Insulating Your Windows for the Winter ~ Plastic Window Shrink Film
What is rumored to be one of the coldest winters in years is here, and with it come the high heat bills I really do not want to pay, and who does? I decided to buy some of the Plastic Window Shrink Film in order to save some money on my heating bill. Installed correctly, window film can reduce the heat loss through your window panes by up to 50% or more depending on the quality of your windows. Older windows will benefit the most, while the newer,
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Window shrink film is incredibly easy to apply and with a little time and patience you can install it yourself and save some major winter moolah. I would have already had the plastic installed on my windows by now, but we are having a fence installed this week, and well, our dog, Puck, would have shredded the plastic had I done it before that. He will be all up in those windows “supervising” the workers. Which brings me to my next point, if the plastic tears, it will not work. That being said, I have mended “Pucked up” window cling film in years prior with just some packing tape and it worked just fine. Sure, you can see the tape but it is still clear, and it is far better than a high heating bill.
When installing the shrink film, be sure you have the double sided tape (this is usually included in the kits) in a solid strip all the way around your window. Any gaps will allow cold air and drafts, and it will not work. Then you carefully work the plastic from the top down, making sure it is smooth and completely sealed with the tape. Once you have the film completely adhered to the window, take a hair dryer and shrink the plastic. This will ensure a nice, taut surface that will allow the clearest view through the windows as well as helping to make a tight seal around the window. Sound simple? It
Other Ways to Save Money and Energy This Winter
- Get cozy ~ One of the easiest ways is to keep your thermostat turned down and put on a sweater, fuzzy socks, slippers, etc. and cover up when on the couch. We have two throw blankets out at all times. They are fuzzy and warm, and oh, so great to cuddle up in.
- Only heat the rooms you live in ~ When not in use, close off the vents and let those rooms stay cooler. There is simply no reason to keep those places as warm as the rest of your home until they are used. We even close off the vents in all the bathrooms even though we use them all the time. Why? Well, even though we use them frequently, they are both located in the center of the house and when not in use the doors stay open, therefore, we don’t need the vents open, as the heat from the main rooms circulated in those smaller rooms just fine.
- Keep your furnace clean ~ Regularly changing the furnace filter is not only a safety issue,
ithelps keep your furnace running efficiently. Clean the dust off the top of the furnace as well. We change out our furnace filters quarterly.
- Keep your ceiling fans on ~ Believe it or not, your ceiling fans will help you heat your house. Keeping in mind the fact that heat rises, it makes sense to push that heat back down toward the floor. The key to this working
however, is to make sure your fan is turning clockwise and on low so that you are not creating a strong air current.
- Use the Sun ~ On sunny days, open your curtains and raise your blinds. The sun coming in through your windows will produce heat as long as your windows are not too drafty. On top of that, the sun will elevate your mood. And who couldn’t use an instant mood boost?
- Adjust your Thermostat ~ If you have an adjustable thermostat be sure you set it lower when you are not home, for instance, set it to change 55 degrees about a half hour before you leave for work and set it
raise to to68 degrees a half yourbefore you get home. Also, set it to turn down when you turn in at night, and to turn back up when you get up in the morning. People sleep better in lower temperatures, so this will help you sleep as well.
- Use a Humidifier ~ Moist air holds heat much more effectively
thatdry air. It also helps to keep your skin from becoming as dry and itchy as it would in a very dry environment. If you have a lot of static electricity in your home your air is very dry. You will find your home much more comfortable and warmer with a humidifier.
- Weatherstripping ~ If you feel
andair coming in under or around your outside doors, invest in some weatherstripping and install this around your door to cut townon those drafts.
- Seal and Insulate where needed ~ Check for anyplace you feel cold air coming in. Some places to check are under sinks where there is plumbing cut through walls and cabinets and outlets on exterior walls. For the outlets, you can buy foam sheets that will fit the outlet and help insulate. For the plumbing cut-throughs, check for air leakage and use some type of insulation to stop the airflow. If you are not sure what type to buy, check with your local home store for advice. Taking in a picture of the area will help them point you in the right direction.
- Replace Light Bulbs ~ While replacing light bulbs will not keep your home warmer, it will save you money, not only during the winter but year round. LED bulbs are much more energy efficient than any other kind of bulb. They are coming down in price quickly, and last a lot longer than other bulbs, which will save you in replacement costs as well.
- Turn off all unnecessary electrical items ~ You know those cell phone chargers you keep plugged in for when you need them? They are a constant power drain and if you add up all those little things that sit around on standby you can see how they can be a huge drain overall, and that can really add up over a year.