Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Window Insulation Kit: Frost King Product Review

Our home was built in 1940.  It's adorable.  It has such unique charm.  It also comes with slanted floors, walls that aren't perfectly straight and pipes that make crazy noises when water is running.  The windows were all replaced at some point, but that doesn't mean they are insulated well.  We found that the people who did the most recent renovation didn't really take every step the could have to make the house perfect.  The house is great, but there are rooms for improvements.

Because our windows can be drafty in the winter we could continue to pay more in Natural Gas bills, buy weather stripping to secure all of the windows or find another way to seal the drafts.  Stephen found plastic kits online and when we were at Home Depot over the weekend we picked some up.

Source: The Home Depot

There are a few brands out there, but we went with Frost King.  The process is simple.  You apply double sided tape around your window.  When the tape is good and stuck to the wall or window frame, you apply the plastic film to the tape, making it fit as well as possible.  We found our windows were an odd shape, go figure, so we had to use the Extra Large kit and cut the plastic to size.  Once the plastic is secure on the tape you heat the plastic with a hair dryer and it shrinks up and makes a flat, clear barrier. We thought the plastic would shrink into the window, but it just makes a flat barrier.  When the blow drying is done the plastic should be perfectly clear, no wrinkles.  The only way you can tell we have plastic on the windows is if you touch it, of course, or if you look at the edges where you can see the tape.  With curtains, this isn't a big deal.  Stephen was able to do all of the instillation himself.  I would estimate that it takes about 15-25 minutes per window, depending on how long you leave the tape to adhere to the window frame before applying the plastic.

We've only had the kit installed on all of the windows in the front of the house and in the guest room for a day, but we felt a difference this morning when we went into the guest room.  The room is normally freezing if we turn off the heat and this morning while it was still cool, it wasn't cold.

We hope this will help us stay warm this winter and also lower our energy bills.  Bonus all around!

While the product works well so far, I'm interested to see if we can see a noticeable difference once temperatures really start to drop.  It will also be fun to see how the dogs react the first time they go to the window where there is plastic.  They like to know what's going on in the neighborhood and Goose likes to stand with his front paws on the window sills, which he can't get to any more.  I am going to estimate we'll have at least one mishap with him and we'll need to redo a window.

Also, if you have a window that you will ever want to open, you can't use the window kit.  The kit will completely block access to the window.  (We aren't worried about safety implications of that, we don't have kids and if there is an emergency, we can break through plastic pretty easily.)

My review of the product: So far so good!  The difference in the guest bedroom (where we don't run the heat unless we have guests) was so noticeable in just one night, I hope the rest of the house will benefit just as much.  If there are any major changes to this review, I'll follow up.  Also, any funny pictures with dogs and double sided tape will be posted for all to see.  I would recommend the kit for houses with drafty windows and windows or rooms that aren't used too often - like our guest room and the windows in our living room which we never open.