The chill is in the air, and it could very well be a very long and cold winter. Your apartment isn't exactly warm unless you crank up the heat, but heating costs are also going up (natural gas, heating oil, electricity), so it might be a good idea to explore options that won't cost you much. Have you ever considered installing window insulation film yourself? First of all, you need to know if it even works.
Having a beautiful view from your apartment windows is great, but when it comes to cold weather, glass isn't exactly great at insulation (unless you have new, triple-pane windows, that is). Especially if your windows are old and the seals aren't as good as new, a window insulation film kit could make a huge difference. We'll help you decide if it's right for you and your apartment this winter.
Your windows' ability to retain heat and insulation is measured by what's known as an R-value. The lower the R-value number, the better the insulation. If you take a temperature gun (even a kids' thermometer gun) and aim it at different parts of the window (especially where there's a draft), you can see where heat is escaping and cold air is coming in. Window film actually increases a window's insulation ability and lowers the R-value, as a result. It's all about creating pockets of air between layers. If installed properly, window film actually creates an insulating layer where cold air doesn't infiltrate the interior of your apartment and warm air stays trapped inside.
While it's important to note that window film isn't exactly flattering in its appearance, you don't have the luxury of having your landlord replace your windows with new ones, a prospect that costs tens of thousands of dollars. Window insulation film kits are a quick and affordable way to solve the heat loss problem. Most kits cost between $10 and $40, depending on the size of windows you have. Most kits include film and adhesive mounting tape. You'll need to provide gloves, isopropyl alcohol, scissors or a utility knife (sharp), a cleaning cloth, and a hair dryer. Here are the steps:
There's no question that there are a lot of options out there, but not all kits are created equal. Here are our recommendations for the best window insulation film kits that will ship to you very quickly so you don't have to wait to start warming up your apartment.
3M is the benchmark for window film kits, and it comes in a variety of sizes for just about any window. It includes the film and the kit, and 3M makes some of the clearest film in the industry, as well as excellent Scotch mounting tape.
This kit gets great reviews on Amazon and comes with enough plastic film and mounting tape to insulate ten 3' x 5' windows, which should be more than enough for your apartments' exterior-facing windows.
If your apartment has patio doors, you'd be wise to take care of these, as well. This kit will cover 84x110", which should be enough for two patio doors. It comes with film and mounting tape.