It is often not so crucial whether your heating is good enough, but whether your windows are well insulated. If you want to preserve the heat of your home, you should insulate windows in your home as soon as the colder weather begins. The result of that small and often inexpensive effort will be felt almost instantly. Let’s consider the options you have.
How to Insulate Windows from Cold
1. Secondary glazing
If you want to insulate windows in your home in the long run, you should think of secondary glazing. It is actually window panes with a thin frame.
After installing it on the inside of the window, the space between the secondary glazing and window will create a so-called buffer zone without airflow.
It is a convenient and discreet option, especially for heritage houses. Secondary glazing will improve the thermal performance of each window without affecting the appearance of the building negatively.
2. Thermal curtains
Thermal curtains have a special lining that will help to insulate windows effectively if you cover them entirely. Unfortunately, curtains block sunlight at the same time, but you can solve that by attaching them to a window curtain rod. That way, you can tie your curtains on the side throughout the day.
The best advantage of their usage is the prevention of airflow. Consequently, curtains will hold warm air inside your home during a cold period of the year and keep the house cool during the summer. Plus, they will reduce outside sounds and improve the beauty of your room thanks to different colors and designs.
One of the most practical solutions is adding bathroom window curtains. They will protect your privacy and keep your bathroom well-insulated.
3. Cellular shades
As a reliable alternative to curtains, cellular shades will insulate windows powerfully thanks to ‘honeycomb cells’ they contain. These cells will keep your house warm by ‘catching’ warm air.
Therefore, you should install your cellular shades as close to the window panes as possible. Plus, if you pick out the right dimensions fitting your windows and hold their sides tight to the wall, they will create a convenient sealed air space.
Keep in mind that a combination of curtains and cellular shades provides double insulating power. However, it can be quite expensive option.
4. Window insulation panels
One of the excellent options is to insulate windows with insulation panels. It will be enough to set up the aluminum frame to the interior side of the existing windows in your home.
These frames have a type of weatherstripping at the perimeter that can seal the windows. Basically, you can finish the entire job by yourself since a panel kit contains instructions and all the necessary components for insulation.
Always measure windows accurately before purchasing the window insulation kit to make sure that the panel fits appropriately.
When you achieve that, a secondary air pocket will be created between the existing window and the panel itself. Consequently, if there is any leaking through cracks, the excess air will get trapped inside that pocket.
5. Window insulation film
A window film is an excellent and practical solution to insulate windows in your house successfully. It will create an insulating barrier between the window and the interior of the house.
You can purchase a kit in a local store. It includes plastic shrink film and double-sided sticky tape. Measure what size of the film you need and cut it precisely.
Use the double-sided tape to apply the film to the indoor window frame and heat it with a hairdryer to remove folds.
The advantage of this inexpensive solution is its simplicity. You won’t have any trouble applying and removing this film. When you decide to take it out, it is better to soak the tape in rubbing alcohol. That way, you will minimize the occurrence of any damage and problems with sticky residues.
The negative side of this solution is that it is not aesthetically pleasing. Even though light can still shine through, the window will look blur.
6. Removable magnetic window insulation
There is one more excellent solution to insulate windows in your home, especially if you want to open them from time to time during the winter.
Instead of impractical tape, this solution includes magnets holding the insulating vinyl over the window. Thanks to them, you can put on or out a cover as desired.
The procedure of installation is not complicated. Apply a few coats of magnetic paint to the trim of every window you want to insulate.
After measuring the vinyl, you need to cut it appropriately to fit the window. Then attach magnetic tape to it. The principle is based on the connection between the magnetic tape and magnetic paint that will hold the vinyl on the place.
7. Bubble wrap
I like bursting bubbles among my fingers, but don’t find bubble wrap the most beautiful way to insulate windows. However, it is a convenient, practical, and cheap solution.
Always pick out bubble wrap with larger bubbles since they provide better insulation than smaller ones. Start by spraying a mist of water over the glass surface of the window panes.
Then, press the bubble side of the wrap to the moist window. If you have a problem with placing it, you can add some glycerin to the water.
In the end, don’t forget to seal the edges with double-sided tape to keep it attached to the glass. The great thing is that you can apply bubble wrap within a few minutes.
The disadvantage of this solution is that bubble wrap blocks the view. On the other side, it will allow unobstructed passage of light through the window. Also, be careful since the tape can leave a trace of glue and raise the color when you try to peel it off.
8. Rope caulk
Have you ever thought that it is possible to insulate windows with rope caulk? Actually, it is a useful option for sealing possible cracks. Purchase a package of a long, rolled rope caulk in a local store and cut it in pieces which length depends on the dimensions of your windows.
Then, put it into free spaces along the edges of the window panes. Repeat the procedure on the outside of the windows, if possible, to get extra insulation. Once you want to remove the caulk, it will be enough to peel it away with a knife or your own fingers.
9. Rubber weather sealing
Buy self-adhesive weather sealing strips in the local store and cut them to match the size of your windows. Then, seal the strips off along the inner edges of the frame.
It is an inexpensive and quick option to insulate windows in your home. Keep in mind that it is necessary to replace the strips from time to time.
When you try to peel old strips away, you will probably notice a colored residue. It won’t be a problem if you plan to add new ones right away. Otherwise, you may need to paint the area.
10. Weather-seal tape
If your windows don’t seal properly, one of the options to solve this problem is a weather-seal tape. You can choose among different types to insulate windows, but foam strips are the most popular, easy to use, and cheap.
Measure the width and height of your window and cut a strip of the tape of appropriate length. Place it along the edge of the window, and it will prevent airflow for several months.
Basically, the weather-seal tape is a temporary fix. Keep in mind that it will leave the glue residue on your window after removing it.
11. High-performance sealant
It is a more durable solution than rope caulk, regardless of whether you want to use low-expansion foam or high-performance caulk sealant.
You will need a caulk gun to squeeze the sealant into the gaps along the exterior window edge or a shooter foam gun if you choose to apply expansion foam.
Make sure to apply the sealant or foam without breaking the lane. After it cures, the sealant will block airflow and moisture, and prevent the growth of mildew, as well. The great thing is that you can use it on most building materials.
12. Draft snake
The beauty of this solution is in its simplicity. Pick out the fabric in the desired color and sew the draft snake as an elegant solution to insulate windows in your home. You can choose various fillings, such as polyester stuffing, chopped sponge, and dried rice.
Take care that the tube matches the width of each window you need to insulate. Then place it along the inside bottom of the window. Unfortunately, you can’t use your draft snake to seal the top and sides of the window.
13. Nail polish
If you notice small cracks in the glass of your window, you can solve the problem by painting them with nail polish. It is not a complicated procedure. Apply a few coats of colorless nail polish directly over the fissures. Always let each coat dries entirely before applying the next one.
Keep in mind that this is not a permanent solution. The nail polish can seal the damaged area and prevent the spreading of cracks for a few months. Be prepared that you will need to replace cracked window glass eventually.