You can easily reduce the heat loss or gain from your windows by adding a clear vinyl film to the outside. It will help cut your energy bill both summer and winter. Yes, use it in air conditioning season and in the heating season.
I highly recommend the 3M Scotch Brand double side tape for cutting the energy waste at your windows. 3M has long been the champion maker of glues and sticky stuff that works great for the job that it is made for.
Kits for adding clear vinyl film to the outside of windows are available like this one from Frost King. Or, do like I did and buy the 3M tape and buy the vinyl sheet stock in bulk rolls where you get the best price.
Why work on the outside?
Working in the outside on those easy to reach ground floor or basement windows gets you outdoors and away from the telephone.
Some times, you get lucky and can do the work inside putting the clear vinyl film on the outside. Huh, how’s that again you ask?
I once owned a house in Michigan that had removable aluminum frame screens but no storms windows to replace them. On our first autumn there I did not have the time or cash to have storm windows made for the house.
To make effective storm windows I use the two-sided tape from 3M and clear vinyl film. I brought the screens into our worktable, covered each screen with the clear vinyl plastic, and put them back up as storm windows. They were a tight fit because I covered the screen frame and did the taping in the inside face of the frame so I could pull the plastic tight as I went along.
I did about ten windows that way working entirely from inside the house. Half were second story windows. I was lucky that I could take down and put up the screens working from the inside.
How easy is it?
The textbook way is easy. First sit down and read everything printed on the 3M box. Remember, “if all else fails, read the directions.” The directions are an easy read and the illustrations are very helpful.
The first step of the job is to put their special two-sided sticky tape around the outside of the window frame. Leave a gap in the tape at the bottom corners of the frame so water vapor can get out. What is special about the tape is that it sticks good, but you can peel it off easily too. If you put it on crooked, like I do, you can fix it with out throwing it away and starting over.
Next, hang an over sized piece of the clear vinyl on the sticky tape. Work to keep the plastic wrinkle free and flat. If it is not right, peel it off and try again. Vinyl plastic film will take the weather exposure but it does not heat shrink to get out the wrinkles.
Last step is to cut away the excess plastic film around the window frame to make a neat looking job.
The wonderful 3M sticky tape is easy to peel off the window frame with out damaging the finish. You can not reuse the tape, but you can reuse the clear plastic film. Label each piece so you know which window it fits and put away where you can find it, use it again.
The clear vinyl can be use indoors or out.
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