How to seal and/or weatherize windows?


I have old aluminum windows and cannot afford to replace them. I need to know how to seal them and can I do it from the inside? I have a fear of climbing too high on a ladder to do it from outside. I have been using plastic to cover them in previous winters but I still feel wind coming through.

I assume silicone would work. Bit I also don't know where to apply it.

Thanks ahead of time.


q seal and or weatherize windows

Bathroom window

q seal and or weatherize windows

Dining room window

q seal and or weatherize windows
  13 answers
  • Linda Linda on Oct 16, 2018

    In addition to covering it with plastic hang insulated curtains over the windows for additional help.

  • Gk Gk on Oct 16, 2018

    Hello Laura! Did you use the plastic insulation window kits--two brands are 3M and Duck. And did you apply the plastic directly to the windows? I think if you just tried to apply the plastic to the windows it would not work well. If you apply the plastic to the wood frame trim that goes around the window area--on the wall--trim area by your curtain rods--you should have good luck keeping drafts out. You could also apply some stick on foam insulation strips in any inside grooves in the window unit--where the window would slide up and down--if I look at your last picture I can see what looks like spray foam--that is the area where you could apply the strips--they come on a roll and there is different sizes. You could do that before you used the plastic. I bet these old windows are very cold and drafty!!! Brrrrr

  • Kathy Gunter Law Kathy Gunter Law on Oct 16, 2018

    If you can feel air coming in around the edges of the window or you can see light, then use caulking. I always wet my finger and smooth with the tip of my index finger. There's probably a tool for it but I use the one I was born with.

  • Redcatcec Redcatcec on Oct 17, 2018

    Here's what we do,

    First address the leaks by recaulking, or remove the old and put down new.

    Then we apply bubble wrap directly to the window, make sure the window is clean, then moisten the glass with water-that is your adhesive. If it loosens during the winter, tewet, and stock it back on.

    Finally, if ne ed ded, apply the window plastic window insulation kit, Duck or 3M.

    Best to you, stay warm

  • Rebecca Rebecca on Oct 17, 2018

    Here is a way to seal your windows from the inside: I did this and ended up saving about $20 a month in electric and my apartment is less drafty and a lot warmer in the winter.

  • Pam Walker Pam Walker on Oct 17, 2018

    Easiest & cheapest way is Clear Caulk. Get squeese bottles rather than the ones you havta put in a gun to pump out. They're easier to handle. Squeeze a line around the perimeter of the window & the inner edges. Run your finger along it to smooth it out. Let it dry to seal your windows. It works on all windows & any area you feel a draft coming in. Also, get some peel-n-stick foam for under your doors. That will help winterize too. It comes in several sizes like the flaps for door bottoms or the foam fillers for around the door itself to fill in gaps between the door & the door facing.

  • Shannon Stordock Hecht Shannon Stordock Hecht on Oct 17, 2018

    When we bought our house every single window was aluminum single pane. But sometime earlier the previous owners had wooden frames built. Each was fitted with heavy, heavy clear plastic. There was a thin strip of stick-on foam tape around the outside of each wood frame. These were absolutely perfect!! The space between the window pane and the plastic layer acted as further insulation. I labelled each frame so i knew which window it was fitted to. We used these for 10 years before we had all the window replaced. I have no idea how long they were used before we bought the house, but I would guess at least 15 years.

    • See 1 previous
    • Shannon Stordock Hecht Shannon Stordock Hecht on Oct 23, 2018

      Good site! The plastic our windows had was very, very thick. Since we did not have them builtI'm not sure what mil it was or where to get it. I remember, now, that it was sandwiched between 2 1/2 x 2" boards. While we still were getting windows replaced I used a couple out side as "green houses". Worked well.

  • Mogie Mogie on Oct 17, 2018

    I am also afraid of heights so understand. Here are a few things to try to prevent heat lose thru the window:

    Insulated curtains

    Check to see if you need new caulking around window frames

    Wood shutters on the inside that are lined for more insulation

    Close all curtains at night and open during the day

    Bubble wrap or plastic works as a layer of insulation

    I believe the product at Home Depot is made by Reflectix and called double reflective insulation.

  • Mona Blake Mona Blake on Oct 18, 2018

    We bought furring strips and made frames for every window. We then put the 3M window sealer on each frame. We used industrial velcro around every window and attached the othwr side to the frames. This is reusable every year!

  • Seth Seth on Oct 18, 2018

    There is a type of removable rope caulking available in any hardware store or Walmart. You can mold it to your window jambs and apron, which will seal the window from the inside. You can easily remove it if you need to open the window or in the spring.

  • Carolyn from NH Carolyn from NH on Oct 18, 2018

    We have old rattling windows and can not afford to replace them. We use rope caulking. It’s sort of like a clay rope. We press it in, around, under. Where ever there is a draft. We swear by this stuff and it fits the budget.

    Come Spring we only remove what we need too, to open windows. Saves money come Fall.

    Hope this helps.

    Carolyn from NH

  • Laura Rose Laura Rose on Oct 21, 2018

    Thanks to all of you. I appreciate all your help and suggestions.

  • Kmdreamer Kmdreamer on Jul 07, 2021

    Yes you could get plastic to put on them and tape or you could get window kits from Home Depot you could get like plastic drop cloths cut to fit windows there like 2 dollers Home Depot then get clear tape and tape all 4 sides