Skip to Content

Plastic for Windows: Is It A Good Idea for Winter?

Plastic for Windows: Is It A Good Idea for Winter?

You can find many different opinions on the Net about the plastic for windows, and you can quickly get lost if you don’t know what signs to follow. Sometimes it is hard to recognize the correct information. Some experts recommend using plastic for windows, but there are a lot of them who are against this method.

Therefore, you should check the issue carefully before deciding if it is the right way of insulation for you. That way, you can determine if you need plastic for windows and what to expect of this product. Also, keep in mind that weather conditions in the region where you live, type of windows in your house, your budget, and draft problems make the solution even more complicated.

Plastic for Windows: How Does It Work?

After applying the plastic for windows, you will actually make a weather barrier, so-called seal. The air kept between the window and plastic is a kind of air insulator that provides extra insulation on your window and keep your home warmer during the winter.

Plastic for windows will decrease the draft, which makes sitting next to the window relaxing and cozy again. Furthermore, you will automatically reduce the cost of your heating by increasing insulation.

According to relevant data, you can save from 15% to 55% of energy in the simplest way possible. However, it will depend on the state of your windows and the weather conditions in the region you live in.

One more thing! In case you have a single-pane window, plastic for windows will improve the R-value of your window vastly.

Where to Implement the Plastic for Windows?

You can apply the plastic for windows in two ways, from the inside and the outside of your window.

Since adverse weather conditions impact the outside of your window, you should use stronger plastic if you place it there. It needs to withstand strong winds, snow, blizzards, and heavy rains. The negative side of outside plastic concerns an aesthetic issue since it doesn’t look nice.

However, you can pick out the inside plastic for windows, as well. It is a better option since it is thinner, saves energy, looks not bad, and you can see clearly through it. All in all, it seems that inside plastic for windows has more advantages.

When placing the plastic over your window, a tampon zone in between them will create the air insulation. Keep in mind that the window locks are always between the window and plastic wrap. That means you don’t need to do additional trims and cuts for locks, window regulators, and handles.

What Is Plastic for Windows?

Plastic for windows is a thin, transparent folium through which you can see. It resembles the plastic foil for food covering. However, it is of better quality, thicker, and much more durable. You can purchase it in every hardware store all over the US or order it from the Net.

The plastic for windows comes in different packages, so-called window insulation kits. They contain an explanation of how to use the insulation materials and the list of items you need to insulate your window.

You can choose among a few models that differ in the quality of plastic and price. The only additional equipment you need for applying the folium is scissors and hairdryer.

Energy Star has characterized plastic for windows as an efficient and environmentally friendly solution because it saves from 20 to 50% energy. Therefore, once you decide to purchase this product, you should look for an energy star label on it. The energy star kit guarantees the quality of the equipment, hence the quality of your window insulation.

Who Is Eligible to Use Plastic for Windows?

If you have leaky holes that let the cold air in during the long freezing nights, you are the right person to apply plastic for windows. Furthermore, if you have old, single-pane windows, and you can feel the draft circulating through your home, it is time to apply this plastic and keep your home warmer.

Every construction expert will advise you to replace old windows with new ones since it is the best decision you can make. However, if you are still not ready for such an expensive step, plastic for windows can be an effective and reliable option.

Unfortunately, this is a temporary solution since you need to remove the plastic once the weather becomes better and reapply it again when the weather becomes colder. On the other hand, you can use plastic for windows all year round if you prefer that way, as it can save energy during the hot days, as well.

During the summer, this plastic wrapping will keep the freshness inside your house. It will reduce the use of a window air conditioner, which will preserve energy. Moreover, it will shield your furniture from UV light coming through the window and consequently fading.

Advantages and Disadvantages of Plastic for Windows

Advantages and Disadvantages of Plastic for Windows

As I have mentioned above, many experts have different opinions towards using plastic for windows in the house. Let’s stick to the facts and see all of the positive and negative sides of this product in one place. It will help you to make the decision undoubtedly.


Budget – In case you are not in the situation to replace your old windows, and you look for a quick, cheap, and energy-efficient solution, plastic for windows is the right choice for you.

It will save energy, meaning your bills for gas and electricity will be less than usual. Not only will plastics keep your home warmer during the winter, but it can prevent the cold air from your window air conditioner from going out of your home during the summer.

Availability – The window insulation kit is cheap, easy-to-use, and you can find it in any hardware store. Plus, you can choose among different packaging, certified manufacturers, and brands depending on your needs and preferences.

Improving window function – If you have windows that are not of good quality, plastic for windows produced by better brands will enhance their function. Although it is just a temporary solution, this plastic will help you save money through lower electricity and gas bills. You can always invest that money in buying new windows.

Preventing draft – If you can’t stand the draft at your home caused by leaks and holes between windows and walls, plastic for windows can make this problem disappear. Smartly insulating the opposite windows will decrease the circulation of air in your home and keep it warm.

Saving privacy – If you live in a noisy neighborhood with people who like peeking through your windows without respect for your privacy, you are an ideal candidate for outdoor plastic for windows. Maybe it doesn’t look great from the outside, but you will get rid of your curious neighbors for sure.

Protection – When keeping the plastic for windows all year round, you will avoid hazardous UV effects, which can fade your furniture, wallpapers, and curtains. That means the protective UV film in plastic can be useful during the summer, as well.

Broken glass – If you live in a not so safe neighborhood, you can face an issue with a broken window. When it burst, tiny pieces will scatter all over the room, and it can be challenging to clean them.

Fortunately, the broken glass effect can be less harmful if there is plastic for windows over it. It will smoothen the mess and speed up the cleaning of glass pieces.


Loosing of guarantee – Some windows have the guarantee for several years after installing. If you apply plastic for windows, the manufacturer or building company can cancel that warranty. Therefore, you should read the guarantee list carefully before deciding to implement this type of cover over your windows.

Variation in quality and price – It is OK to be picky when it comes to choosing between different window insulation kits since they can vary drastically in quality and price. It is always a good idea to stick to the brand you trust, especially if it is present on the market for a long time.

Temporary option – Plastic for windows is not a permanent solution for the problem with leaky windows and drafts. Sooner or later, you will need to purchase and install new windows to improve the quality of your life.


After taking into consideration all the desiring sides and downsides of plastic for windows, you can choose the window insulation kit according to your preferences. If you are skillful, you can read the instruction on how to install it and finish the job on your own. On the other hand, you can call the expert to do it for you. However, keep in mind that it will cost you more money.

In any case, you will see all the benefits of plastic covering very soon after applying it. With a little effort, you will be able to get rid of the draft, curious neighbors, and save a considerable sum of money on lower energy bills.


Wednesday 28th of September 2022

just want to thank you the info i received is very good

Paula D. Clark

Sunday 1st of May 2022

My newly installed Renewal by Andersen seem very cold and leaky. I put plastic around some of the windows, the plastic bulges inward. Does anyone know if this is normal? Renewal by Andersen said it is normal to bulge into the room due to negative pressure inside the house and positive pressure outside.

Jeff Brawner

Thursday 16th of February 2023

Paula, that’s disturbing to hear with new windows. I’m thinking of having my 1984 sliding patio door replaced by these people for this very reason. Cold air appears to be pouring into my condo from somewhere on the glass/door. A plastic cover over it bulges inward even with no breeze outside. I can see old windows doing this from negative pressure, but would expect new windows to be sealed with no air gaps. Especially with the prices Anderson charges.