Is Window Insulation Film Effective?

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Window insulation film is a readily available, cost-efficient, and popular method of regulating the temperature of your house in any season. However, are these films as effective as some people claim them to be?

Window insulation films offer temperature regulation, cheap installation, energy savings, and protection against ultraviolet light. However, they also have moisture problems, less visual appeal, and are ineffective if made of plastic. You can use a DIY kit or hire a professional.  

Let’s explore the benefits and problems with window insulation film in detail so that you can choose the ideal option for your house. 

Does Window Insulation Film Work?

Window covered with plastic film and insulation tape in room

In recent years, window insulation film has become quite popular among homeowners because it doesn’t allow cold wind to enter your house. It also helps maintain the internal temperature of rooms by limiting the heat entering or exiting through the window area. 

Here’s how window insulation film benefits your house: 

Regulates Temperature

You may think your curtains and blinds are enough to regulate indoor temperature, but it’s not true, especially if you live in an area with extreme weather. Your windows need a proper sealant to prevent heat from entering or exiting the room. 

A good quality insulation film will help regulate indoor temperature by restricting heat dissipation, which is effective in both summer and winter. 

Helps in Energy Savings 

Window insulation films are helpful as they save you from excessive energy bills spent on heating appliances during winter.

In summer, these films dispel the sun’s heat and warmth, allowing your room to maintain a cool temperature. This means less reliance on cooling fans or ACs and more energy savings. 

Protects Against Ultraviolet Light 

Most window insulation films protect you from the sun’s harmful UV rays. This helps maintain your furniture and carpets and prevent them from fading quickly. 

Problems with Window Insulation Films

Even though there are many benefits of a good-quality insulation film, some people avoid installing them due to specific problems, which include: 

Moisture Problems 

Insulation films create an airtight pocket between the film and the window to manage the moisture entering or exiting your room. 

However, if the insulation is not installed correctly, it will trap moisture within the gap between the film and the window. As a result, you’ll see droplets on your glass, which can be frustrating to clean. These water droplets also indicate that your insulation is not regulating the temperature properly. 

Visually Unpleasant 

Many insulation films can damage the aesthetic look of your windows. Some insulation films also affect the transparent glass of your window because they get scratched easily. 

Scratches may appear when you try to clean the moisture off the window glass, which is why many people prefer to use insulation films only for store rooms. However, you can get window insulation films in various color shades and designs at slightly higher pricing. 

Insulation Films are Useless If Installed Wrong

Before installing an insulation film, take a moment to read the instructions for what you’re using. You’ll notice that most products specifically advertised for insulation, like this example (on Amazon), are installed by adding the plastic layer inside the interior of the window-box.

This probably isn’t what you were expecting, and so it goes to show that you should make sure you’re purchasing the right product for your purpose, and installing it how it says you should to get the benefit you want to get.

Privacy film, for instance, would typically be shaded and applied directly to the glass itself, not the window-box, which is a frequent insulation film instruction.

How Much Does Window Insulation Film Cost?

Windows covered with plastic film in spacious room

The average cost of an insulation film is around $8-$13 per square foot. This is far cheaper than replacing your single-pane glass window with a double-pane window, which costs around $250-$370, depending on your window’s size. 

So, installing an insulation film is a better option economically. 

You can also go with a DIY option of insulation film. These kits cost around $15-$30 for windows. These are incredibly budget-friendly because you can use an insulation kit for around $3-$5 per window. 

Not only does the insulation film sustain your budget at the installation time, but it also provides you with long-term savings. For example, with a good quality window insulation film, you can save up to 25%-30% on your monthly utility bills. 

Whether or not you need an insulation film depends on multiple factors, such as the climate in your area, the quality of the film available, and the type of windows you have. For example, you may not need window insulation film if you have double-pane windows. However, if your windows are single pane, window insulation film becomes necessary. 

If your main goal is to keep your home cool during the summers, you need to buy a good quality thermal insulation film because a thin layer of plastic won’t get the job done. 

Similarly, an insulation film made for a colder region must reflect and disperse heat all over your house while maintaining natural lighting. 

DIY vs. Hiring a Professional: How to Choose

You can choose either DIY or professional options for installing a window insulation film. Before selecting either option, you must consider the installation process, benefits, and warranty.

Using a DIY insulation kit is easy, and you don’t need professional experience. Simply measure the size of your window, clean it and install the kit by following the instructions on the packaging. If you don’t have experience with this process, you can hire a professional. 

There’s no difference in the type of insulation film when you install it with a DIY kit or if you call a professional. However, if you don’t want to compromise on the aesthetic appeal of your household, it’s best to hire a professional.  

Also, professionally installed window insulation films are likely to last longer and usually have better warranties. 

How Do You Remove Window Insulation Film?

Sometimes due to extreme weather conditions, insulation films can wear off quickly, and you’ll need to remove them to install a fresh layer. 

Here’s how to easily remove old window insulation film: 

1.) Heat the Window

You need to warm up your window for a few moments so that you can take off the insulation easily. There are many ways to do so, but the most effective way is by using a hair dryer. 

Set the hair dryer at a warm temperature, but don’t use it at its highest setting, as it can damage your window glass. Then, warm up the boundaries of your windows around the double-sided tape. 

After a few moments, you’ll notice that the tape becomes loose. 

2.) Peel off the Insulation

Gently peel off the plastic film from your window with your hands. If you face difficulty using your hand, you can use a scraping tool to get the job done. 

You have to be careful while using a scraping tool on your window because it can cause scratches on your glass if you use it too forcefully

3.) Wash Your Window

Once you’ve removed the film, wash your window to remove any adhesive or sticky material left on it. Wash the window with lukewarm water and dry it with a soft towel. Always wait for the glass to dry thoroughly before installing a new layer of insulation film. 

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