Insulating Windows

We live in an older rental home and almost all the windows are singled paned so before the Arctic weather arrived I went to Home Depot and bought 4 x 8 panels of insulation at $8.95 a sheet. It is it's in the building/contractor section, and is silver on one side and 1/2 an inch white foam on the other.


None of the windows match. Some are little frames 10 inches by 7.5 inches, others are a little larger and a few that are large.

I trimmed and cut pieces to be placed directly on the glass. Silver side touching the glass, white side facing inside the room. From the outside of the house it looks like all the windows are covered with aluminum foil.

I figured out a way to be able to attach and remove the larger pieces of insulation with Velcro strips to hold it in place. Part of the Velcro on the window frame and part on the insulation, so I would have light. Every day at 4 PM I put the insulation back in the windows. We kept the house at 74 and during the night it would drop down to 63-64 in the den.

Well, I just got our electric bill and it was for $182 which is actually $2 cheaper than the electric bill for the same month back in 2009. One of my neighbor's bill was for $354 and another $313 so I guess there was a method to my madness.


I'll probably keep this way and see what my electric bill will be in the summer with air-conditioning.

It would be difficult to remove the insulation that I trimmed to fit the smaller frames but if I ever do, at least they'll be cut for next winter. I'll even write on the back which frame that I removed it from, which window and finally which room.

My father could fix just about anything broken and I'm sure he would of approved of my method of madness. I guess my neighbors must of thought that I was nuts when they saw me working on my windows but it worked.

Source: Myself and a little guidance from my husband.

By CaroleeRose from Madison, AL

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February 22, 20100 found this helpful

I am sorry but I don't understand how you saved oodles of money when the bill was only $2.00 less than the year before and you paid $8.95 for each window panel and how much for the velcro for a rented home? How many panels did you buy? Plus there is no way to compare your neighbors bills to yours unless they kept their thermostats at the exact same as yours for the exact amount of hours and are the exact same size house as yours. It just doesn't make sense :-(


I realize weather around the country has been colder than usual but even my bill with the weather having been in the teens and low twenties (and almost two weeks below zero at night and first few hours of morning) was only about $15.00 more for one month than the same time last year which was warmer than this one.

And personally I would not be a very happy camper at all having to look at aluminum foil style coating on my neighbors windows :-(

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February 23, 20100 found this helpful

We used less utilities than last year and our bill went up $37.00 more than it was last year. I'm sure the amount has to do with your utility carrier, where you live, and if your town has competition. I've often heard that insulating windows like this will pay for itself in a season. Just a note though: during the winter, turn the panels around--the foil side is supposed to be the vapor barrier and face the inside of the house. However, in the summer, I'd have the foil facing outside to reflect the light.


Around here, people who work the night shift will often cover their windows with aluminum foil to blacken the light; it's a common-place occurrence. We never did, but when my husband was on nights, we had room-darkening shades and insulating drapes, and he still hung blankets on the drapery rods to make the room dark enough to sleep. If neighbors had problems looking at the foil, Oh Well. A person does what he has to do to pay their bills.

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February 25, 20100 found this helpful

I really like this idea, and if the neighbor's don't like it, phooey with them, what are they doing looking in your windows anyway? I've been thinking up a question for thriftyfun, and after what I've read from you, I truly hope for your input if thriftyfun decides to put my question into the community.


Good for you. You reduced your heating bill, and that makes the world greener. You just need some sort of joke or funny so the neighbors will get used to it, and with their heating bills, I'm sure they'd like to do the same.

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February 25, 20100 found this helpful

I like your idea too! It gives me some ideas of how I might save some money on my electric bill. Thanks

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February 10, 20150 found this helpful

You can also use the large or small rolls of bubble wrap.

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June 14, 20160 found this helpful

I've been told that this method, using the aluminum insulation will generate enough heat to crack windows in the Arizona summer heat. Information on this concern would be greatly appreciated.

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December 1, 20180 found this helpful

Paint one side of the foam insulation board in south windows flat black. During the day creat a space between the glass and board to alow air warmed by the Sun shining on black surface to flow in at the bottom and out at the top into the room.

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