Interior Window Plastic Insulation – 2

Yesterday we described our basement window situation and started the installation of the plastic insulating film. Today we continue to look at the insulation of this cheap and easy approach to reducing our home heating utility bills.

Once we had the two sided tape on all four sizes of the window frame, we then next measured the size of the area to be covered, using the measuring tape provided in the window insulation kit. After adding the recommended two inches per side as a safety measure, we then proceeded to roll out the needed plastic film and use the cutting device to create our desired insulating film.

plastic window insulating film Interior Window Plastic Insulation   2

Next, I started at the top (also recommended by the packaging instructions) and removed the cover of the two sided tape from the top window frame. Next I placed the plastic insulating film on the now exposed tape, ensuring as much as possible that the plastic was placed to cover the entire target area.

This was followed removing the tape overing from the left and right areas of the window frame and carefully placing the plastic insulating film onto the newly exposed securing tape on either side.

window with plastic insulation film Interior Window Plastic Insulation   2

Last of course was doing same for the bottom window frame. Now look at the above picture.  Remember, the plastic insulating film is clear, so it is hard to see in a picture. That’s the idea! icon wink Interior Window Plastic Insulation   2   However, in the above picture, look at a few things. First, look at the excess film at the bottom and to the sides of the window frame. I simply used the same cutting device which came with the kit to remove the excess as can be seen from the picture below.

window and excess plastic film Interior Window Plastic Insulation   2

Second, look on the left where it appears to be wrinkles within the plastic film both above and immediately below where the reflection of the light from the flash can be seen within the first picture at the top of this article.

Don’t worry, when you use (as I used) a blow dryer (as in a blow dryer for your hair) on the plastic film, the last step in the installation, the plastic shrinks and the wrinkles are removed. The instructions say to hold the hair blower / dryer all of 1/4 of an inch away from the plastic.

However if you have the slightest of shakiness in your hand, the blow dryer might end up touching the plastic and this you do not want as it could cause a hole in the plastic (remember, the end that the hot air comes out of the blow dryer is itself very hot) which would require you to start all over again, take down the now damaged plastic insulating film and install a new one. I tried to keep the  blow dryer about a full inch away from the plastic and it worked fine at this distance.

finished window film insulation installed Interior Window Plastic Insulation   2

Above is a picture after the blow dryer was used of the same window. Do you see any of the wrinkles now?

Tomorrow we complete this series by insulating the remaining two windows as well as the sliding glass door.

To view the 3rd and last part of this series on installing plastic insulating window film on the inside of your windows, simply select this link to Part 3.

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  1. chris says:

    good stuff – thanks for the tutorial

  2. Dan says:

    Hi Chris,

    I’m thinking of leaving the plastic on year round. We don’t use that area of the basement that much, except to let the dog out the back through the sliding doors and you really can’t see the pastic covering unless you get really, really close to the windows.


  3. Marianne says:

    Any idea how to remove the ‘shrink to fit’ plastic insulation?

  4. Dan says:

    Hi Marianne,


    Gently heat the tape with your hand-held hair dryer and slowly peel the tape off of the window frame.


  5. Doree says:

    Just wondering if this would work well in AZ where it is very hot? Will it keep the heat out or will the heat damage the plastic. This would have direct east sun till noon.

  6. Dan says:

    Hi Doree,

    I have not personally tried this is States like Arizona.

    I would say no due to the high heat.

    You would be best, IMO, to do two things:

    A. use a solar window shade / blinds on the outside of the window to stop much of the sun’s UV rays from reaching the window and entering the home.

    B. apply weather-proofing caulking on the outside of the window, around the window frames to seal leaks through which cooled inside air from the air conditioner would escape to the outside, causing the a/c to run more than it should.


  7. Doree says:

    Thank you Dan.
    I am in an apartment, so the suggestions you make are not an option for me. Do you have a brand of thermal curtains you would suggest that work well and do not cost an arm and a leg? Right now in May, the temp quickly climbs to 86F and the AC is set at 78. Thermostat is in hall, it’s 78 there, but won’t cool where the windows are. I imagine June, July and Aug. will be awful in here.
    Thanks again for your help.

  8. Dan says:

    Hi Doree,

    There are a few out there; however, I personally have not had much success with internal window coverings, blinds, etc. for such purposes.

    I would suggest you try the usual local stores in your area.

    Perhaps one of our readers can offer you some suggestions on internal window coverings they use with success to keep the heat out in an appartment where using an exterior window covering is not an option?


  9. Jo says:

    I live in Australia and in the summer, I put two layers of black shadecloth over the windows (just hook over small nails nailed in to the frame on the outside of the window. You can see through the shadecloth ( I love looking out on the gum trees) but it cuts out about 80% of the heat.

  10. suma says:

    how does one remove the double-sided tape from the window frame, for the off season and permanently. I have tried goo away, windex and nothing removes it easily.

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