How to: Winterize Your Windows with Insulation Film

Posted: 11/20/2012

  1. Getting started: Go to the nearest hardware store and look for a shrink film insulation kit. 
  2. Choose the windows you want to insulate: You won't be able to open the window without removing the film, so leave at least one window near the kitchen without insulation in case you have to air it out. You may want to leave windows on opposite ends of the house without the insulation to open them for a breeze if the temperature warms up and you want some fresh air coming in.
  3. Prepare the windows: Remove debris from around the lower sash, close the window, lock it, clean the window and frame, and clean and adjust the blinds if any.
  4. Apply the tape to the frame. It goes on the front of the molding and on the sill right in front of the vertical moldings. Put it just inside a ridge on the molding, if the style has one, to keep it straight and protected by the molding edge. Cut an end in the proper place with a scissors before laying it down. When you finish one piece, rub down the corner and peel the backing paper about an inch (a few centimeters) to overlap it with the next piece.
  5. Unpack the film and think about how to best fit the film to the window. If you have individual window-sized sheets, it should be easy, but if you have very tall windows measure first. It may be a tight fit so you'll have to leave narrow margins, or even extend the film to reach the full length.
  6. Unfold the first 12 inches of film along the entire width of the window and work down the window attaching the film. Unroll about six inches at a time from the bundle of film, peel the tape backing paper off (or pull it off all at once), and stick the film to the tape. Keep the sides slightly taut and even from side to side. Wrinkles are OK: they will be removed later.
  7. Carefully rub down the film onto the tape all the way round with a clean cloth and Trim the excess film with a snap-off knife. 
  8. Use a hair dryer to shrink the film, removing wrinkles. Hold it a few inches away; you'll see the film begin to shrink. Work in a pattern, for instance, a spiral from the corners towards the center and don't try to shrink one area enough to remove all wrinkles before proceeding to the next. That will cause uneven tension and, possibly, separate the film from the tape.

By using this simple solution you stay comfortable during winter and contribute with the environment by using less heat to keep your home warm.