does plastic over windows really help insulate?

Discussion in 'Off Topic' started by shadow, Nov 4, 2002.

  1. shadow

    shadow Golden Member

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    these windows are not double paned, just regular single paned. The apartment is half above ground, half below.

    shadow
     
  2. amdskip

    amdskip Lifer

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    Not as much as some people think but it does help to keep the drafts down and I sure sell enough of the stuff at Walmart.
     
  3. wnied

    wnied Diamond Member

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    Insulate? No. But it does cut back on some of the cold breeze coming through the window in winter.


    ~wnied~
     
  4. littleprince

    littleprince Golden Member

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    the plastic no.
    The pocket of air it creates yes.
     
  5. shadow

    shadow Golden Member

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    lol, I meant the effect of covering windows with plastic.

    so far the verdict is that it does not really help, only with drafts, of which there are none in this apartment.

    shadow
     
  6. NogginBoink

    NogginBoink Diamond Member

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    I dunno for sure, but...

    Air is an excellent thermal insulator. With fiberglass insulation, the fiberglass doesn't insulate; it traps air which insulates.

    Given the low cost of the solution, I'd say you'd probably at LEAST break even on trying it out.
     
  7. amdskip

    amdskip Lifer

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    Everyone has drafts my friend.
     
  8. shadow

    shadow Golden Member

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    are we talking about the convection effect cold window panes have on the air inside? Or air from the outside making it's way inside?

    define draft.

    if there is air coming from the outside to the inside, then I need better seals. Does the plastic improve the the insulative properties of the window, barring drafts.

    shadow
     
  9. Amused

    Amused Elite Member

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    Yes. It creates a pocket of air between the pane of glass and plastic. That air pocket is a good insulator. It's the same damn concept as double paned windows.
     
  10. shadow

    shadow Golden Member

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    look, I understand the physics, I am looking for some experience, I am looking for people with numbers. I am looking for someone who has used it before and has seen a decrease in electric/gas bills.

    shadow
     
  11. Brutuskend

    Brutuskend Lifer

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    Yup, that's how it works..
     
  12. Amused

    Amused Elite Member

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    I have no numbers. I have insulated windows. sorry :)
     
  13. BillGates

    BillGates Diamond Member

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    I asked a similar question earlier this week but did not get any real info - I think I'll go for it, can't be too expensive. Any money saved on electric bills is more money for toys!
     
  14. Antisocial Virge

    Antisocial Virge Diamond Member

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    It makes a huge difference. We close off our old patio door with it. You can notice a difference in room temperature in a matter of minutes actually. It will depend how bad your windows are though.
     
  15. Evadman

    Evadman Administrator Emeritus<br>Elite Member

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    As an employee @ Home Depot, ( or was anyway ) I can tell you with authority it helps. I have had customers tell me it helped 10-20% on their heating bills.

    That being said, it is a band-aid. A better idea would be to get storm windows. Larson makes good ones for the money. Their "bronse" series. DO NOT BUY MI ( metal industries ) storm windows, they blow goats. hardcore.

    Hell, just get new windows. A vinyl window would do wonders. Home depot sells "Silverline" in my area, with a price of $174.87 for a window that is 92-101 u.i.(average around here)I have not worked there for 3 months and I still have that memorized. I'm good.

    If you can install the plastic, you can install new vinyl windows. Theya re simple as hell. Silverline are the best for the $ that I have seen, with the possable exception of Owens Corning, but they are sold to comercial contractors only IIRC.
     
  16. Zedtom

    Zedtom Platinum Member

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    Shadow, I've done it on three different houses that I was renting. I own my house now, and the windows are double paned.

    The above replies seem to assume that everyone has plenty of ready cash. People don't think about insulation until they get their utility bills and freak out. If you live in a apartment or a rental house, and your landlord won't pay for it, you gotta do the cheap thing.

    A roll of good quality plastic sheeting is about twenty bucks, and you'll need some plastic tape which is around five bucks. You stretch it tight on the INSIDE of the window. It might look a little ghetto if you use real cheap plastic, so buy the clearest and thickest you can afford. The change in room temperature should be noticed immediately. You cut out the drafts and create a new air pocket.
     
  17. Guest

    Yes it works very good if you have single pane windows.
    Before I had my house renovated with double panes, I saw an average 15% energy savings using a good quality plastic sheet.
    Just for sh!ts and giggles, I tried it two winters after the double panes were installed and only saw a very slight difference.
     
  18. B00ne

    B00ne Platinum Member

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    I dont think the plastic helps insulation, I think it rather decreases production costs and u dont have to repaint the frame every so often..

    what do u mean with regular single paned windows - does that mean ur windows only have one layer of glass?? If u call that regular... - well maybe around 1900 that was regular.

    If u really worry about insulation get double or triple glass windows (triple glass is also better against noise).


    edit: oops, u r not talking about frame material?
     
  19. Analog

    Analog Lifer

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    absolutely. A set of heavy wool curtains would also dampen any radiated heat as well.
     
  20. Woodie

    Woodie Platinum Member

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    BTW, single-paned glass was still common in New England well into the 1970's.

    Plastic covering does help significantly over a single-paned window. No $$ track, but I know it made a difference (I didn't have to chop as much wood!)
     
  21. EagleKeeper

    EagleKeeper Discussion Club Moderator<br>Elite Member
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    Yup
    An easy way to check is to put a thermometer directly against the glass for a day and then put it up next to a plastic coated window ( Do not force the plastic against the glass).

    This will give you a reading.

    The cost of a $4-5 roll of plastic is well worth is. Figure 1/2 hours per window to install it.
    Also check wall outlets on outside of house for drafts.
     
  22. tcsenter

    tcsenter Lifer

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    Exactly, insulation is nothing more than air trapped in a dead space, even if this is accomplished by trapping air in millions of tiny little spaces, pores, or pockets, or if it is trapped in one larger dead space. Its all the same underlying concept, just different applications.