What does a Garden Gnome do when she is not gardening, in the kitchen or doing genealogy? Well the answer might just surprise you so read the entries to find out more. This blog focuses on everything we do to make our house a home. There will be a strong emphasis on home energy efficiency and do-it-yourself (DIY) projects. At the same time there will also be crafts, knitting and crocheting projects along with any other little tips we do to create that down to earth, I want to be here home. Please enjoy your visit :)

Monday, November 5, 2007

Winterizing Project # 2 - Easy Window Cover

Many of us have a window that has no real view and the only values are air filtration or light. Often it is for light only and quite often is in a location where conventional window covering isn't quite appropriate. So what is needed is a covering that can give added insulation for the winter yet can be removed for the summer. Ideally the window covering is inexpensive and easy to install.

The Window

We have two such windows. They are good quality windows that are well sealed so could be left as is but I want a bit more insulation factor. They are at ground level meaning if we have any amount of snow they will be covered. I could not find any air leaks on either window but if you have a window like this check the spots marked by the arrows. If needed caulk these with clear silicone if wood stained or paintable caulk. On older windows check all weather stripping on the windows to be sure you have an air tight seal. Finally, lock the window to ensure a tight seal.

I adapted this idea from winterizing my greenhouse in my previous garden. This is an effective, low cost and energy efficient solution for some windows. Bubble wrap lets the light in while adding insulation to the north wall. When done properly on house windows it give the effect of frosted glass while adding insulation value. It is easily removed and if you store properly you can re-use for a couple of years. This is a project that can be adapted for any sized window.



clear silicone caulk
latex caulk
indoor shrink window film
bubble wrap
weather tape
caulk gun
tape measure

Clean the window pane with a 1:1 vinegar solution. Dry well. Seal the window as necessary with the caulk. Cut the two sided tape in the window kit to fit the window. This should leave you enough tape to attach the optional window film if you choose. Carefully place the tape around the window. Do not remove the other protective side. Cut the bubble wrap to fit. Remove the protective side and carefully attach the bubble wrap to the tape, keeping taunt and wrinkle free. Press the bubble wrap firmly into the tape. From there you can leave as is, add a finish edging or for added energy efficiency hang a curtain if desired.


The first thing you will notice about my window covering is there is a seam. The seam is joined with weather tape. I don't mind the seam because I am likely going to be the only one seeing the window and I am using up bubble wrap left over from winterizing the greenhouse. This picture was taken after dark but during daylight hours there is the same visibility of lightly frosted glass but the insulation value is greater.

As mentioned this window is already very well sealed but if you have a leaky window and can't seal with caulk, then after the bubble wrap is installed place a layer of shrink film on the inside window trim. Shrink for clarity with the bubble wrap between the window and inside surface. This will cut any draft unless it is coming from around the trim. You now have an energy efficient, low cost window treatment that allows the light in at the same time.

DIY: a novice DIYer could easily do this project.

Garden Gnome
© 2007