Keeping the cold out of your windows

ggksOctober 11, 2009

Here is what I do to keep the cold from coming in thru the closed windows.

Wash the glass. When dry take some small- bubble wrap. Measure the glass, not the frame, cut the bubble wrap the same size as the inside of the window. Spray the glass with water using a clean spray bottle and apply the bubble wrap, smooth side to the glass. You cannot see thru it but the sun and light can come in. ggks

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macv

But then you've got bubble wrap all over your windows, right?

    Bookmark   October 11, 2009 at 6:47PM
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probookie

That sounds like an excellent temporary measure when climate control is the paramount concern and budget is a limiting factor. Thanks, ggks!

    Bookmark   October 13, 2009 at 8:41AM
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andrelaplume2

does that platic shrink stuff actually do anything to make a room warmer or does it just make a window less draft. e habe 20 year old double hungs with storms. They are a bit draft. Even if not, I always wondered if the shrink stuff would make a difference in the comfort of the room and perhaps my energy bill.

    Bookmark   October 17, 2009 at 12:24AM
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macv

It's cheaper, easier and more energy efficient to cover the entire window with a clear plastic sheet that can be heat shrunk to be tight. It is sold in hardware stores and lumberyards.

The link below explains all of these DIY methods. Scroll down for windows.

Here is a link that might be useful: window treatment

    Bookmark   October 17, 2009 at 10:54AM
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brickeyee

"...platic shrink stuff actually do anything to make a room warmer or does it just make a window less draft. e"

Mostly stops infiltration (the draft you feel) but the trapped volume of air does have a small insulation value.

    Bookmark   October 17, 2009 at 3:57PM
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macv

The air space saves roughly the same amount of heat as the space between double pane insulating glass.

Remember that any in R-value saves more heat than similar subsequent increases. Don't ignore the benefit of the first few R-value numbers, an R-value increase of 1 in an assembly with an R-value of 1 (single pane glass) cuts the heat loss in half not to mention air infiltration.

    Bookmark   October 18, 2009 at 5:32PM
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homebound

To combat the cold I prefer to make a pair of pants and pullover out of bubble wrap. Less work than doing all the windows and it looks great. (Not so good for sneaking in from a late night out, though.)

But more seriously, when there's a draft, one of the first things to check is whether the upper sash is fully closed - too often they drop down and then folks wonder why their windows don't lock any more. This breaks the seal between the sashes, and also leaves a thin gap above the upper one.

    Bookmark   October 19, 2009 at 8:57AM
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tryinbrian

I'm down for the bubblewrap suit, homebound! Like a layer of fat that the walruses use to keep warm. Now I just wish I had saved some of that stuff from the last package I received.

I'm thinking it might be a conversation starter to boot!

    Bookmark   October 19, 2009 at 4:02PM
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homebound

Heh he. Come to think of it, Halloween is right around the corner.

    Bookmark   October 19, 2009 at 8:46PM
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macv

Bubble warp is so misunderstood.

    Bookmark   October 19, 2009 at 11:24PM
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brickeyee

"The air space saves roughly the same amount of heat as the space between double pane insulating glass."

Only if the space is less than about 1/2 inch.

Larger spaces allow convection air currents to flow, defeating their insulation value.

    Bookmark   October 20, 2009 at 9:24AM
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andrelaplume2

so that plastic stuff is worthwhile?

    Bookmark   October 20, 2009 at 12:55PM
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macv

This is a temporary method of reducing heat loss, not a design for a wall system.

    Bookmark   October 20, 2009 at 7:25PM
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jbuilder

wow, i can't imagine that bubblewrap stuck to a window with water (!?!) is a very effective solution. at least get a roll of clear self-adhesive window protection film that is made for this surface. the adhesive nature of it may allow you to cover up some air gaps as well.

Here is a link that might be useful: window protection plastic film

    Bookmark   October 21, 2009 at 5:15PM
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andrelaplume2

I guess what I was asking was if I used the platic on my windows...will the room feel any warmer and will I see any noticable savings on my heating bill?

    Bookmark   October 22, 2009 at 1:16PM
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brickeyee

"I guess what I was asking was if I used the platic on my windows...will the room feel any warmer and will I see any noticable savings on my heating bill?"

To the extent you can reduce infiltration losses, it will help.

    Bookmark   October 22, 2009 at 1:54PM
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drywall_diy_guy

Shrink film saves a lot of energy on old windows, even if the space is more than 1/2". The film stops convective heat losses (air moving heat out through gaps), and these convective losses are huge compared to conductive losses. And they even help a lot on newer windows. I have a bay window that fogs up badly. I order some extra screens for the crankouts and replaced the screen with film. Then put some thin foam on the backsides to create an airtight seal. No more fogging and a lot of heat saved since these crankouts did not close absolutely tight (convective losses). Also, my middle bay window between the crankouts would fog - I made a storm from screen window storm frame and put shrink film on. This middle window is kept in place with some clear plastic tabs and there is also foam on the back to create a seal. The result is no more fog. If the convection within the space was wasting much of the heat, I would see condensation but I don't.

    Bookmark   October 23, 2009 at 10:36PM
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deborah1950

I hope this isn't off topic, but do you think wood plantation shutters would help with heat loss? I have heard that they do, but I wonder. We need window treatments for our double hung windows that are original to the 1940's house. We are replacing the upstairs windows, but not the downstairs. They are 6 over 6 muntins, double hung, and we just paid to have them painted. I really like the look of them, but some of the storms are in need of help. Suggestions?

    Bookmark   October 24, 2009 at 1:03AM
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