How Effective is Plastic Window Film

Maybe you’ve seen it covering windows in older homes, or you’ve run across a package of it at your local hardware store. But is plastic window film really beneficial? In this post we share our take on the pros and cons of installing plastic window film on your home’s windows.

Read on to learn if this inexpensive and simple product is worth your time!

What is Plastic Window Film and How Does It Work?

Plastic window film is a thin plastic sheeting that homeowners can install over their windows to increase the insulation of their glass panes. Adhered to the window frame using removable, double-sided tape, the window film is sealed and tightened with the aid of hot air from a hair dryer. This inexpensive, temporary insulation serves as a quick and straightforward way to save some money on your heating bill each winter without upgrading your windows to newer models.

How to Put Plastic Window Film on Windows

Plastic window film kits can be purchased online, at big box stores or at your local hardware store. Once you purchase your kit, you’ll need to:

  1. Remove any curtains, shades or drapery.
  2. Thoroughly clean the window glass, window seal and weather stripping. Lock the window. The window lock and interior window glass will be unreachable once the plastic has been installed.
  3. Measure your window and add an inch to each side.
  4. Cut the plastic to size.
  5. Install double-sided adhesive tape (often included in the kits) to the window frame.
  6. Carefully adhere window plastic to the double-sided tape. Try to place the plastic straight on the tape and to pull it tight without pulling it off the adhesive.
  7. Using a hair dryer on the lowest setting, heat the plastic over the frame. The plastic will shrink, providing a tight fit. Begin with the corners and work your way toward the middle. Be careful not touch the hair dryer to the plastic!
  8. Replace curtains or drapery.

Plastic Window Insulation Effectiveness: Is It Worth It?

The simple answer? Yes. If your home has older, single pane windows, installing plastic window insulation is absolutely going to make a difference to the feel of your room and the heft of your wallet. Windows and doors are a major source of heat loss, and anything you do to mitigate this loss will positively affect your bottom line.

That being said, there’s only so much heat loss that plastic window film can mitigate. The introduction of window film will not drastically improve the efficiency of windows or window frames with structural damage. Further, with plastic window film you’ll need to re-install it every late fall … or choose to never open your windows again.

If you’re looking for a more permanent solution to drafty windows, call Glass Doctor. From repair to full window replacement, our local technicians are equipped to handle any window problem. Let Glass Doctor fix and insulate your panes! Schedule an appointment online or contact your local Glass Doctor for a free consultation.

Proper house ventilation is another key factor when it comes to keeping your home warm in the winter and cool in the summer. House ventilation is determined by your HVAC system. Learn how to tell if your home is well ventilated from our friends at Aire Serv. Like Glass Doctor, Aire Serv is part of the Neighborly family of trusted home service professionals.