How Window Insulation Can Save You Money

Weatherproofing windows yourself can be done quickly and cheaply, but it pays off in cost savings and home comfort.

Related To:


Tips for preparing your home for winter.

Glass has no insulating value, so windows are one of the biggest areas of heat and cooling loss in a house. Insulating them can save money and make your house more comfortable, and if you choose certain types, can also cut harmful UV exposure.

If replacing windows is out of the equation, insulate the ones you have. Insulation comes in these basic types:

·         Window seals

·         Rope caulk

·         Window film

Window Seals

Weather-strip seals are used to fill gaps around doors and windows. Window seals come in foam, silicone and vinyl and are either nailed into place or have self-adhesive backing that sticks to the perimeter of the window. They’re made to withstand temperature changes and are great draft-killers, reducing your energy bills and making your house more comfortable all year long.

When installing them, clean and dry the area where they’ll be applied carefully; they won’t stick to a dirty surface. Use a putty knife or other flat instrument to work them gently into corners.

Rope Caulk

When weatherproofing windows, consider rope caulk. Rope caulk is non-hardening putty that comes in a roll, and can be cut to the right size and pressed into place. Pack it into any cracks or holes that are too small for window seals.

Press the caulk cord into place with your fingertips – no tools needed. You can seal the window shut in the winter and pull the caulk out in the summer. Coil it up, save it in a plastic bag, and reuse it next year. Use this to seal leaky sashes, too.

Window Film

Take a hint from auto detailers and use window film as a window insulator. Residential window film comes in a variety of thicknesses, the thinnest for decorative purposes and the thickest as security/storm insulation. All thicknesses have insular properties, though the thicker the film, the better it insulates.

Window film is easily applied. Clean the glass, cut the film to size, and adhere it to the window with the self-adhesive backing.

Use window film only on windows that are not broken or loose, and don’t use it on double-paned glass because it will cause the windows to fog.


One cheap way to insulate is to use bubble wrap. Spray water on the bubble wrap and use it to adhere the bubbles on the glass. Tape along the sides for extra hold. This gives the glass a little more insulating value, but isn’t good for windows you need to see out of.

Another is to use a thin piece of plastic, like a clear garbage bag. Cut the plastic to size then tape around the edges with painter’s tape.

Money-Saving Window Insulation 02:41

Increase energy efficiency by adding insulation around a new window.

Next Up

Find Out What a Picture Window is and How to Decorate It

Picture windows increase the light in the room, but their large size can make them difficult to decorate. Get window treatment tips and more.

Home Window Repair Is Easy When You Know How

Take the mystery out of home window repair with these expert tips.

How to Choose the Best Exterior Window Trim for Your Home

Exterior window trim isn’t just a pretty face. It’s made to cover gaps keep your home sound and free from water, heat and humidity. 

How to Know Whether You Should DIY Broken Window Glass

Here are the pros and cons of replacing a broken or fogged windowpane.

How to Tell a Single-Hung Window From a Double-Hung

Single-hung and double-hung windows have pros and cons. Here’s how to know which is right for your home.

Is The Standard Window Size a Myth?

Learn about the most common window sizes and whether there really is such a thing as a standard window dimension.

Have it Made in the Shade With the Right Window Awnings

Window awnings not only keep your house cool, they block harmful UV rays and add curb appeal. Find out which type is best for your home.

All About the Different Kinds of Windows

From casement to clerestory, windows come in a variety of designs and styles. Here’s what you need to know to choose the right one for your home.

Repairing Your Window Screens is Easy and Inexpensive

Get tips and advice for repairing and replacing window screens.

Find Out What a Window Frame Is And Why It's Important

Knowing the window frame’s makeup and materials can help you make a better choice.

Get Social With Us

We love to DIY. You love to DIY. Let's get together.

Discover Made + Remade

See the latest DIY projects, catch up on trends and meet more cool people who love to create.

Make It. Fix It. Learn It. Find It.