film is fixed to the window frame with double-sided tape and shrunk with a hair dryer to create a temporary insulating barrier. The film lasts for one heating season and can be removed when the weather turns warmer.

Step-by-step:

Follow a few quick steps for this simple, yet effective, window insulation.

  1. Measure the windows you want to seal.
  2. Buy film insulation kits. Kits are available at most home improvement retailers and hardware stores. They should include double-sided tape and usually enough film for 3 to 4 windows.
  3. Clean windows and their frames and let them dry.
  4. Follow the instructions on the package:
    • Tape the edges of the window.
    • Slowly remove the backing on the double-sided tape.
    • Press the plastic film against the tape, laying it as evenly as possible to ensure a flat surface that's free of wrinkles.
    • Use a hair dryer to shrink the film, making it taut. This step not only improves the aesthetics of the film, but also creates an insulating air pocket.
    • Carefully cut off any excess film.

Great for renters: If you rent your home, heat-shrink film is a great way to cut down on drafts without making expensive permanent improvements.

Good to know: The film is not as durable as hard plastic or glass windows, so be careful not to puncture it. If the film is punctured, you may be able to repair it with clear tape. Some double-sided tape may peel off paint, so be careful with painted window frames or use painter's tape underneath. This tip will also reduce the condensation found on windows during the heating season.

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Save up to $115 per year