One of the great things about owning a house is also the worst: you own a house.
Our house we bought a few years back is an older stick built home that has it's issues one of which is really bad windows. Pretty sure they are made of thick pieces of plastic and gum. Everyday I can feel air breezing through them and making it's way into our home... not a fan.
This winter I decided to do something about it. I went to my local hardware store and picked up window insulation kits and I will show how I installed them and hopefully save you some time and irritation that I endured.
You will need the appropriate number of kits (most kits do about 5 windows)
Damp rag (and I also used a tooth brush)
Tape (just in case: great for patching a small burned hole in the plastic)
First and foremost you will want to remove any curtains or blinds you have up to give yourself the free window. Then wipe down all the surface: focus on clear and dust free corners: VERY IMPORTANT.
I used a old tooth brush to make sure that corners were free of debris. Keep scissors handy at all times during this process
Next (after the paint is fully dry from the wipe down) use the adhesive that comes in your kit and roll your way around the window you will want to be about an inch of space from the actual window as to make sure the plastic has room to move if necessary. After you have the tape exactly where you want it press down firmly and run your finger over the length of the adhesive (leaving on the cover). Let sit for upwards of ten minutes the adhesive will adhere to the paint and stick much better if you allow between 10-20 minutes of rest before moving on. I would start one window and move on to prepping a few then jump back over.
Make sure that your tape over laps: you want no place for air to escape.
Next measure out and cut the plastic to cover the window with an extra amount (about an inch or so) of plastic on each edge past where it will attach to the adhesive.
Slowly making your way around the window remove protective strip from outer line of adhesive.
Now it is time to attach the plastic
Start at the top center. Slowly work your way evenly down the sides. The lest extra and wrinkles you have the better but you also don't want it super taught (not that you will be able to get it really taught but as a warning just in case).
Some of my corners didn't adhere as well as you would hope I cheated and added some extra tape on the edge just in case the adhesive didn't hold.
Now it is time to use your hair dryer: when you start the process choose a corner and slowly work you way out. Don't get the hair dryer too close or you will burn a hole but don't leave it too far or it won't do the trick (ie: don't go closer than 1"). When you start the window will start to look like the picture above. Slowly working your way around the window the plastic will get clear and taught.
Till finally it is just like looking out a regular window and no one but you and your energy bill will be the wiser.
It is worth it in the end but it can take a while to get in your groove. If you have to do two windows a day for a week: then it won't take up a chunk of the day.