Author Topic: Window Cover Recommendations  (Read 4767 times)


  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
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Window Cover Recommendations
« on: November 13, 2013, 06:52:08 AM »
Has anyone had success sealing their windows with those shrink wrap kits? We live in the northeast in an old apartment with drafty windows. I'm looking for any recommendations for good brands, tips, or alternative suggestions.  The kits seem cheap ($10-15 per Amazon) but will they really help the bottom line of our heating bill?

Thanks all!


  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
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Re: Window Cover Recommendations
« Reply #1 on: November 13, 2013, 11:13:34 AM »
I didn't have any luck with them. I put them on my basement windows last winter. Unfortunately, the wall is made of cement blocks which made it difficult for the tape to stick to it. It took only about a month before they were blown off due to the cold air passing through.
This year, I decided to use a draft stop caulking around the windows. I'm anxious to see if it will make a difference on my heating bill.


  • Handlebar Stache
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Re: Window Cover Recommendations
« Reply #2 on: November 13, 2013, 12:33:19 PM »
We don't live in a terribly cold climate, so I really don't know about helping your heating bill (although my sis-in-law swore by them in WI). 

However, we wrapped our one drafty window for a couple years before we replaced it, and it really helped that room.  Before wrapping, on windy days we'd see the drapes move.  After wrapping, we'd see the plastic "breathe" (swell and relax).  But no breeze in the room.

We had wood trim, and could easily get a good seal with the included tape.  The hair dryer tightened it so it wasn't particularly noticeable.

Can you get one locally (big box and hardware stores carry them around here).  See if your trim allows you to get a good seal before buying a bunch.


  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
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Re: Window Cover Recommendations
« Reply #3 on: November 13, 2013, 12:47:49 PM »
If your windows aren't sealed, look at replacing worn out seals on the window first.  I found that my 30 yr old windows had a plastic tape with a fuzzy strip on it that was the seal.  I found that the local big box hardware store sold an exact replacement for it.  I just lifted the window out of the frame and replaced the seals.  No more drafts.

Next you can increase the R value of the window using the plastic mentioned on the other posts. It adds a dead air space that has a small R value similar to that provided by a double pane window.


  • Bristles
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Re: Window Cover Recommendations
« Reply #4 on: November 13, 2013, 02:43:28 PM »
I have done it and had success.  I think the "brand name" 3M is better than alternatives because of the tape. 

It is best if you can set your blinds/ curtains as you like inside the window and then put the plastic around the outside, on the same plane as your wall.  It is much harder to get the tape to stick to the sides of the window "well" when the plastic is perpendicular to the window/ plastic.

As a renter, you might not be allowed to caulk or do other more permanent things. 

The plastic works by blocking the drafts but also be creating a cushion of air that insulates your room from hat loss through the window pain.  Air is an excellent insulator, so even if your windows aren't drafty, the plastic will work. 

I didn't pay attention to cost, but instead to whether I felt freezing cold or not.  It made a noticeable difference in my apartment which has aluminum "storm windows" and older wood frame windows.


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  • Pencil Stache
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Re: Window Cover Recommendations
« Reply #5 on: November 13, 2013, 02:51:13 PM »
I've had good luck with these and have already bought a kit (but not installed) for this winter. The kit I bought was for two windows and about $5 at my neighborhood hardware store. Air is a good insulator and it really does help to have the plastic if your windows are drafty. My favorite place to sit is right next to a window and even with updated seals I can feel a breeze through the closed window-- the plastic improves things dramatically. I can't speak to utility bills as I live in a multi-unit building and utilities are included.

Last year I bought a kit from Bed Bath & Beyond (can't remember name brand of the actual kit, but it was the only kind I saw at BB&B). It was a dud-- despite prepping the surface as instructed the tape would not stick to my window at all. On the very same window that had been successfully covered in plastic the year before.


  • Pencil Stache
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Re: Window Cover Recommendations
« Reply #6 on: November 13, 2013, 02:57:34 PM »
Yes they work great!!! I have used 'frost king' brand which is what is sold in the big box stores around here (northern New England). They work best to reduce drafts so if your windows seal well they are not worth it. If you can feel a breeze though get cracking! As others have mentioned some materials are easier to stick to than others. Take the extra time to clean the window frame with a rag and let it dry so tape will stick. Also push really hard to get the tape stuck before you peel it and put the plastic on. You'll get the hang of it -it is not hard. I've had the best luck on wooden window frames. i have also pulled off some paint (which i subsequently touched up easily). Bathrooms dont work well due to all the moisture but you can try. If you do it right you can't even tell in terms of light and I too have seen the breeze puff the plastic out.  Even as a renter this is well worth the time and money as it helps a lot!!


  • Walrus Stache
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Re: Window Cover Recommendations
« Reply #7 on: November 13, 2013, 05:47:47 PM »
We had great success with it in our old mobile home. I'll second the suggestion to wash the area where you want to stick the plastic with a rag and let it dry before applying -- makes a big difference. Also, even if you think it looks great without the hair dryer shrinking step (I did), give it a try anyway because it looks much better afterward.


  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
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Re: Window Cover Recommendations
« Reply #8 on: November 14, 2013, 10:40:19 AM »
Thanks everyone!

We 'splurged' on the 3M brand thanks to the tape recommendation (makes perfect sense). We had to get 2 packs because there are 9+ windows to cover, so it ended up costing about $33. I'll be able to compare our bill this month (without the covers) to the next few months to see about the savings. My guess is we'll save more than $33 over the course of the winter. Not feeling a steady draft is certainly worth that much alone.