Cheap and Effective Seasonal Double Glazing

One of our draughty sash windows
One of our draughty sash windows

Do you have draughty windows?

My family and I recently moved home which was just fantastic, once we had recovered from the stress of moving! As the autumn came and went and the winter weather started to creep up on us we started to notice the house was obviously getting more and more cold.

Having just bought a house money isn't growing on trees for us so we had to think of some cheap and effective ways to protect the heat in our house to keep ourselves not only warm but in good health as well. One of our big issues were our windows. Old sash windows. Very old sash windows! The draughts coming through these were astonishing, blowing our curtains and blinds in bad winds and we knew straight away that most of our heat was leaving the house via the big gaps in the old frames.

What were our options?

The obvious option is to buy new uPVC double glazing. But this is expensive and as much as these windows are cold I love the sash windows. They take pride of place in our house which was built in 1898 and just keep the original character alive. There's always the option of secondary double glazing, which is much cheaper than uPVC double glazing but for all the windows in a house can still add up to quite a cost.

I researched companies who can renovate the sash windows to their former glory, also adding additional brushes to block the draughts. This is not as expensive as buying all new windows but still above our measly budget.

Then I looked into seasonal double glazing, something I'd heard of but never seen or used. It also comes in many guises. You can purchase magnetic strips to put around the frame and each winter put up cast acrylic or even polystyrene sheets at differing levels of thickness to provide different degrees of insulation. You can attach them with screws, or seated into lips attached to the window frame. All these options are great, and not very expensive, although you will need somewhere to store this alternative double glazing during the summer periods.

As I mentioned though, we really don't have much money at the moment, and even this option would have been stretching our budget somewhat, so what else was available to us? Well, I came across seasonal double glazing film. It comes with a roll of double-sided sticky tape you can place around the window frame and a rather large sheet of film, enough for 4-5 of our sash windows. I can't give you an exact amount as we ran out of tape, it appears they don't supply enough tape to go with the amount of film provided. So we will be popping down to a stationers to try some tape from there today so we can finish off the last window in the house.

Installation

It's a fairly fiddly process to put up the film once you have the tape around the sides, but with two people it can be performed quite easily. Once the film is up, don't worry too much about the smaller wrinkles, as a quick run over with some heat from a hair dryer will tighten the film and like magic, all the wrinkles and creases will disappear.

Summary

Don't get me wrong, you will still have some heat transfer as this double glazing is only a very thin film of plastic, but it blocks the draughts brilliantly. Our heat is no longer being sucked straight out of the house and replaced by cool blustery winds. It's helped warm our house by a noticeable couple of degrees all by itself which has turned our house from being unbearable to slightly comfortable. Now with just a little heating applied around the house it's perfect and we're looking forward to a great Christmas season in our new home.

If any of you are out there and feeling a bit chilly due to old windows, seriously think about getting your hands on some of this double glazing film, it's made my family a lot happier in our new home and saved me from some more complaints about the cold!

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© 2011 itsmonkeyboy

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Comments 11 comments

Acheolis profile image

Acheolis 5 years ago from USA

I love old everything! Never in my life have I heard about this glaze film.We are about to move and this will come in handy if someone tells me the beautiful windows have to go. Thanks !


Emma Harvey profile image

Emma Harvey 5 years ago from Berkshire, UK

This is a great idea. I had never heard of this film, but other people have said it's been around for years. If it is cheap and effective, it is worth trying for sure - especially on old features you don't want to replace with upvc.


itsmonkeyboy profile image

itsmonkeyboy 5 years ago from London, UK Author

You're welcome Acheolis. It should be available pretty much most places and is very cheap, but works well!


itsmonkeyboy profile image

itsmonkeyboy 5 years ago from London, UK Author

Thanks Emma, keeping the sash windows just feels very important to me so may have to perform some renovations next year if we can afford it, but till then the double glazing film should do the job!


RedElf profile image

RedElf 5 years ago from Canada

Great hub - I wish we could replace all our old windows right now. That's not in the cards right now though. Oh well - out with the insulating film.


Pcunix profile image

Pcunix 5 years ago from SE MA

Take a look at my hub on bubble-wrap. We can only use this on our back windows (well, my wife will only LET me use it there), but those are the coldest for us. It's titled "Saving heating dollars this winter" (I don't like to put links in other folks hubs, but it should be easy to find).


itsmonkeyboy profile image

itsmonkeyboy 5 years ago from London, UK Author

Thanks Pcunix, I shall check it out.


Earthy Mother profile image

Earthy Mother 4 years ago from Southeast England

I've put this stuff up two years in a row now as we cannot afford a new bathroom window so nice to see I'm not alone in doing this! Defo keeps out that niggling draught at bath time! Voted up!


itsmonkeyboy profile image

itsmonkeyboy 4 years ago from London, UK Author

Thank you for the vote Earthy Mother, it certainly has been helping considerably. I think a lot of people are probably using this cheap option for double glazing. Of course it will never be as good as proper double glazing, but then it's nowhere near as expensive. Make sure you keep warm this winter!


Ardie profile image

Ardie 4 years ago from Neverland

This is THE best article I've read in ages! My house is very old and very drafty but I love my old style windows too. They just fit the house and living in the middle of the woods. Its more rustic :) I will bookmark this article for next winter to better insulate my windows...thankfully this has been a mild winter so doing nothing has worked out alright.


itsmonkeyboy profile image

itsmonkeyboy 4 years ago from London, UK Author

Thank you Ardie, I hope this helps you. We have a real cold snap here at the moment and this glazing is really helping with the draughts. It doesn't necessarily keep all that much heat in/cold out but the fact it stops the draughts is a real life saver.

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