3 Things to Know Before Buying a Door and Window Insulation Kit

With winter rapidly approaching, it’s time to do a little insulation work around your doors and windows to keep heating bills low

Great Stuff insulation foam
A well-insulated window can keep cold air from seeping inside your home.Great Stuff

It’s no secret to most homeowners that the majority of cold air coming into their homes, and heat escaping, is doing so around the windows and doors. In fact, if you run your hand alongside any of your windows and doors right now, you’ll likely feel at least a little cold air seeping into your home. That’s a bad thing, not only because it forces you to pay a higher heating bill than you need to, but it needlessly wastes whatever kind of fuel you are using to run your heating system. A door and/or window insulation kit can help you solve this problem easily and quickly. When shopping for door and window insulation kits to keep the cold outside where it belongs, consider three different types of products—film, tape/strips, and foam.

Film

3M window insulator kit
This window insulator film is designed to lower heating costs and save energy.3M

This window insulator film is designed to lower heating costs and save energy. One of the easiest ways to reduce heat loss from your windows is by installing window insulating film. This film is designed to be applied to glass windows to reduce heat transfer. The main type for keeping heat indoors where it belongs is convection control film. Some types of convection control films are made for mounting over the inside frame, leaving an air gap between the window and the film. Others mount directly to the window with shrink wrapping or two-sided tape. Regardless of what kind you use, they will increase your energy efficiency. In fact, not only will such films save energy and reduce heating costs, but many also reduce condensation and help prevent frost build up. Since condensation transfers a significant amount of heat, reducing it leads to cost savings.

Tape/Strips

weather stripping
This door weather stripping has self-adhesive tape for easy insulation.CloudBuyer

Weather stripping seals gaps around your doors and windows, again with the idea of keeping cold outside and heat inside. There are several kinds available. V strip, sometimes called tension seal, is a plastic or metal strip folded into a “V” shape that springs open to close the gaps. Felt weather stripping comes in rolls and is used around the door’s jamb to prevent heat loss. While it is fairly inexpensive, it usually doesn’t last more than a couple of years. Foam tape is made from open- or closed-cell foam and is cut into strips to seal around the tops and bottoms of window sashes. Rubber, vinyl, or silicone strips often have built-in adhesive and are simply stuck into place around the bases of doors and windows, bottoms of doors and between doors and door jambs.

Foam

Great Stuff window and door foam
This minimal-expanding polyurethane foam is made to form an airtight seal between a window or door frame and it’s rough opening.Great Stuff

Sprayable foam insulation is perfect for plugging those unseen openings between doors and windows and the frames in which they are mounted. It’s not easy to see an opening there, but these areas are a major cause of heat loss and cold entry into a home. Often, however, these gaps are too small, or too inaccessible, to use fiberglass insulation to fix the problem. Spray foam insulation is manufactured as a liquid while inside the can, but it expands as it hardens after you spray it into a crack or gap. Simply spray it into the gap, allow the foam to cure for however long the manufacturer recommends, then trim off the excess with a utility knife. It’s easy to do and can likely save you more money on your heating bill than any of the other types of insulation covered here.

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