Window insulation kits are popular, cheap and effective for most. That said, a little controversy surrounds the effectiveness of insulation film. Plastic window insulation kits are shunned by some due to their look. For others, shrink-wrapping a window’s open areas may be a shoddy DIY solution to a serious problem.
The Truth About Window Insulation Film
Window insulation kits use window insulation film. The film is a low-cost insulation solution used to reduce and terminate drafts. Consisting over clear, oversized plastic, the film fits over a window’s interior. Normally, window insulation kits offer double-sided tape to help the homeowner adhere the plastic.
Once secured, the plastic is “shrunk” to fit and adhere to a window. To shrink window insulation film, one need only hit it with a hair dryer or similar heat source. Once the window is sealed, it’s insulated.
Does Insulation Film Work?
Despite the controversy following any DIY homeowner solution, both window companies and repair gurus consider insulation film to be effective. It really works, and it can increase a window’s insulation for many months.
Additionally, insulation film lets in sunlight—which can further warm a window. This side benefit is commonly overlooked, but it’s incredibly valuable. Any natural heat gain is beneficial—reducing a heating system’s work throughout the day. Commonly used as an alternative to insulating curtains, insulation film both retains natural heating elements while blocking out cold air.
Why All the Fuss?
Some homeowners reject DIY solutions altogether, considering window replacement to be an end-all solution. While window replacement does solve most insulation problems, homeowners may not be able to acquire it.
A window’s ability to insulate is dictated by its R-value. A lower R-value indicates better insulation. Window insulation kits can improve a window’s R-value, adding comfort to a household. That said, it isn’t always cheap to improve a window’s R-value, and window insulation kits, today, are one of the cheapest ways to do so.
A lot of homeowners reject window insulation kits due to sheer looks, too. Insulation film doesn’t look flattering, and it can even be off-putting in some scenarios. That said, it can be expensive to replace a window in general. Plastic film certainly increases insulation while addressing air leakage, all without costing a fortune to implement.
Should You Get Window Insulation Film?
At the end of the day, you should do what your household needs While insulation film adequately increases a home’s ability to retain heat, it may not be enough. Sometimes, window replacement is the only answer to critical heat loss.
Schedule a window replacement appointment if you think your energy loss is critical, but don’t be afraid to pick up a window replacement kit early on. In the worst-case scenario, you waste a few bucks—which is a small price to pay for an opportunity to save much, much more.
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