Ways to insulate windows?

I’m trying to be proactive here and figure out ways to help keep my electric bill somewhat low when it finally gets cold here. I know alot of people have already had cold snaps, my brother in Montana finally got snow today.

I’ve got single paned windows and was looking up ideas on how to insulate them while still getting light for plants and staying within apartment rules (only can have white curtains/blinds visible from the outside).

I also want to be able to somewhat easily remove whatever because there are nice days in the beginning of winter. I wore shorts and a tshirt last Christmas, but this past February it was below 0°F.

The things I saw where plastic window shrink wrap, but not easily removable.
Bubble wrap I’m leaning towards because it is easy to do, cheapish, and I can see through it.
Just taping plastic sheets didn’t look like it let enough light in for plants.

Past winters I’ve kept curtains closed with a blanket covering windows, and towels on the sills. As well as sticking cotton batting in the tops of where my windows slide open since that lets a lot of air in. But this year I’d like more light because its already dreary enough when you can see outside let alone when its perpetually dark inside.

What do you guys do for winter?

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It is possible to have secondary glazing fitted to windows. It’s not cheap, but it probably is cheaper than having your windows removed and replaced with double glazing.

However, i suspect that this is probably still going to be out of the price range.

How about making a wooden frame and attaching the rigid plastic sheets (polycarbonate?) that are used in gardening for making very small hot boxes for plants? You could then put that on the inside of your windows as required?


I would start by putting the shrink wrap on any windows that you can’t open. Then ask yourself which ones you probably can get by without opening until late spring, and shrink wrap them too. Use bubble wrap for the rest; maybe you can rig a sort of rollup blind with the bubble wrap, fastening it to the top of the window with sewing pins or something like that, so that it’s easier to get out of the way when you open the window and put back in place when it’s closed?

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My mom buys thick plastic and tapes it over the windows. If it’s really bad they also use it to section off areas of the house that can stay colder from the ones that need heat, so the cold ones aren’t leeching heat.

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Not really sure on insulating tips, but the film you can get to make a window opaque will still allow sufficient light for plants in. So I’d imagine you should be able to check a product to see that it would still let in natural light

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Why do you need to take the insulation off in warmer months? Better insulation still means that you need less heating or less cooling when you are actively managing the temperature. Better insulation doesn’t have a downside.

Admittedly, I deal with winter by living in California but good insulation is never a negative.

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I wish I could convince the apartment people to replace the windows, but I had a hard enough time convincing them to replace the broken blinds…

The biggest window is also the one that doesn’t seal properly, and it is 70inx70in (178cm) squared which makes it hard to cover with a blanket like I’ve got in my room.

I love being able to open the windows for fresh air whenever the temperature is between 85°f-65°F, which means spring and late fall also randomly in the winter.

Plus my cat loves spying on the neighbors while in the windowsill.

How do your windows open? One behind the other? If that’s the case, you can attach insulation to the windows separately and they should still be able to open.

Blackout curtains can be helpful during the night. They’re thick enough to reduce your window’s heat transfer, as well as reduce noises from outside. They also block out light, but that’s not much of a concern in the nighttime. Some of them are white. Plus, if your cat feels like sitting in the window, they’re not too difficult to get past.

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