Plastic for Windows: Pros and Cons

Old drafty windows that welcome winter’s cold to air into your home make you uncomfortable and also raise your energy bills through the roof. If you have such windows, use window plastic to insulate your windows seasonally.

window plastic

Window insulation kits use plastic sheeting or films to trap air between the window glass and the film and to seal out the weather. This layer of air acts as an insulator, and it can significantly boost the R-value of a single-pane window. Window plastic is very simple to install. You only need to apply the insulating film to the inside or outside of your old leaky windows before the cold winter arrives, leave it in place during winter, and then remove it when you no longer need it.

The plastic used for the exterior window insulation is just a heavy plastic sheeting that’s stapled or tacked to the window frame. It is visible from both sides, obscures the view, and can look tacky.

A much preferable window insulation option is available. It’s a kit that looks like shrinkwrap. You just spread a thin plastic layer to the inside of your window frame using two-sided tape, then use a heat gun or a hairdryer to eliminate wrinkles, and make the plastic taut and unnoticeable.

This insulation is quick and easy to install and remove at the end of the heating season. Since the plastic is very thin, it’s not suitable for outdoor applications.

Pros and Cons of Plastic Window Films

With an average savings of over $15 per window during the heating season, using plastic film insulation on your windows makes sense, particularly if you live in an old drafty house. But if you have windows that don’t open, keep them insulated year-round for additional savings on your cooling costs during the hot summers. These plastic window films have both advantages and disadvantages.


Here are the advantages of plastic window films.


The following are the disadvantages of plastic window insulation films.

Installation Procedure

window plastic wrap

Before you go to purchase window plastic, make sure you measure all the windows you plan to insulate. The plastic sheets in the kits come in many configurations and you can easily use one kit to work with different windows. So you need to know the exact dimensions you will cover. Also, window tapes are sold with the kits. However, it is good to pick up an extra roll.

Final Verdict

The advantages of these window plastic kits far outweigh their disadvantages. Which means, they are worth the effort and the investment.

If you are looking for an affordable way to keep the heat in your home, go for plastic window insulation kits. They will help enhance the energy efficiency of your home by up to 40 percent and prevent the heat from escaping your home through the thermal transmission. These kits are designed for easy installation. Just ensure that you buy some extra heavy-duty tape because usually the tape included with most window insulation kits are weak. If you run into any difficulty, consult a window professional near you.

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