Brr! Drafty windows- how to cut the draft?

by Dfm
I have 3 sets of windows configured like this...very drafty, How to you winterize them? There is nothing in the corner to stick tape to. Thank you icon
  45 answers
  • William William on Dec 22, 2016

    Use window shrink film kits. The come with double stick tape you put on the widow frame, attach the window film, and use a blow dryer to shrink the film. You run a strip of tape on the frames in the corner. *****

  • Ann Meyerhoff Ann Meyerhoff on Dec 22, 2016

    I don't bother to shrink the it because if the wind is too strong it can release the tape.

  • Janet Pizaro Janet Pizaro on Dec 22, 2016

    Home Depot sell window insulation kits from Three M

  • Gsmigielski Gsmigielski on Dec 22, 2016

    Use bubble wrap------buy it at staples.

  • Sue Kiene Sue Kiene on Dec 22, 2016

    I agree with them about the shrink wrap but I would think about building a frame to put inside the windows for next winter with maybe plexiglass or the like in it.

  • Asko, the big Finn Asko, the big Finn on Dec 22, 2016

    Hi there!

    I bet your windows are drafty as you stated! These types are notorious for letting the wind in. If they slide, there is a gap.

    The FIRST task is to seal the the drafts!! You can caulk ( could do it outside), weatherstrip, or use tape . I am a Master Conserver and done tens of windows and doors. I often caulk shut all except 2 or 3 windows, that is enough in the Summer to fan the house cool. Also cool the house at night and close curtains during the day. The shrink plastics works quite well, or bubble wrap. I often get cheap or free windows and make storm windows out of those. Also storms with frames and plastic are quite effective. To get warmer windows, you can make (or purchase) insulated drapes.

    Very few folks realize the cumulative results. If a door has a gap of 1/8 inch (which is relatively small) all around, you have a hole of 28 sq. inches!!!!! Lots of heat escapes 24/7!!!! If you stop the drafts, you can lower your temperature considerably and feel just as comfy!! Weatherstrip your doors!!! Plug all air leaks around pipes, bath room fans, electrical switches and outlets, etc. Most houses have several square feet of air leaks!!


    Asko, the big Finn

  • Teresa Teresa on Dec 22, 2016

    Another quick trick and cheep is bubble wrap it insulates too. I saw it on a tv program.

    Hope it helps Teresa


    1. Cut the bubble wrap to the size of the window pane with scissors.
    2. Spray a film of water on the window using a spray bottle.
    3. Apply the bubble wrap while the window is still wet and press it into place.
    4. The bubble side goes toward the glass.

    To remove the bubble wrap, just pull it off starting from a corner.

  • Susan August Susan August on Dec 22, 2016

    What do you do about condensation??

  • Lamar Havard Lamar Havard on Dec 22, 2016

    I agree with William. The shrink film acts like another well-sealed window, and is the best, and cheapest fix.

  • Debbie Stokes Cotter Debbie Stokes Cotter on Dec 23, 2016

    If you want an idea that you can use many winters is go to a Home Depot type of store and by a sheet of plexiglass. Have them cut to size of the outside of the window frame. (indoors not outdoors) Then buy Velcro tape in a roll. Cut the Velcro in half lengthwise and apply one side to the edge of the plexiglass and the other side to the window frame. Press the plexiglass into the window frame for a secure fit! There are professional kits you can buy online, but doing it yourself is cheaper. This may be initially somewhat expensive, but you can use it for many years if you are careful. I used this method on one window that was very leaky, and was very pleased by the result. Good luck!

  • Dfm Dfm on Dec 23, 2016

    thanks for all the good replies, I would use shrink wrap but the prevous home owner /land lord oiled all the wood work. nothing sticks to it, and tape on the paint in other areas has pulled off seriously huge chunks of paint chips. apparently no primer used over the old paint b/4 the new color.

  • Jean Myles Jean Myles on Dec 23, 2016

    You can cut strips of cardboard or buy thin strips of wood molding and enough plastic to cover the window frames. Then tack them around the window frame . Caulking the windows would be a good idea also. They sell removable caulking at home depot here in Canada that can be used on the inside or outside of the windows. l Lined curtains also work well .

  • Kj Kj on Dec 23, 2016

    Try pushing some insulating putty into any cracks or places that may allow for air to come in. Even though many have said to use shrink wrap kits, and you've said that it won't stick because the sills had been oiled, I would strongly recommend trying one of the outdoor shrink wrap kits. I've used them and they made a big difference, even though they weren't the perfect solution . I've used an outdoor sliding glass door kit sideways on a long bank of windows. Again, not perfect, but it helped in conjunction with the putty. Good luck, stay warm!πŸ”₯

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    • Kj Kj on Dec 27, 2016

      I would give the outside wrap a try, you've got little to lose. We live in a heavily crittered area, and have had no problem, including with birds and bug hunting. Give the putty in the spaces a try, it pulls out easily to get the windows open in the warmer weather. Good luck!

  • Eroque022810 Eroque022810 on Dec 23, 2016

    Clean oil off with a product for that purpose someone at an ace hardware store will be most helpful oy here. Then the problem I see is that the blinds are not put in properly one is higher than the other due to lack of space in that corner. Locate the draft and see if taking blinds down instead of making a hole in the plastic. I suppose you could leave them open and pull drapes closed. I would do each window accordingly. Although I like the plexiglass suggestion best. Easy up easy down. Plus the cold you feel now is the heat that will come in during the summer! 😨

    • Mary Stutzman Sibert Mary Stutzman Sibert on Dec 24, 2016

      I tried years ago to get Home Depot to cut Plexiglass for me, refusd, cracks to easily so good luck with that.

  • Pennypincher Pennypincher on Dec 24, 2016

    Caulk that can be removed when you are ready to open! Here is just one of these products.

  • Sophia,M.,McConnery Sophia,M.,McConnery on Dec 24, 2016

    They do sell the shrink wrap kits at most hardware stores!

    • See 1 previous
    • DORLIS DORLIS on Dec 25, 2016

      I do this on the sunroom windows and it helps cut out the cold coming thru those windows to the kitchen.Reply to Sophia,M.,McConnery...

  • V Smith V Smith on Dec 24, 2016

    I grew up in a house that was built right after the Civil War. Even when the windows were properly caulked they still let in a lot of air. Only the bottom panes moved so most of the leaks were there. We used to fold strips of paper into a long vee shape. Then with a very thin putty knife we would push the papers along the sides, bottom, and between the top and bottom panes. It really made a difference and the paper didn't show inside or out.

  • RichandTammy Whiteside RichandTammy Whiteside on Dec 25, 2016

    When we were growing up, I remember my father making frames that fit inside the windows out of simple 1 x 3's. To the frame he stapled heavy-duty clear vinyl that overlapped the frame just a little to basically seal out the cold. It kept the chill out but still allowed the light in.

    You could also use a gentle painters tape to also hold the frames in place which would be just another added measure of sealing out the cold.

    Good luck to you & Merry Christmas!!!

  • Judy Adkisson Judy Adkisson on Dec 25, 2016

    I put bubble wrap on the glass of my windows. Cut wrap the size of the window spray window with water and put flat side to the glass and press gently to put in place😊. Some I put on last year is still on the windows. Keeps cold out in the winter and heat out in the summer.took about an hour to do a five room house and cost less then $15. I bought two rolls of wrap at Menard's .

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    • Mary Mary on Dec 26, 2016

      Judy & Bab's solution is the BEST!!!Cheap, easy and it works!!

  • Pat Ruge Pat Ruge on Dec 25, 2016

    First let me say, my solution will be a bit "unconventional". Bear with me as I tend to prefer function over form.

    I would remove all venetian blinds and hardware. At home depot, you can find these sheets of insulation that measures 4'x8' feet. It sells for just under $9/ea. One side has an aluminum shield, layered on 3/4" Styrofoam. Cut these pieces to fit each window. This alone will eliminate most drafts but it might not look great. Aluminum side to the outside. These "draft barriers" can easily be slipped in and out if you mount a little pull strip at the bottom. I would take it one step further and cover the interior side with batting and top it with a nice fabric. Another option is to simply pull the drapes to cover the look of the insulation.

    If the window boxes have drafts, there is another product called "stuff" in a spray can, that you can insert applicator into a small hole and squeeze enough "stuff" to fill. This insulation product expands to fill the space. Insulation sheets

    • Katrina Katrina on Dec 28, 2016

      This, by far is the BEST method!!!

      If you're desperate to keep the light, you can also use bubble wrap. Seriously. It is how I insulate my workshop! :

  • Sandra Crosbie Sandra Crosbie on Dec 25, 2016

    Isn't a terrible pity that in this day and age that so many people are still chasing their tail trying to keep the dreaded draught away. Our home was built in 1999. We thought yay it will be so warm and cosy, not a chance here we are 13 years later since we moved here we are still trying to draught proof the house. My husband has spent the past to weeks repairing and recaulking the area were the wall and window meet. Especially under the bottom frame. It has made a huge difference I also make sure I keep the windows covered, blinds are closed and heavy curtains closed at night is an extra bit of cosy. I really hope you get a useful solution, there's nothing worse at this time of year when the heat in your house wants to escape and doing so it invites chilly and draughty in. Good luck.πŸ‘πŸ’²πŸ’²πŸŽπŸ§πŸ§

  • Pam Kneebone Pam Kneebone on Dec 25, 2016

    I would try a simple cheap solution of dollar store clear plastic shower curtains with a inexpensive push rod inside frame.Cheaper than that clear shrink wrap and easier.

    • Jane Jane on Dec 28, 2016

      I did exactly this several years ago in my Mom's old house. She has beautiful wood shutters inside, but the windows were drafty. No one even knows there is a shower curtain behind those shutters. Does the job and lasts a long time.

  • Michele Bartholome Michele Bartholome on Dec 26, 2016

    grand father had a set of "winter"panes he put up outside every year & the idea of using plexiglass is a good one to be used outside BUT before mounting them place a runner of felt or other flexable insulation around the edges that too helps & there are a kind of bracket that hekps that is placed directly on the walls so you dont have to drill the plexi

  • A. Saucedo A. Saucedo on Dec 26, 2016

    I get wide painters tape and tape around inside window . Doesn't look the greatest but keeps drafts out and easy to remove

  • Carol Carol on Dec 26, 2016

    I lived in an old country home while raising children alone, Propane bills were killing me, and we only had a wood burning stove and a wall furnace in the kitchen area. I used Bulb seal at my employment, and one day it came to me. So I went to a hardware store and bought bulb seal to go around the windows, then I bought some Plexiglas , cut it just a bit smaller than the window itself and surrounded it by the bulb seal cutting a small slit to fit the plexi glass. pushed in in carefully as near to the window as I could on the inside. This worked wonders.

    It was clear and no body ever noticed , just nearly looked like double pane windows. just really cleaned the windows and frames well first. Hope this helps some.

  • Mary Mary on Dec 26, 2016

    a lot of corners on houses are not insulated properly when built. the way the studs go together it is hard to get insulation in between, so it goes undone. also many times the window hole is larger than the window itself and this is put in with wedges or spacers which again are not insulated. At the end of the day you have a cold ghost corner. I would say staple plastic sheeting outside the house and come summer get into the walls or replace the windows with triple pane and you can check the insulation then. Storm windows on the outside do help. If you remove the trim inside you can fill with the great stuff foam spray but use the blue can, the red can expands a lot and you may not be able to open the window. All this depends on how much you want to spend and whether or not it is owned. Cheapest quickest is staple plastic to the outside over the whole corner if this changes things it will be a clue how much insulation you have.

  • Karen Walker Karen Walker on Dec 26, 2016

    My granddaddy used those frames with the heavy plastic sheets to fit over the windows in the winter; effective yes but, so depressing! Consider planting some evergreens on either side of the windows. Evergreens are great insulators. You'll not want to plant to too close to the walls but close enough to block the winds. Also consider building a frame of plexiglass sheets that will fit into the corner (kind of like a hinged room divider). Plexiglass comes in a variety of colors and textures ( clear/ frosted still let in the light) .

    Or polypropolene panels sometimes used in greenhouses.

  • Linda Linda on Dec 26, 2016

    Not sure what it's called but you can get it from a hardware store and it's a film that comes with double sided tape. It comes in different size sheets so measure your window first. The tape goes around the window frame and you position the film against the tape. (cut to fit with a bit extra in case of mis-measuring). Then once it's in place, you use a hair dryer over the whole surface and the film shrinks tight. It works well and is as clear as glass .

  • Zebbie Hardy Zebbie Hardy on Dec 27, 2016

    We have the same 2 windows on a corner just like this. Over the spring I went around the outside and took storm window part off of them and caulked all of my window and much much better, but for our breezeway my husband made frames for each section, nothing fancy with no angles, and puts heavy plasic around the frame and staples then he screws the frames to the wood of each section on our breezeway. The puts them up every winter and takes down every spring. They actually don't look that bad either, maybe this would help through the winter. I would be happy to attach picture if you would like to see. If not no worries. Stay warm.

  • Linda Abate Linda Abate on Dec 28, 2016

    You could put plastic on the outside and/or inside of the windows. You could put up thermal lined curtains or use quilted window covers.

  • Anon Anon on Jan 10, 2017

    We live in a subdivision ...and the windows that were used were cheap...that is what you get in these new areas unless you buy new windows from someone else...(Keep that in mind if any of you move to such a place)...Anyway, our windows were drafty, PLUS they were getting BAD condensation. My husband put up heavy plastic over the windows...the kind that stretches a little, and is made for the job. You can find that in any home improvement store. Ask them. It is not hard to do. This does contain the moisture too. Otherwise, originally in one room, we installed 2 layers of curtains...underneath was a regular rod, and another was extended over a couple or 3 inches for the 2nd pair...This helped much to make the room warmer also.

    You can also buy, for nominal cost, some draft stoppers...the stuffed tubes of cloth, and you just place them on the sill. EASY and provides noticeable relief.

    You can also make your own rather easily, with inexpensive fabric and rice to fill them. You could hand sew these with small stitches...if you do not have a sewing machine...this way you can customize them. We also bought a small space heater...these are improved these days...without the open grid in the front and pretty inexpensive, also without the risk of tipping over. This makes a big difference also. Another idea is to try having a hot water vaporizer in the room...those can quite inexpensive also.

  • Mel16621372 Mel16621372 on Jan 14, 2017

    Those are nice wood windows from circa 1950 or so. The horizontal muntins in a vertical window had a brief period of popularity around then. Corner windows like that are a common feature of homes of that era and do bring in lots of light, but they are hard to cover with drapery and can be drafty and thus fell out of favor. I think they look great and are worth keeping. You might go to RetroRenovation blog for more ideas for window coverings.

    Simply spraying the window with water and laying bubble wrap on top will instantly double the R value of the glass. Lower your blinds and close the curtains at night will make a big difference, if you aren't doing that already. Use themal curtains too. Rope caulk/putty/weatherstripping is cheap and comes in a roll you can peel off and work into the cracks, but it is pretty noticable on dark trim, or you can use clear REMOVABLE caulk, but be sure to take it off in the spring or it can get sticky.

    Custom interior storms or air panels (simple wood frame with shrink plastic on both sides and some type of weatherstripping (brush or bulb) can work very well and are a whole lot cheaper than window replacement (which often takes 49 years to payback what you put into them, and they usually don't last that long).

    As a temporary measure, you could make a sort of hinged screen with plastic or close off the entire corner from far window edge to the other to create a triangle behind the panel. You could even hang another layer of curtains or even a loosely woven thermal blanket from a rod or plumbing pipe or an IKEA curtain cable attached to the ceiling. My sister used old-fashioned cotton loose-weave thermal blankets for every window in her first home, and it is amazing how well they cut down on drafts and still let light in, and looked nice too!

    Also when it is warmer, take a look at the windows inside and out. The glazing putty is probably shot and you can scrape out the worn stuff on the outer windows and spot reglaze (buying a reglazing knife for this is worth it, but a small putty knife will work). If you have wood glazing (ie the glass fits in a sort of slot with wood on both sides, not just on the inside) you can take some basic DAP clear acrylic (NOT silicone!) caulk and spread it on along the edges of the glass, and push it into the cracks by the muntins and inner sash. Scrape off the excess with a plastic putty knife, cleaning the blade as needed with a rag. Let dry, mist with water and carefully score and scrape off the excess caulk with a single-edge razor. This will seal the glass better.

    Exterior storms are also an option, and you may even have some old wood storms stored away in the garage or basement. To avoid having to put up and take down, install with storm window hangers on top and stays and hooks inside from Smith Sash Restoration or House of Antique Hardware. Modern triple-track storms may be an option too after you fix and repaint the windows. My house has hybrid storm windows--the frames are wood but the glass part is a triple track, and they are the best of both worlds IMHO because they can easily be removed to paint or fix the windows as needed.

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    • Jeannie Carle Jeannie Carle on Feb 09, 2017

      I've tried the bubble wrap - without seriously taping it down on all sides, here in NW MO it won't stay. As soon as there is condensation - it slides off. And yup - lots of condensation.

  • Jane Jane on Jan 17, 2017

    Buy some draft busters or 3M plastic window with double sided window tape. Works wonders ! Buy at lowes

    • Dfm Dfm on Jan 21, 2017

      I did have shrink wrap up but the windows are so leaky - moisture condensation between glass and the plastic caused the the wood cross parts to mold.

  • Dfm Dfm on Jan 21, 2017

    when i did cover the windows with plastic sheeting shrink wrap a lot of moisture accumulated accumulated on the inside of windows and caused the wood cross pieces to mold. black yucky stuff. i'll take care of the mold when warmer weather hits, but the wood pieces need to dry back out.

    thanks , dfm

  • Pattystone Pattystone on Jan 21, 2017

    just get double pane windows installed.

    • Dfm Dfm on Jan 21, 2017

      hi patty! i'm trying to keep the mid -mod vibe intact, as much as possible...this style of window is original to the house. they have held up for 65 yrs. none of the interior walls have been moved... its still the same configuration as built. the interior is configured for a cold climate- which fits my location- as there about 3 months warm, and 9 months cold or deep freeze. I've got a lot of the air leaks sealed, but these corner windows are a bugger!

  • Pattystone Pattystone on Feb 05, 2017

    there are mid century look alike windows available. Go ahead. Its your $. but I try to savemoney and above all energy

    • Jeannie Carle Jeannie Carle on Feb 09, 2017

      Some of us don't have the resources to do all that, else my vertical sliding windows would be GONE LOL Or should I say horizontal? They're tall and narrow and slide sideways. Drafts alllll up the divider AND along the bottom.

  • Dfm Dfm on Feb 06, 2017


  • Claude Claude on Feb 11, 2017

    All you guys w condensation, try this. That roll of 1/2 " winter chalk draft stop? Place it between the top window and the casing and the bottom and the sill plate. Then after you lock the window in place, run a strip across the middle where the window sash lock is. the next thing is getting a roll of the double sticky tape, and go to the fabric store and buy heavy weight crystal clear plastic...cut it to the outside trim edge and stretch tight. OR you can use very thin balsa type wood strips and actually nail it to the outside of the trim. I did it at my sisters 1980 condo windows..and you could see thru the plastic. We trimmed the vinyl after fastening..then removed it when we wanted to open windows in the spring..reusing it the next year. I also used a strip of pipe insulation..looks like a pool noodle..I slice one side open and slide it over the door bottom. It stops the drafts and you're NOT constantly moving it back against the door because it's attached to the bottom of the door just stays there. Thermal curtains and you will save on heating costs too.

  • Agnes Chrzanowska Agnes Chrzanowska on Jan 31, 2022

    insulte with tape and caulking

  • Johnavallance82 Johnavallance82 on Sep 01, 2022

    Use double sided tape and POLYSTYRENE OR PERSPEX (pLEXIGLASS)

  • Shrink film - and it will stick to the corner.

  • Mogie Mogie on Jun 02, 2023

    Just be aware that the shrink kits can leave a horrible residue on the window frames if the frames are vinyl.

  • Mogie Mogie on Jun 07, 2023

    Be carful with the shrink wrap it can leave a horrible residue on vinyl window frames.

  • Deb K Deb K on Oct 05, 2023

    Hello, I used heavy clear poly attached with 2 sided tape on my drafty windows, I helped a lot!! It's fairly easy to apply as one person, but way easier for two people to put it up. Hope this video helps