Thursday, February 10, 2011

Insulating Old Windows Makes A Big Difference

Holy cow. Last night it got down to -7 degrees in Cleveland. Chilled to the bone. When these cold temps hit you really start to wonder how much heat your house is letting out and how much energy you're wasting.

Our house was built in 1921 and, while we've replaced some of the windows, there are others we haven't gotten around to. There is a noticeable difference in temperature from the rooms that have new windows and those that don't. Last year at this time I dreaded getting out of bed to go to the bathroom because our bathroom was so one of those rooms we didn't get around to.

This fall we decided to put up plastic wrap over all of the older windows in our house. We purchased the wrap from our local Home Depot for about $6 a box and installed them ourselves in one evening. All you need is the kit from Home Depot, scissors, and a hair dryer.

The kit offers detailed instructions on how to put up the wrap, but it's fairly simple. You place the double-sided tape around the window frame, cut the plastic wrap to your desired length (definitely leave a few extra inches on each side for shrinkage/mistakes), and attach the wrap to the tape, one side at a time. Once all sides have been attached, use a blow dryer at low speed on a medium heat setting until you notice that the plastic wrap is shrinking and smoothing out. Unlike my hubby, don't let it pull too tight or the edges will pull apart over time.  One of our window wraps did come apart and you can feel a noticeable breeze at the opening.

Although I don't have specific figures of the energy saved, I can tell you that they make a huge difference in the temperature of a room. And while we put ours up at the end of fall, they're definitely still worthwhile to put up now. These cold temps aren't letting up anytime soon!

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