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Does putting the plastic over your windows really help?
Posted by: C(-)ris
Date: January 14, 2007 01:01AM
I'm renting a fairly old house, built in the 1940s. I'm in Iowa and it is starting to get fairly cold, 22 degrees tonight. It the original windows still, but the owner has added storm windows on the outside of the house. I know a lot of people put the plastic over all their interior windows in the winter. Does that really save much money? It looks like it is going to cost $50 or $60 at least to buy the window kits for all the windows in the house. Seems a little excessive to me, but then again, my heating bill for the last month was $210 and it wasn't as cold then. The rooms seem to cool down rather quickly after the heat goes off, but I'm not sure if it is from the windows or just the lack of insulation in the walls. I was thinking that since I have central air, I might as well leave the plastic on year round. I don't get a good view out of any of the windows, houses on both sides, front door looks at a house across the street. What do you think?



C(-)ris
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Re: Does putting the plastic over your windows really help?
Posted by: Carm
Date: January 14, 2007 01:44AM
Yes, it creates a pocket of air that acts as insulation for the single paned window.

[www.owenscorning.com]
See number six.

Carm



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 01/14/2007 01:48AM by Carm.
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Re: Does putting the plastic over your windows really help?
Posted by: mstudio
Date: January 14, 2007 08:17AM
As Carm sez. Our house still has most of it's original 1850s windows, charming in the summer because of their wiggly glass, but killers in the winter. It's most noticeable in our bedroom, where on a windy day, the plastic vibrates from the infiltration. Menards just had a sale on the plastic, I think it was either 1.99 or 2.99 per window. I think it's well worth the time and cost.
Hope this helps.
Phil
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Re: Does putting the plastic over your windows really help?
Posted by: olnacl
Date: January 14, 2007 08:28AM
I had an old farmhouse in WI and put film on the inside frames of all windows . It saved me way more in heating bills than the cost of the film, and the comfort level improved dramatically.



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Re: Does putting the plastic over your windows really help?
Posted by: AlphaDog
Date: January 14, 2007 08:31AM
But will adding plastic on the inside of the windows really be of much help, since it already has storm windows on the outside?
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Re: Does putting the plastic over your windows really help?
Posted by: space-time
Date: January 14, 2007 08:37AM
is there a gap between the window frame and the window? do you feel cold air (WIND) blowing in? if you do, make sure you put the plastic so that you also cover these gaps. It may look like crap, but it's gonna help a lot more.

In my experience it's very common go have gaps, especially with older window, I think you lose a lot more heat this way than the heat that escapes through the single pane glass.

good luck, and stay warm!
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Re: Does putting the plastic over your windows really help?
Posted by: mstudio
Date: January 14, 2007 08:47AM
<But will adding plastic on the inside of the windows really be of much help, since it already has storm windows on the outside?>


Yes, we have storms on all of our windows and still use the plastic.
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Re: Does putting the plastic over your windows really help?
Posted by: AlphaDog
Date: January 14, 2007 09:15AM
Quote
mstudio
<But will adding plastic on the inside of the windows really be of much help, since it already has storm windows on the outside?>


Yes, we have storms on all of our windows and still use the plastic.

Thank you.
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Re: Does putting the plastic over your windows really help?
Posted by: rickard5
Date: January 14, 2007 09:57AM
it all depends on witch version of windows you have, on win 9x I doubt it will do much more than make it unreadable, MIGHT BE A GOOD THING? but I bet a plastic covet will help vista, or atleast hide the flaws in XP and Vista!!!!
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Re: Does putting the plastic over your windows really help?
Posted by: lafinfil
Date: January 14, 2007 10:18AM
If you have storms that are already pretty tight but still feels some drafts then you might try
some of the removable clear sealer - I think goes by names like zip strip

You can seal the cracks where the windows don't fit tight and when spring comes it just pulls right off



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Re: Does putting the plastic over your windows really help?
Posted by: MacArtist
Date: January 14, 2007 11:04AM
Not only will the plastic stop cold drafts; it will stop condensation from forming and causing damage to the frame of the windows.

You have to make sure the plastic gets stretched tight because anywhere the plastic contacts the glass, you lose the insulation value.



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Re: Does putting the plastic over your windows really help?
Posted by: davester
Date: January 14, 2007 07:23PM
It's pretty close to as effective as double-paned windows (i.e. double the R-value), just so long as you maintain an approximately 1/2 to 3/4 inch gap between the glass and plastic and be sure any leaks are plugged.




"In science it often happens that scientists say, 'You know that's a really good argument; my position is mistaken,' and then they would actually change their minds and you never hear that old view from them again. They really do it. It doesn't happen as often as it should, because scientists are human and change is sometimes painful. But it happens every day. I cannot recall the last time something like that happened in politics or religion." (1987) -- Carl Sagan
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Re: Does putting the plastic over your windows really help?
Posted by: billb
Date: January 15, 2007 07:27AM
Yes. It will help.

Keep checking for the wind breaking the tape seals if you have lots of wind infiltration.
Think of the storm windows as only helping in a storm. They're not exactly air-tight, usually by design.
The storms do nothing regarding the frame of the window leaks.
Wouldn't surprise me if you've got infiltration around the windows, in an older house.

On a windy day you can sometimes feel the wind coming right through the window sides and through the inside trim boards against the walls.
I've taken the insiide trim boards off, taped the plastic to the flat wall under the trim boards, and then put the boards back up.
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Re: Does putting the plastic over your windows really help?
Posted by: davester
Date: January 15, 2007 11:20AM
BTW, don't allow too big a gap between the plastic and the glass. If you get above an inch, the amount of convection (heat transfer) within the air gap goes up significantly.




"In science it often happens that scientists say, 'You know that's a really good argument; my position is mistaken,' and then they would actually change their minds and you never hear that old view from them again. They really do it. It doesn't happen as often as it should, because scientists are human and change is sometimes painful. But it happens every day. I cannot recall the last time something like that happened in politics or religion." (1987) -- Carl Sagan
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Re: Does putting the plastic over your windows really help?
Posted by: Racer X
Date: January 15, 2007 11:29AM
It helped quite a bit in our old duplex. Especially when the sofa was un front of a huge picture window. It felt like we were sitting with our backs to a block of ice in the winder. After the plastic kits were installed, it was noticeably more comfortable.

Of course, the person who had the heated ceilings put in during construction should have been beaten with lead pipes wrapped in stinging nettles, rags soaked in vinegar, and bound with barbed wire.
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