Tips for Installing Plastic Window Film

Updated June 15, 2021
Window film is more affordable than purchasing insulation, by far. (Photo courtesy of Clifford Pohl)

Plastic window film can provide additional insulation for your home.

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Installing window film is a common practice among homeowners to increase energy efficiency and reduce utility bills. Window film is a clear, plastic film that can be applied to a window to provide extra insulation.

The film is applied to a window and then fixed in place using a heat source, such as  hair dryer. It essentially seals off all the remaining cracks around a window where air can enter.

One of the benefits of window film is that it provides increased insulation at a low cost. It can be purchased at home improvement stores for a fraction of the price of installing new windows. It also can be purchased in larger sheets for patio doors.

To hang insulated window film, use a window film kit, tape measure, scissors and blow dryer and follow these application tips.

1. Prepare the window

Clean the window and window frame with a mixture of warm water and dish soap. Window film comes with an adhesive tape that needs to be applied around the window frame. Once the frame has been wiped clean and has dried, apply the adhesive tape and remove the paper cover.

2. Cut the plastic film

Use your tape measure to record the exact dimensions of the window, and add one inch to each side. Then, cut the film. Repeat this process for each window.

3. Apply the plastic film

Starting at the top corner; attach the window film to the adhesive tape. You can reposition the tape until you get a good fit. Use your hands to smooth out any bumps or wrinkles.

4. Use a blow dryer to seal the film

Use the blow dryer to adhere the film. Start by going around the border of the window frame and then address any remaining wrinkles. Make sure not to touch the plastic with the blow dryer because it can cause it to melt.

If you are thinking about hanging window film this winter, consider hiring a handyman to complete the project. Handymen have experience working with all types of home insulation, and they will be able to assist with additional work like adding weatherstripping to doors and windows.

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