At Home with Lisa: Cover windows to keep heat inside

Finally, it is starting to feel like fall in the Inland Northwest. Up until now, we’ve enjoyed warm temperatures, which has kept my energy use down, since I’m not using fans, air conditioners, space heaters or my baseboard heat.

Well, no more. It’s cold. Usually, when the weather gets really cold, my boyfriend gets an old cardboard box, breaks it down and covers the windows to block the breeze coming though. This year, I beat him to it and covered my windows in plastic sheeting.

If you have never done this before, it is very easy for the novice do-it-yourselfer. You will need a window insulating kit, which runs about $5 to $20 at the hardware store, depending on how much you get. You will also need a pair of scissors, a hair dryer and some painter’s tape.

I went to Avista’s Energy Fair a few years ago. There was a booth that was demonstrating how to put plastic film on your windows to save energy. They gave me a tip that I still use to this day. First, I wash the window frame. Then, I place painter’s tape around the frame so the double-sided tape in the insulating kit doesn’t take off the paint when I remove it in the spring.

After I put the double-sided tape down, I measure out some plastic sheeting, cut it down to size and stick it to the tape. Once the sheeting is in place, I pull out my hair dryer, turn it on and point it at the plastic.

The heat of the hair dryer pulls the plastic into a tight seal. I blow the hot air all over the plastic until it looks like you could bounce a quarter off of it. The tight plastic will help keep drafts out.

You can find more do-it-yourself projects on Avista’s website.

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.

Watch how this project is done.

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  1. At Home with Lisa
  2. Energy Saving
  3. Winter