Asked on Oct 19, 2019

How do I insulate the windows of my old house?

OlivaKim  |Exquisitely UnremarkableKelli L. Milligan


We live in an old house. Some windows are painted shut (some even nailed shut, i think). When I go over to open or close the blinds I can literally feel the cool air flowing in and all I think about is the heating bill $$$$ this winter. The same is true of the fireplace... we have not been able to afford fixing the inside chimney bricks yet. Whats a good way to cover the opening... right now I'm using a blanket wrapped around the metal spark guard.... helps some bjut not enough.

4 answers
  • Gk
    on Oct 19, 2019

    You can use plastic shrink wrap kits for the interior of your windows. They help immensely for stopping cold drafts around windows and are easy to apply. You can apply the film over the blinds and then cut a small hole with a razor knife where the blind wand is so you can attach the wand on the outside to open and close your blinds. I seal around this small hole with clear packing tape. It works! I also use heavier curtains over the windows in the winter to insulate even more. I open them during the day and close them at night when it is the coldest.

    Here's some ideas for your fireplace.

  • Kelli L. Milligan
    on Oct 19, 2019

    What works best and looks great too are themalnlined drapery. Best window insulator around , works in summer too.

  • So we had the same trouble and we used the plastic kits from Home Depot for the windows. They were super easy to use and went up quick and taut with a hairdryer. Barely noticed them, but super effective. Don't really have any quick fixes for the fireplace...sorry.

  • Oliva
    on Oct 19, 2019

    Until you can pry off the window frames to insert more insulation, I'd follow Kelli's recommendation and purchase 2.5 or triple width draperies with thermal liners. The more folds, the better the insulation. Avoid cotton fabrics if possible, as they lack insulative properties. If you can feel cold air at floor level and you have the option, purchase draperies sufficiently long as to be able to "puddle" them at the bottom. They will drag on your floor, but can be turned under to further insulate from cold air. These draperies can always be held open during the day with "tie backs".

    If possible, tilt your blinds to permit maximum sun entry during daylight hours, to add free heat gain to these rooms.

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