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If your home has older windows and the temperatures are expected to drop below zero, you may be trying to figure out how to insulate them before the air turns frigid. Since you may not have time to have them professionally worked on, use the following four tips for temporarily insulating your windows yourself.
Stuff Newspaper Inside Large Gaps
If you have large gaps around the window frames or between the frame and glass, use newspaper to fill them in. The paper on which newspapers are printed is layered and fibrous. The tight weaving makes it perfect for blocking air flow through it.
For each crack, wad up a piece of newspaper that is roughly the same length. Make sure the wad is slightly larger than the width of the crack to help it stay inside the gap.
Once you have wadded up the paper, stuff it in, starting at one end and working your way towards the other. Gently press it in using your index and middle fingers to keep from making the gap bigger.
If you are unable to keep the newspaper from falling out, use clear packaging tape that is two inches wide to keep it in place. Not only does it serve this purpose, but it also adds another barrier through which the cold air cannot pass.
Fill Frame Cracks With Caulk
While you may know to caulk around the frames of the windows, you will also want to fill in any cracks within the frame as well. Cold air can enter even the smallest of openings so every one you can fill will make the room a little bit warmer.
For hairline cracks, place a small amount of caulk on your fingertip and smear an eighth of an inch layer over the crack. If you have sensitive skin, wear rubber gloves to protect it from drying out.
After allowing the caulk to set up for an hour, apply a second layer. This will seal the first application and give you extra protection from the cold.
Put Tape Over Glass Cracks
Along with filling in the cracks in the wooden frames, you should also seal any that are present in the glass. If you also opt to follow the next tip to cover the panes with bubble wrap, this will give you double insulation around those broken areas.
To seal the cracks in the glass, use two-inch wide clear packing tape. Not only will it adhere well to the glass, but its transparency will prevent it from being noticeable.
Start one inch past one end of the crack and cover it one inch past the other end. For an extra layer of insulation, apply another piece.
Use Bubble Wrap Over The Glass Panes
Bubble wrap is ideal for use as a window insulator because the bubbles and gaps around them trap the air, preventing it from crossing through the plastic. For this tip, you will also need two-inch clear packaging tape and scissors.
Measure a piece of bubble wrap for each window pane and cut it out. Place the first piece on the first pane with the bubble side touching the glass. Then, tape along the edges.
Repeat for each window pane. If you still feel some cold air coming through or around the wrap, apply a second sheet of bubble wrap. Then, double tape all of the edges.
While using these tips should block out the freezing air, they only serve as a temporary solution. You may want to contact a professional about having your windows insulated or replaced before the next arctic blast hits.
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20 February 2015