A Last-Minute Window Insulation Project

If you've waited until the heart of winter to consider insulating your windows, don't panic. Use the coldest months to plan a thorough window replacement or storm window project for next summer. Consult with a contractor or home services expert now to get an estimate, and save a little each month. For now, though, consider self-installed plastic window insulation.

You can purchase plastic film sheets at most any home improvement store. These sheets worked just fine in Fairbanks with winter temperatures dropping to 68 below, and they helped considerably. Be sure to measure your total window space so you'll buy the right number of sheets and the correct amount of double-sided adhesive.

Applying Window Sheets
Before cutting anything, take down any blinds or curtains, and clean the surfaces of the frame. Measure each window and cut a sheet to fit. Apply an adhesive strip to the top of the sheet, and work down each side, attaching the final adhesive at the bottom. Leaving the backing in place until you're ready to attach the film saves you all kinds of hassle. Hold the film against the window frame to ensure you've cut it correctly.


When you're ready, peel off the backing and attach the sheet at the corners of the window first, pressing it to the adhesive. Continue working carefully around the fame. After the strips have set for about half-an-hour on your windows, check for snugness.

The final step is to take a hair dryer and, at the highest setting, use the heat to shrink the plastic film until it's taught and wrinkle-free. Do not make contact with the film or it will melt and you'll have to replace it. After that, you're ready to re-hang your curtains and blinds.