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How to Insulate Windows for Winter

One of the biggest challenges of being a homeowner is keeping utility bills in check. Since windows typically take 15 to 20 percent of a home’s wall space and can lose 25 to 35 percent of your home’s heat, it’s imperative that you try to insulate your windows for winter. It will not only make your home more comfortable, but it will also save you a lot of money. Of course, our window experts at PJ Fitzpatrick are eager to assist you with any window replacement or installation questions you have. But for the people who want to know how to insulate windows for winter, try the following steps.

There are several ways to battle against the cold drafts that you feel near your windows. Some are better at allowing light but can’t be moved through the winter months. Others can be pulled back from the window, but they may block your view and any incoming light. Let’s review some good options for you to consider.

1. Bubble wrap

In a pinch, you can spray some water on your windows and add a layer of bubble wrap. Since it captures small air pockets, it provides a certain degree of insulation. The bad news? It doesn’t look very attractive and it will block your view – but at least you’ll stay warm.

2. Window film

This is a step up from bubble wrap because you’re able to see clearly through it when it’s properly installed. You can purchase window film online or at your local home and garden center. Follow the instructions for installation. Tape the film loosely around the perimeter of the window. Then, use a blow-dryer on a warm-to-hot setting to shrink the film to fit. It should be taut when you’ve finished.

3. Cellular shades and thermal drapes

These shades and drapes can be purchased at a home store or big box hardware store. Using modern thermal technology, they work more efficiently than old-school shades and drapes at retaining the cold air. Keep in mind that if you have no option to get these, the old-school drapes will still get the job done to a certain degree. Some protection from the cold is better than none. The good part? These shades and drapes do a good job of keeping you warm. The bad part? They also block the light and your view.

4. Weatherstripping

You can purchase weatherstripping in a variety of styles. Primarily, you’ll find weatherstripping in a form that looks like a thick, rubberized tape. The pros? It’s affordable and it works well around the cracks in your older windows, where the window meets the casing. The cons? It won’t do anything for helping the window pane become any more energy-efficient; it only works around the rim of your window.

Also, it can be difficult to remove without harming your window trim, once the long winter has passed. If you choose to use weatherstripping, be careful as you place it to minimize any damage to your paint or stain in the spring.

5. Want to know how to insulate windows for winter without spending a lot?

It’s an oldie but goodie. Try using a draft catcher like your grandparents used to use. They look like a snake or long tube sock, and you can place them along the bottom of your windows and doors.

They actually are effective at keeping out drafts. You can either make one or purchase one at the local home goods store or online. The downside? They only work on the bottom leaks and won’t do anything to address the cold air leaks at the top or middle of the windows.

Keep your Family Comfortable and Cozy Throughout the Winter

All of these insulation solutions will help you stay comfortable in the winter. When trying to learn how to insulate windows for winter, you may want to consider using a combination of these techniques. Try these insulation tricks, and be sure to stay comfortable and cozy with your loved ones all winter long.

Tools & Materials

  • Window film and blow-dryer
  • Bubble wrap and a spray bottle with water
  • Cellular shades and thermal drapes
  • Weatherstripping
  • Draft catcher

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