While looking into the best way to insulate our drafty windows this winter (apart from replacing them), we put together this mini-guide of solutions we found so far. For the pros and cons of everything from layered curtains to shrink-wrap film, click below. 1) Rubber Weather Sealing: You can buy strips of self-stick rubber weather sealing at a hardware store. Cut long strips down to fit your window dimensions, then peel and stick to the frame to close any gaps and keep out drafts. Pros: Cheap, effective, minimal alterations to appearance of windows. Cons: When you peel away the rubber strips, they can damage paint or leave a sticky residue. Image via Amazon.
2) Window Insulation Film:
You can buy window insulation kits from a hardware store. Kits usually include plastic shrink film that is applied to the indoor window frame with double-stick tape, then heated with a hair dryer to shrink the film and remove any wrinkles. Pros: Cheap and effective. Cons: Gives windows a cloudy, shrink-wrapped look. Image: 3M Indoor Window Insulation Kit, $16.78 at Amazon.
3) Cellular Shades:
Cellular Shades insulate while still letting in light through the windows. They can be ordered and custom cut from home and design centers. We found a good set of step-by-step instructions for installation here. Pros: They let in light and can be custom-fitted for doors and windows. Cons: They can be expensive and may not insulate as much as heavier curtains. Image via Levolor.4) Layered Curtains:
Use heavy fabrics or layered curtains over the windows to keep out drafts. Pros: Looks good, can be matched to your home decor. Cons: Curtains can be expensive and heavy drapes can block out light. Image via Restoration Hardware.
5) Draft Snakes:
Draft snakes are fabric tubes placed on a window sill or under a door to prevent cold air from creeping in. You can make one by sewing a tube of fabric to fit the width of your window and filling it with dried rice. Pros: Cheap, easy to make as a DIY project. Cons: It only insulates the window sill, not the glass or frame. Image and pattern for draft snake via Lotta Jansdotter's Simple Sewing.