Weatherize This: Window Shrink Wrap

Happy Monday, MNN readers. I hope that everyone had a nice, not-too-gut-busting Thanksgiving holiday. Over the weekend, temps dropped and the wind picked up in NYC, turning my attention to wrapping of a non-gift variety: window shrink wrapping.

Like the subjects of my previous ‘Weatherize This’ posts, caulk and draft stoppers, window shrink wrap is an easy, affordable way to keep the heat in and the cold out of your home during the winter. And while it’s not always the most aesthetically pleasing way to weatherize, placing plastic shrink wrap around windows is perhaps the most temporary, making it a viable bill-reducing (drafty windows can increase heating bills by up to 30 percent) option for renters.

I performed a DIY shrink wrap job on a particularly troublesome window in my apartment last winter. Turns out, the draft was so bad around said window (high, exposed and facing the waterfront) that a shrink-wrap job wasn’t heavy duty enough and I had to make a call to my landlord. So please, if the gusts coming through the cracks in your windows are strong enough to undo plastic shrink wrap, consider a more aggressive tactic.

Window shrink wrap kits, often called window insulation kits, are available at home improvement stores and usually come with sheets of plastic film and super-strength doubled-sided tape. 3M is a good brand to look for. All you need to supply are a box cutter and a hair dryer (I borrowed one from a friend instead of buying one just for the job) to heat the film that will increase transparency by making any wrinkles disappear.

Although installing shrink wrap around a window is an easy task that takes only a few minutes when following the kit instructions, video guidance is always a plus: