How to Insulate Old Windows: A Comprehensive Guide

Welcome to our article on how to insulate old windows! If you live in an older home, you may have noticed that your windows are not as energy-efficient as they could be. This can lead to higher heating and cooling costs, drafty rooms, and overall discomfort. However, the good news is that insulating old windows is a relatively easy and inexpensive process that can greatly improve your home’s energy efficiency. In this article, we will provide you with 12 simple steps to help you insulate your old windows and keep your home comfortable.

Step-by-Step Guide to Insulating Old Windows

1. Check for Air Leaks

The first step in insulating your old windows is to check for air leaks. Go around each window with your hand and feel for any drafts. You can also use a candle or a piece of tissue paper to see if there is any movement indicating a draft. Once you find the areas where air is leaking in, mark them with a piece of tape.

2. Clean the Windows

Before you start insulating, it’s important to thoroughly clean the windows and the surrounding areas. This will help ensure that the insulation materials adhere properly and are effective. Use a gentle cleaner and a soft cloth or sponge to clean the window frames, sills, and glass.

3. Install Weatherstripping

Weatherstripping is a flexible material that can be installed around the edges of your windows to prevent drafts. There are a variety of materials available, including foam, felt, and vinyl. Choose weatherstripping that is appropriate for your window type and that will provide a tight seal.

4. Apply Caulk

Caulk is a sealant that can be used to fill in any gaps or cracks around your windows. Apply caulking around the edges of the window frame, as well as any gaps in the surrounding wall or trim. Make sure to use a caulk that is appropriate for your window type and that will adhere properly to the materials.

5. Add Insulating Film

Insulating film is a thin, transparent material that can be applied to the interior of your windows to help block out drafts and improve energy efficiency. Simply cut the film to size, apply it to the window, and use a hair dryer to shrink it into place.

6. Install Window Insulation Kits

Window insulation kits are a convenient and affordable option for insulating your old windows. These kits typically include plastic film, double-sided tape, and a hair dryer. Simply apply the tape to the window frame, cut the film to size, and use the hair dryer to shrink it into place.

7. Use Draft Stoppers

Draft stoppers are long, stuffed fabric tubes that can be placed at the bottom of your windows to prevent drafts from entering your home. These can be purchased from most home improvement stores, or you can make your own by sewing a long tube and stuffing it with rice or beans.

8. Consider Adding Storm Windows

If your old windows are particularly drafty, you may want to consider adding storm windows. These are windows that are installed on the outside of your existing windows and provide an extra layer of insulation. They can be purchased at most home improvement stores.

9. Install Window Shades or Blinds

Window shades or blinds can also help improve the energy efficiency of your old windows. By closing them at night or during the hottest parts of the day, you can reduce heat transfer and keep your home more comfortable.

10. Use Heavy Curtains

Heavy curtains are another option for insulating your old windows. Look for curtains that are lined with thermal material, which can help block out drafts and regulate temperature.

11. Add Insulated Window Panels

Insulated window panels are a more permanent option for insulating your old windows. These are panels that are custom-made to fit your windows and are filled with insulating material. They can be installed on the interior or exterior of your windows.

12. Consider Replacement Windows

If your old windows are beyond repair, you may want to consider replacing them with new, energy-efficient windows. While this can be a more expensive option, it can greatly improve the comfort and energy efficiency of your home in the long run.

Tips and Tricks for Insulating Old Windows

1. Choose the Right Materials

Make sure to choose insulation materials that are appropriate for your window type and that will provide a tight seal.

2. Don’t Forget the Window Frames

When insulating your old windows, don’t forget to address any gaps or cracks in the window frames themselves.

3. Consider Professional Help

If you’re unsure about how to properly insulate your old windows, consider hiring a professional to help.

4. Use Caulk Around the Window Panes

In addition to caulking around the window frame, make sure to also apply caulk around the window panes themselves for extra insulation.

5. Check for Leaks Regularly

After insulating your old windows, make sure to regularly check for any new drafts or leaks that may have developed.

6. Invest in Curtains or Blinds

Investing in curtains or blinds can be a simple and effective way to improve the energy efficiency of your old windows.

7. Don’t Skimp on Weatherstripping

Make sure to use enough weatherstripping to provide a tight seal around your old windows.

8. Cut Insulation Materials Carefully

When cutting insulation materials, make sure to measure carefully and cut cleanly to ensure a tight fit.

9. Look for Rebates and Incentives

When considering replacement windows, look for any rebates or incentives that may be available to help offset the cost.

10. Consider DIY Solutions

Many of the steps involved in insulating old windows can be done yourself, saving you money and improving your home’s energy efficiency. That concludes our guide on how to insulate old windows. By following these simple steps, you can help increase your home’s comfort and reduce your energy bills. With a little effort and some careful planning, you can insulate your old windows and enjoy a more energy-efficient home.

Advantages and Disadvantages of Insulating Old Windows


1. Improved Energy Efficiency: One of the biggest advantages of insulating old windows is that it can improve the energy efficiency of your home. By adding an extra layer of insulation, you can prevent heat from escaping during the winter and keep your home cooler during the summer.

2. Cost Savings: Insulating old windows can also save you money on your energy bills. When your home is more energy-efficient, you don’t have to run your heating and air conditioning systems as often or for as long, which can save you a significant amount of money in the long run.

3. Eco-Friendly: Insulating old windows is also an eco-friendly solution. By reducing your energy consumption, you can help to lower your carbon footprint and do your part to protect the environment.

4. Home Comfort: Insulating old windows can also improve the overall comfort of your home. By keeping the temperature inside your home more consistent, you can create a more comfortable living environment for you and your family.

5. Increase Resale Value: Finally, insulating old windows can also increase the resale value of your home. Homebuyers are often willing to pay more for a home that is energy-efficient and eco-friendly, so by investing in insulation, you can potentially increase the value of your property.


1. High Up-Front Costs: One of the biggest disadvantages of insulating old windows is that it can be expensive. You may need to invest in specialized insulation materials and hire a professional to install them, which can add up to a significant up-front cost.

2. Aesthetics: Insulating old windows can also change the look of your home. Depending on the type of insulation you choose, your windows may look thicker or less uniform, which can alter the overall aesthetic of your home.

3. Maintenance: Insulation materials may require maintenance over time. This can add an additional cost and time commitment to your home maintenance routine.

4. DIY Challenges: Installing insulation yourself can be difficult, especially if you lack experience. This can lead to mistakes, wasted time, and other issues that can add to the overall cost of the project.

5. Risk of Damage: Finally, insulating old windows can potentially damage the window frame or panes. This can be particularly true with older windows that are more fragile. If you’re not careful, you could cause more harm than good with insulation.


1. Why should I insulate my old windows?

Insulating old windows can help improve energy efficiency in your home by reducing heat loss during the colder months. This can lead to lower heating costs and a more comfortable living space.

2. Can I insulate my old windows myself?

Yes, you can. There are numerous DIY methods for insulating old windows, such as using weatherstripping, applying window film, or adding a window insulation kit.

3. What is weatherstripping?

Weatherstripping is a material used to seal gaps around doors and windows. It helps to prevent air leakage and can improve energy efficiency by reducing heat loss.

4. What is window film?

Window film is a thin sheet of plastic that can be applied to the interior of windows to improve insulation. It works by adding an extra layer of insulation to the glass, which reduces heat loss.

5. What is a window insulation kit?

A window insulation kit is a DIY product that consists of plastic film, double-sided tape, and sometimes a hairdryer. It is used to create an airtight seal over the window and can help to reduce heat loss.

6. What type of weatherstripping is best for old windows?

The best type of weatherstripping for old windows depends on several factors, including the type of window, the size of the gap, and the location of the window. Some common types of weatherstripping include adhesive-backed foam tape, V-strip, and door sweeps.

7. How do I apply weatherstripping to my old windows?

To apply weatherstripping, you will need to measure the gap around your window and purchase the appropriate product. Then, clean the surface where the weatherstripping will be applied and carefully attach the weatherstripping to the edge of the window or window frame.

8. How do I apply window film to my old windows?

Applying window film involves cleaning the window surface, spraying it with a solution of water and soap, and carefully adhering the film to the glass. A hairdryer is then used to smooth out any bubbles and ensure a tight seal.

9. How long does window film last?

Window film can last anywhere from 5 to 10 years, depending on the quality of the product and the conditions in which it was installed.

10. Can I remove window film?

Yes, window film can be removed by gently peeling it off the glass. Any remaining adhesive can be removed with a solution of water and vinegar.

11. Will insulating my old windows completely eliminate drafts?

No, insulating your old windows will not completely eliminate drafts, but it can significantly reduce them. It is important to remember that other factors, such as doors and wall insulation, may also contribute to drafts in your home.

12. Will insulating my old windows make my home more soundproof?

Insulating your old windows can help to reduce noise pollution, but it is unlikely to make your home completely soundproof. Other factors, such as wall insulation and noise-blocking curtains, may also be necessary.

13. Can I hire a professional to insulate my old windows?

Yes, you can hire a professional to insulate your old windows. A professional may be able to provide more tailored solutions and ensure that your windows are properly insulated.

How to Insulate Old Windows

Old windows can be a charming addition to any home, but they can also be a source of energy loss and discomfort during colder months. Insulating your windows can help keep your home warm and reduce your energy bill. Here are some tips on how to insulate old windows.

Methods of Insulating Old Windows

There are several ways to insulate old windows, including applying weather stripping, adding window film, and using draft stoppers. Weather stripping involves attaching adhesive strips around the edges of your window to prevent air leaks. Window film is a thin, transparent plastic film that can be applied to your window to reduce drafts. Draft stoppers are long fabric tubes placed on the floor beneath your window to prevent drafts from entering your home.

Another way to insulate old windows is to use insulated curtains or blinds. These window treatments have an additional layer of insulation to help keep your home warm. If you choose to use curtains, make sure to leave them open during the day to allow sunlight to enter your home and warm it naturally.

Conclusion and Closing

Insulating your old windows can help keep your home warm and save you money on your energy bill. While there are several methods available, it’s important to choose the method that works best for your home and budget. Whether you choose weather stripping or insulated curtains, you can enjoy the charm of your old windows while increasing the comfort of your home.

Thanks for reading and good luck with your window insulation project!