It’s cold and wet with slate grey skies. The trees are all bare. It is November. I have a November job that I dread and have been putting off for weeks, but I have to start. I have to winterize the windows.
We live in an old house with a lot of windows. The windows are pretty new, but cheap and they weren’t really installed very well. Heating bills are astronomical. So I have to take care of the windows, there’s no alternative except to go deeply in dept every winter.
Over the years I’ve experimented and have come up with a method that seems to work. After closing the window as tightly as possible and latching them, I cover all of the seems with weather sealing tape. I’m sure duct tape would work just as well and I may switch since duct tape is about a quarter the cost. I measure a length and split it in half since there’s no sense in using a two inch (5 cm) wide piece of tape to cover an eighth (3 mm) of an inch gap. Sometimes it is less than that, but, unfortunately, the gap can be almost a quarter of an inch (about 7.5 mm).
After the seams have been covered I surround the window with double sided tape. I use a 45 degree cut so the corners match up very well. I put a second row of tape above the window and below the window. I then stretch the plastic film, one side at a time. This creates a pretty good, transparent boundary.
I am always surprised at how much a difference this film makes. I won’t realize there’s a draft or that it’s cool around a window until I finish putting up the film. I’m also surprised at how much taping the seams adds – I can tell from the feel if I missed the taping step.
The process takes about a half an hour per window. There are a few windows i leave covered all year. I have done five this morning. I’m not going to say how many more I have, it’s too depressing.
There are things in this life that are boring but we still have to do them. That little bit of extra time to ensure a good job is well worth it in the long run. For me, winterizing the house is one of those things that a few hours (few dozen hours?) of tedious boredom gives me, and my pocketbook, months of satisfaction.