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Subscribe to Insulating windows - something cheap for a sharehouse 13 posts, 4 voices , Tagged: window insulation DIY

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Icon_missing_medium
May 25, 2010 9:52am
7 posts

Heya,

 

I was going to message Sam directly, but thought it probably makes more sense to share this question.

 

So, I’m living in a sharehouse where the windows are by far the biggest problem with keeping heat in the rooms in winter.  If I sit next to the window in my room, and you can feel the heat being literally sucked out from you and out through the window.  Usually I’ll just wrap myself in a blanket since it seems pointless trying to heat the room.

So my question: What is the best way to insulate windows (best in that good insulation/$)? I’ve asked around and came across a bunch of professional installations, but can see some problems:


  1. Double pane: Expensive, since often requires replacing of window frames.  The price means I’d want to get some help from the landlord, which they may be unwilling to help with.  Might not be a problem for me, but could be for others.
  2. Magnetic pane (magnets are placed around the frame, and then a plastic ‘pane’ is cut to size and placed on the frame): Expensive- cost was quoted to me at $300 m squared, so my room alone would be $1500 for roughly 5 m squared of window.
  3. Shrink wrap (DIY kit where special sheet of plastic is placed on windows and then a hairdryer is used to shrink + stick the film to the windows): I assume its cheaper than the above options,  but having trouble finding a supplier in Melbourne/Australia. Also, I believe its not as good as double-pane-type alternatives, as I don’t think there is a layer of air trapped between the film and window.
From what I’ve been reading on the Internet, trapping gas between two boundaries (i.e. double paned) is the most effective form of insulation, as convection is the main reason for heat loss through windows.  
So in addition to the professional-ish solutions above, I’m considering just getting some hard plastic bits cut to size, and then just blue-tacking them to the window (trying to seal the edges as much as possible).  Might be ugly the first couple of times I do it, so any suggestions would be appreciated.
Thanks,
~Mati

 

 

 
Samotage_300_medium
May 26, 2010 11:41am
555 posts

Hey Matt,

Welcome to the SEG dude!  I presume you are renting right?

The best answer is the double glazing, which is going to be expensive – any way you look at it.

What makes the biggest energy loss is through drafts, I’ve often used a roll of clear box tape to seal around the edges of the window and stop air leaks.  Run a candle around the window frame before and after to check the goodness of your work.

Also then think of hanging a heavy curtain or blind.  With a good air seal and window covering the result will be as good if not better than double glazing – the downside is, you just won’t be able to see out!

Sam.

 
Icon_missing_medium
May 26, 2010 7:05pm
7 posts

Curtain eh? Hmm…I was afraid you would say that.  I think I’ll still keep looking for some DIY plastic solution, as I’m willing to bet a satisfactory solution can be found…though may take some time.  Just don’t want to sacrifice being able to see outside…working from home can be dreary enough in winter!

I like the candle idea. And if I can just solve insulating a window cheaply, it would be worth something to a lot of other people. I’ll have to keep you guys posted!

~Mat

 
Samotage_300_medium
May 26, 2010 8:52pm
555 posts

Definitely go the tape first, and cut the drafts, also tape over any ceiling level vents.  What you want to do is make the room as air tight as possible to reduce the drafty loss.

Sam.

 

 
Icon_missing_medium
Jul 5, 2010 4:51am
7 posts

Update: As I told Sam (in person) I have found some products that can be used to insulate products.  I think there is no agreed-upon-term to use, but essentially they are window insulation kits, which used heat-shrinking plastic sheets together with double sided tape.

I have ordered several kits from the USA (I cannot find a supplier in Australia), and also set up a website for anyone else who wants me to order products on their behalf.

Website I setup I setup is http://panegain.com.  

 

 
Icon_missing_medium
Jul 5, 2010 4:57am
7 posts

Oops, meant to say the name of the products are generally called “Windows insulation kits”.  

The products I ordered on Amazon are here: http://www.amazon.com/3M-2141W-Indoor-5-Window-Insulator/dp/B00002NCJI

I also ordered a infra-red detection gun thing, to help spot leaks in my room. 

 
Samotage_300_medium
Jul 5, 2010 5:30am
555 posts

It would be very sweet to monitor the change in energy consumption in your room before and after with a mini SEGmeter.

created on: 07/05/10

The new ones will be even smaller and cooler.

Sam.

 
Icon_missing_medium
Jul 6, 2010 10:03am
7 posts

Hey! I just figured out what you mean- Nath showed me.  I didn’t realize your little thingies measured temperature as well!  Sure, that would be cool.  How much do one of those thingies set me back?

 
Icon_missing_medium
Jul 6, 2010 10:14am
7 posts

One thing though- energy consumption may not work out, as its not like I have a thermastat-driven heater…so I would have to use the imprecise-yet-funciton Mat-thermastat to generate comparable results

 
Samotage_300_medium
Jul 6, 2010 11:45am
555 posts

Hey Mat,

The things measure all sort of stuff, and can also control things – control is alpha at the moment, but it does work.  I get a cold shower everytime it fails, which isn’t that often.

The human thermostat is perhaps the best I’ve come across. 

Sam.

 
Icon_missing_medium
Aug 25, 2010 11:39pm
7 posts

Yo, I finally got the window insulating stuff, and put it up in my room.  Definitely makes a difference, though I didn’t take measurements before and after.  That said I do have a infrared gun now and can take some quasi measurements.  

Last night was 7.2 degrees at 1:30am (roughly when I went to bed), and I only need my heater on the low setting to heat my room comfortably (18 degrees or so). Also, it used to be such bad insulation that the only warm place in the room was if you basically sat in front of the heater on high- anywhere else in the room was noticeably colder.  Now the whole room is warm, which is awesome.

This morning its currently 9.2 degree – my room this morning is a reasonable 15.5 degrees, with no heating (retained from last night + radiation…I think). 

Finally its slightly quieter, with the double-pane effect, which is great being next to a busy road in the mornings/evenings.

 

So yeah, pretty happy with something that costs $18 USD + shipping + 2 hours of labour!

~Mat

 
Icon_missing_medium
Feb 1, 2011 3:56pm
1 post

I think there are some pretty specific products out there such as foam based one for windows. But I've always just used what I've had in the house for a quick fix, usually some Sealing Tape

 
Icon_missing_medium
Jan 11, 2014 3:56pm
3 posts

Hello Matii i wish to know what do you want to do?

Fix your window or see where is the problem at your house.

Can you share a few images of the problem?

 

Thanks

 

Jose

 

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