Frost on a window Thomas Tuma via Unsplash

Drafty windows are annoying, uncomfortable and detrimental to the energy efficiency (and energy bills) of your home. Short of replacing all your windows, is there another solution to improve the comfort of your home without breaking the bank? The answer is yes, thanks to window insulation kits.

What is a Window Insulation Kit?

Window insulation kits are simple: clear film that fits over your windows. You apply the film to your window—not the glass pane itself, but the window frame—and then seal it to the frame with a hair dryer. In some cases, window insulation kits can reduce heat loss by 35%.

Scientifically, what you’re doing is creating a thermal-trapping, airtight air space between the plastic film and the glass window pane. This air space traps heat energy, helping keep your home from losing heat in the winter and gaining heat in the summer.

It’s the same principle as a double pane window; in double pane windows, two panes of glass are separated by an insulated airspace. The glass slows heat energy and the air traps it. With a window insulation kit, you just have one piece of glass, but you also have that valuable insulating air space.

How Effective Are Window Insulation Kits?

As noted earlier, these kits can reduce heat loss by 35%. However, keep in mind that’s a best-case scenario that assumes (1) proper installation with a perfect, smooth seal, (2) the drafts are coming through the pane itself and not the window frame and (3) you have single pane windows. Insulation kits will make no difference on double pane windows.

Other disadvantages include the relative ease with which you can accidentally puncture the film or knock it loose (especially if you have pets) as well as the aesthetics. While you can get top-of-the-line kits that are close to clear, it’s always going to be apparent you have film on your windows, which, to most people, simply isn’t as attractive as a window on its own.

One huge pro to window insulation kits: the cost. You can potentially outfit your entire home for $50, which is less than the cost of one new window.

So, are they worth it?

It depends on your goals. As a long-term solution to energy savings, probably not. But as a short-term solution to a particularly drafty window as you await a new installation, these kits are an inexpensive way to increase the comfort in your home.

Feel free to contact us at 616-846-1536 and talk to one of our window experts regarding insulation kits, new windows and other ways to increase the energy efficiency in your home.