As the weather gets cooler, many homeowners will start looking for ways to keep warm air in and cold air out. You can meet that need in different ways, but one of the easiest and most cost-effective is installing a window insulation kit.
Window insulation kits typically consist of little more than a few plastic sheets and some adhesive. Despite that simplicity, they’re remarkably effective at fighting drafts in the winter months. Here’s more on how they can help you and how to install them.
Why Should You Install a Window Insulation Kit?
Improper insulation can occur throughout a building, but windows are one of the most common culprits. They account for up to 30% of residential heating and cooling energy use, partly because glass is thin and a poor conductor of heat and partly because their moving design creates gaps. A window insulation kit can cover these gaps to minimize heat loss.
Preventing hot air from escaping will improve more than just residents’ comfort. HVAC bills are often some of the highest ongoing costs for any building, so energy reductions here can result in significant savings. By minimizing heat loss, you’ll ensure heating systems can work more efficiently, reducing energy bills during the colder months.
Eventually, you’ll likely require more dramatic fixes, including complete window replacements every 15 years, but insulation kits offer needed savings in the meantime. Because of their simplicity, they’re also more cost-effective than other temporary solutions.
These benefits can extend either to your own home or to your clients in the winter. When you understand what these kits have to offer, you can market them to money-conscious customers when the weather gets cold. As people learn of these benefits and see how your services could save them money, using insulation kits could generate more business.
How to Install a Window Insulation Kit
Naturally, you need to know how to install a window insulation kit to capitalize on all these benefits. Thankfully, the process is fairly straightforward. Follow these five steps to find the best kit for you or your clients and install it successfully.
1. Determine Your Needs
The first step is to determine what you need from the insulation kit. Despite their relative simplicity, these tools vary widely in their features and cost, so there’s no one answer to which is the best solution. Reviewing what you and your client need will help you identify which kit options offer the most benefits.
Rising material costs are one of the biggest construction trends right now, so you may opt for the cheapest option if cost efficiency is your biggest concern. Alternatively, if you have a busy schedule or clients have shorter availability windows, prioritize kits with easy, quick installation. It’s also important to consider the window’s location and size, as thicker, heavier-duty options may be preferable for certain windows or areas with harsh winters.
2. Find the Right Insulation Kit
Once you know what you and your client need, you can find the ideal insulation kit. While most use double-sided tape, which offers quick installation and affordability, magnetic strips provide a tighter seal, though their margin for error is larger. Similarly, some kits have one reflective side, which insulates more effectively but makes them more expensive and difficult to install.
Create a short list of available options that you think could suit your client’s needs. Be sure to include the most up-to-date prices with each. Then, you can discuss them with your client to find the best solution. Make sure you measure the window to know what size you need, too.
3. Clean the Window
After you and your client agree on a specific kit, the installation process can begin. Buy the kit if you don’t have one on hand already. While it may be tempting to measure, cut, and stick it on immediately after that point, you must clean the window and its frame first.
First, dust the frame and window with a dry microfiber cloth to remove large particles that would prevent an effective seal. Use a window cleaning solution for the glass and be sure to dry it before applying anything. Next, use isopropyl alcohol to wipe off the entire surface. Alcohol is nonpolar, which lets it dissolve oils, which polar water molecules cannot, ensuring a better adhesive bond.
4. Cut and Apply the Adhesive and Film
At this point, it’s a good idea to measure the window frame again to ensure you have the right measurements. After confirming the size, cut the tape or magnetic strips that came in your window insulation kit along the entire perimeter of the window casing.
Next, measure a large enough section of the film, leaving about two inches of extra material to give you some wiggle room. Once you have an appropriately sized section, remove about six inches of the tape’s backing from one of the top corners. Line the film up with these borders, leaving some extra room hanging over the adhesive, and press tightly along the tape. Continue to peel off more backing and press the film into it bit by bit.
5. Shrink and Trim the Film
After you’ve stuck the film around the entire border, it’s time to shrink it. Take a hairdryer, turn it on high heat, and pass it over the film, starting in the corner before expanding to the rest of the area, like you did when applying the plastic. The insulator should shrink tightly, adhering to the window and removing any wrinkles or bubbles.
You’ll likely have some excess film hanging off the edge of the tape or magnets at this point. Take a box cutter or other precision cutting tool and run it along the outside of the adhesive to remove any loose material. If the window in question has blinds, cut a small hole for the wand to attach to the hook.
Insulation Kits Will Keep You Warm and Save You Money
A window insulation kit can be surprisingly effective for its simplicity. Once you know what these can offer your customers and how to install them, you can use them to boost your business in the winter.
Insulation kits may not be a perfect solution for a drafty house, but they’re an easy and cost-effective way to reduce energy bills and boost comfort. Whether you’re applying them in your own home or for a client, those benefits are hard to argue with.
Emily Newton is the Editor-in-Chief of Revolutionized. She has over six years experience writing articles in the industrial sector. When she isn’t writing you can find her reading a new book or building a new Lego set.