At Home with Lisa: Window plastic

I was out taking a walk a few days ago enjoying the changing colors of the leaves on the trees in my neighborhood. When I approached my house, I looked up toward the window to see if my cat was watching me. He does that sometimes. What I saw instead was a sure sign of the approaching winter.

My boyfriend kept feeling a draft come in through the window next to him. His fix? Cardboard. He broke down an old box and covered the window with it.

This tells me it’s time to cover my windows with plastic. Plastic sheeting helps keep your house warmer two ways during the winter months. It is an easy way to keep the drafts out if you have old windows like I do, and the space between the window and the plastic collects heat from the sun during daylight hours. I’ve written about this project before, but as many times as I’ve done this, I still need to look up directions. I first learned about window insulating kits when I attended one of Avista’s Energy Fairs a couple of years ago.

First, measure your window from left to right and up and down, adding a couple of inches on each measurement to have a little extra. Then, I place strips of painters’ tape around the window. This makes it easy to take this off come spring without ruining the paint.

Window insulating kits can cost about $5 or more depending on where you get them. They come with double-sided tape. When you are applying this to the painters’ tape, try not to overlap, since you’ll have to peel off the outside layer, too.

Cut the plastic to fit in one piece and attach it to the sticky double-sided tape. Then comes the fun part. You’ll notice that the plastic will be a bit saggy. Take your hairdryer and blow hot air on the plastic. It will tighten right up.

This project is easy and the only tools I used were scissors and my hairdryer. In all, it only took about a half an hour to get the window covered. And my cat can look out the window again.

Lisa, an Avista customer, bought her 1910 house because she loved the old-world character, some of which doesn’t make her house very energy efficient. Lisa is sharing her experience on taking some simple do-it-yourself improvements to inspire others to do the same. You’ll find her stories right here every Tuesday morning.

Read more easy home energy saving tips

Read more


  1. At Home with Lisa
  2. Energy Saving