Best Way to Insulate Windows

  Energy Savings Tip Winter

Do you want an Energy Savings Tip Winter? How to insulate your windows from the cold outside so you can stop the cold drafts in and around your home.   

It is that time of year again when you want to insulate your windows for winter. This can be done fairly inexpensively and easily. It works best with two people, but I have done it many times all by myself. I use the 6mil thick plastic that you find at any paint center, Home Depot, etc.

A trick that I taught myself years ago…..

I first learn this trick back in the 80’s when we were living in Amarillo, Texas. It was wintertime, and snow covered the ground. They were predicting a snowstorm to hit that night with high winds and thirty inches of snow.

Our house was a small two bedroom all wood house sitting on a pier and beam foundation. We only had a floor furnace to heat the whole house. So needless to say, the windows in the other rooms were prone to get ice build-up on the inside of the windows.

I went to Home Depot and bought a roll of painter’s plastic drop-cloth, 6mil thickness. I also purchased some wood (long sticks 1/2″ x 1″) to build a frame for my plastic. I did not want to build this “plastic window” and attach it to the inside of the window. I did not want holes in the window frame to have to fill in the summer. I decided to attach to the house on the outside of the house.

I first measured my window(s). All my windows were of the same size. I made two longer pieces of wood for the horizontal frame and two shorter pieces of wood for the vertical frame. I cut the plastic about two or three inches longer on all four sides of my window frame.

I laid out my rectangle piece of plastic on the ground. I then covered the plastic with my wooden frame. I have not attached the wooden frame to itself . I will only be using the wooden frame to keep plastic from pulling apart from the staples that I will be using to attach to the house.

The first leg of my frame I wrapped the two inch extra plastics around the wooden leg, then I stapled this plastic to the wood several spots the full length of the wood.

I did this to all four pieces of my wooden frame. I had cut the vertical wooden pieces of wooden frame a few inches shorter than the full width of my window to allow for me to wrap each wooden piece with the extra plastic.

My frame was now ready to attach to the house. My Dad helped me secure it to the house because the wind was already beginning to blow.  I nailed the wooden strips to the house because I was afraid the wind might tear up the plastic if it was not secured well to the house.

I did the same to three more windows. I must say, I did not think that this was going to help keep my home warmer. But I am living proof that this indeed worked and worked very well. My windows did not get the ice build up on the surface liked they use too!

Fast forward to 2014. A new trick that I am using now….

The house we live in now is a 3-bedroom brick home on a slab foundation. It does not have wooden windows. It has aluminum windows. There is not possible way to secure a wooden frame wrapped in plastic to cover the windows. So how did I cover my windows?

From the inside…

I am just as animate as when I was younger about nail holes in my nice wooden window frame and wooden moldings. So…

I did not need a heavy wooden frame so I used cardboard strips from some old boxes that were going to the trash. I only needed one to secure the plastic to the window from the top of the window.
I cut the plastic about an inch longer than from the top of the window frame to the bottom of the window molding. I cut the edges about an inch shorter than the width of the window frame. I wrapped the plastic one and a half times around the cardboard that the plastic will hang from and attached this cardboard to the very top of the window wooden frame with staples.

This way any holes from the staples will not show!

I used duct tape to tape the other three sides of the plastic to the window.

What this accomplishes is a dead-air space that insulates your window from the blistering cold outside.

Please keep returning here to learn of more ways to be frugal with your money. If you have any suggestions or comments we would love to hear from you. Any tips that you use to be frugal would really benefit everyone here if you would submit your ideas to this website. Thank you so much for your contribution and participation!

If you found this post helpful I ask you to share it with someone, they can reap the benefits of the information. And also keep checking back for more informative ideas to saving money!

8 thoughts on “Best Way to Insulate Windows”

  1. Hi Ken. Thank you for sharing a great tip on saving energy in this cold winter weather! I am going to share this with my husband, as our windows are not as good as they could be and the electric bill is starting to climb quickly. Appreciate the helpful information!

    1. Michelle, I know the plastic (drop-cloth) will work. Another item that may be of benefit to you is instead use the bubble-wrap that they are selling at the stores now for the holiday season.

  2. First off I can’t believe that it snowed in Texas! Secondly what a great tip you shared! Thank you for passing this information along especially to those of us in colder parts of the country!

    1. Amarillo is at elevation 3600 feet above sea level, sitting dead center on the caprock of the panhandle of Texas. Amarillo gets snow every year.It has been said, “that the only thing that separates the north pole from Amarillo is a barb-wired fence. And some years, they leave the fence down.”

  3. I think this site can be helpful but it was kind of hard to read. I think you need to language or rather re-word your thoughts. If you could explain a little more for the novice like me about what you are doing it would be better for me. And the wood dimension how would one go about doing that?

    1. Come to think of it Roselene, you are absolutely correct. I should have furnished some pictures because pictures are worth a thousand words. I was writing all by memory and that was the reason it wasn’t as clear as it should have been. My apologizes. I will edit very soon with corrections. Thank you for being so observant because now I know how to make it better.

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