This article is a helpful buying guide for window installation kits. It explains the parts of each kit and their most important attributes.

Old, drafty windows that allow winter’s cold to blow through your home not only make your house uncomfortable but can also send your energy bills through the roof.

If you have windows like these, check out the special kits that are made for insulating windows on a seasonal basis.

Window insulation kits employ plastic film or sheeting to seal out the weather and trap air between the window glass and the film. This layer of air becomes an insulator—in fact, it can almost double the R-value of a single-pane window.

Window Insulation Kit
Window Insulation Kit Duck Brand

Window insulation kits are designed to be extremely easy for homeowners to install.

The idea is that you apply insulating film to the outside or inside of old leaky windows before cold weather arrives, leave it in place through the winter, and then remove it when it is no longer needed.

Then, you repeat the process again the following year.

The exterior type of plastic window insulation is basically heavy plastic sheeting that is simply tacked or stapled to the window frame. It is quite visible from both inside and out, obscures the view, and can look pretty tacky.

A much better window insulation option is an interior kit that is similar to shrink-wrap. You apply a thin plastic film to the inside of the window frame, using double-sided tape. Then you use a hair dryer or heat gun to pull the plastic taut, eliminating wrinkles and making it unnoticeable.

You can buy a window insulation kit online.

This type of insulation is easy and quick to install and just as easy to remove at the end of the heating season. Because the plastic is very thin, it doesn’t hold up to outdoor application.

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About Don Vandervort
Don Vandervort has developed his expertise for more than 30 years as a remodeler and builder, Building Editor for Sunset Books, Senior Editor at Home Magazine, author of more than 30 home improvement books, and writer of countless magazine articles. He appeared for 3 seasons on HGTV’s “The Fix,” and served as MSN’s home expert for several years. Don founded HomeTips in 1996. Read more about Don Vandervort