Window Plastic: Why It Doesn’t Work

Energy efficiency is an important feature of windows. They play a large role in keeping your home comfortable and lowering the cost of your energy bills. But many homeowners turn to window plastic when their windows stop working properly.

This is a big problem because plastic for your windows doesn’t work well. In fact, you’re not really fixing the problem at all. We don’t recommend using it for your home.

the effects of window plastic

Are you wondering why we’re so adamant about not using window plastic? We’ll explain what it is and why it doesn’t work in this article. Let’s get started!

What’s Window Plastic?

You’ll need to first know what window plastic is. It’s a plastic shrink wrap that’s applied over the surface of your window. You secure it onto the sides then use a heat lamp or hot blow drier to adhere it onto the window.

That’s where window plastic gets its other name, window shrink. It’s because it shrinks to the window when heat is applied creating a tight bond between itself and the surface of your window.

That’s about it –  there isn’t much more to plastic for your window. It’s very easy to find and can be purchased at any department or hardware store.

What’s The Purpose of Window Plastic?

The main purpose of window plastic is to prevent outside drafts from getting into your home and keepheated and cooled air inside. In theory it sounds like a great idea – the plastic works as another layer for your windows to improve your home’s energy efficiency.

The problem lies when it’s used as a supplement for functioning windows. For instance, if you have a single pane window or a double pane window with seal failure, it’s not energy efficient any longer. Window plastic shouldn’t be used to cover up that glaring flaw and we’ll explain why below.

There Are Several Reasons It Doesn’t Work

There are many reasons why window shrink doesn’t work well. Whether it’s simply ignoring the problem or falls off quickly, it isn’t the right solution for your home. We’ll go into greater detail of each problem below.

Only Masks the Real Problem

When you’re using window plastic over a broken or single pane window, you’re ignoring the real problem: your window isn’t energy efficient. That problem doesn’t go away by simply putting a little window shrink on there.

a woman cold by her window

In fact, it should never be used to cover up window problems because ignoring the problem only makes it worse. Soon the drafts entering your home will be unstoppable. The only way to truly rectify the problem is to replace your old windows.

It Doesn’t Last Long

Since window plastic is nothing more than a temporary solution, it doesn’t last long. Within a few weeks, you’ll see it wrinkling and leaving gaps for outside weather to sneak in. Window shrink was made to be nothing more than a band-aid.

This could also end up costing you a lot more money. Not only will your energy bills sky rocket, but you’ll also spend more money on window shrink. It can cost up to $20 per package and while that seems cheap, it can add up quickly.

Most people think that window plastic is only needed during the winter months, but you don’t want your home to be sweltering in the summer. You’ll need to put up window shrink year round which is where the cost starts kicking in.

Must Be Installed Perfectly for It to Look Decent

Have you ever tried to put a screen protector on a phone or tablet? If it isn’t perfectly aligned and smooth, you’ll get bubbles and creases – it looks down right awful. The same thing can happen to your windows with window shrink.

Prior to using the blow dryer on the window plastic, it’s loose and hard to tell how well it lines up. It isn’t until it shrinks with the heat that you realize you messed up. There’s two ways you can go with this: buy and install new plastic or live with it for a few weeks.

If you keep it, your home will not look good. It’ll be obvious to friends, family and neighbors that your window shrink was installed poorly and it’ll decrease your curb appeal.

Not to mention that your energy efficiency will take a dive with all of the gaps and bubbles. You’ll see a spike in your heating and electric bills.

This problem can be avoided with precise measurements but one wrong move can cause an ugly mess. If you do plan on using window plastic, check out the video below:

How to Weatherize Windows with Plastic Film Insulation- DIY Home Improvement

Doesn’t Retain As Much Heat as You’d Like

The entire purpose of window film is to prevent outside temperatures from getting into your home. What if we told you that it only stopped 55% of drafts? In school you’d give that a failing grade.

It’s true, window plastic only prevents 55% of drafts from getting into your home. While that’ll definitely low your energy bills, it’s not doing much and could be improved upon immensely. It goes to show you that window shrink was made to be a band-aid not a solution.

Replacement Windows Are the True Solution

If your windows aren’t energy efficient, there’s only one way to fix the problem: have them replaced. Replacement windows are the only way to get rid of those old, non-energy efficient windows and replace them with something that’ll help keep your bills down and your home more comfortable.

There are many options on the market so it might be hard to choose which is best. There are a few things to consider. You want windows that have a low solar heat gain coefficient and u-factor. The u-factor measures a window’s heat loss while solar heat gain coefficient measures a window’s transfer of heat and UV Rays.

Double pane vinyl windows are a great option for energy efficiency. They have argon gas-filled glass and foam insulated frames. Both of these features prevent heated or cooled air from getting out of your home and keep you feeling comfortable year round.

replacement vinyl windows

Feldco’s windows meet all of those standards. In fact, our windows are Energy Star Certified and guaranteed to keep your home feeling great no matter the temperature outside. You can get a free quote now and start feeling the difference.

When Should It Be Used

Window Plastic isn’t all bad – in fact, there are times when it is useful. Whenever you’re trying to complement already energy efficient windows, it’s OK. Also, if you’re in the middle of replacing old windows, it can definitely help for a short time.

The only thing you should do is use it as a supplement to replacing your windows. If your windows are in really bad shape, do the right thing and get new ones immediately.

Don’t Use Window Plastic to Improve Your Home’s Energy Efficiency

While window plastic does have some benefits, it doesn’t work when it’s your only line of defense against the outside weather. It doesn’t last long, can look bad and only masks real problems.

Don’t let your home become victim to the elements. Get replacement vinyl windows from Feldco. It’s the one surefire way to make sure your home is energy efficient. Simply by getting a free quote, you’ll be on the road to a more comfortable home in no time.

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