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How to Install Window Plastic to Reduce Your Electricity Bill.

Updated on September 28, 2013

Older homes have more drafts than the home owners would like to admit -- around the exterior doors and the windows. Even the slights bit of a draft can allow cold air into your home in the winter and hot air in the home during the summer. This affects how much your air conditioner and furnace runs, which in turn can cause your electricity bill to increase.

If you're tired of paying an arm-and-a-leg every month when you get your bill, fix the problem... And, no you don't have to buy a new house or a new A/C unit.

You can fix the drafts.

  • Replace old, dry and cracked weather seals on your exterior doors.
  • Check the seal on the outside of your windows -- look for any cracks or gaps around the pane. If you see any, you'll want to reseal your windows. If your windows are old and you can't remember the last time they've been sealed, go ahead and seal them.

This alone will make a difference in your electricity bill.

But, don't stop there. During the winter and summer months, put plastic over all the windows in your home. Even after resealing your windows, plastic will help any other drafts from getting into your home, especially if you have older windows.

Insulate Your Windows with Plastic

When you think about putting plastic over your windows, you're probably thinking about grandma's windows... The plastic bubbled, crinkled and looked plain ugly.

That's exactly what I'm talking about... Except, you're going to put use plastic that is crystal clear and shrinks tight on your window. You won't be able to see it from the outside, and it'll be hard to see from the inside.

No one will know that you have plastic on your windows, especially if you use curtains and blinds to cover the sides of your windows.

Installation

  1. Clean your windows. You want to remove the dust and debris from your window seal and molding. You'll need a clean place to work, and the tape will not get a good grip if there is too much debris around the window.
  2. Measure your window and add an inch to each side so that when you cut the plastic, you have plenty to work with.
  3. Apply the double-sided tape around the window. I find that it's best to put the tape about a quarter of an inch away from the interior side of the molding. You may prefer to place the tape along the edge of the frame, where the frame meets the wall.
  4. Starting with one of the top corners, take your plastic and stick it to the tape. Let the plastic overlap the edge of the tape. Try to get the plastic as tight as you can without it bubbling and wrinkling too much.
  5. As you lay the plastic wrap over the tape, make sure to press the tape to the window to create a tight seal.
  6. Using a hair dryer, go over the plastic to remove the wrinkles and create a tight seal.

You can use crystal-clear packing tape around the edges of the plastic for better adhesive and a longer lasting seal.

You'll want to replace the plastic at least once a year, so that you continue to use tape with a good seal. Some people change the plastic after winter and then again after summer, whereas others may only replace the plastic over the window after summer.

3M Window Insulator Kit

Kit includes:

  • Plastic shrink film
  • Double-sided tape

The tape can be applied to painted or varnished wood molding, aluminum and vinyl-clad, but you do not want to use this product on veneer paneling or Lauan mahogany molding. This kit includes enough product to cover about five standard 3 foot by 5 foot windows.

Amazon reviewers give this product 4.2 out of 5 stars.

The biggest complaint is that the tape doesn't keep the plastic on the window for long.

Duck Window Insulator Kit

Kit includes:

  • Plastic shrink film
  • Double-sided tape
  • Alcohol wipes to prep the window

The Duck brand window kit works well in painted or varnished wood, aluminum and vinyl. The kit includes enough plastic to cover about ten standard-size 3 foot by 5 foot windows.

Amazon reviewers give this product 4 out of 5 stars.

The biggest complaint is that the tape is weak. Many users had no problem getting the tape to stick to the window seal, but not the plastic.

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