Choosing the Right Winter Window Covers: Thin Plastic vs. Thick Vinyl

Choosing the Right Winter Window Covers: Thin Plastic vs. Thick Vinyl

Sam Knauff

As winter approaches, this is the question that many home owners ask when to seal their drafty windows. Replacing existing windows or buying window inserts can be an expensive proposition. Using plastic coverings on your windows can help you winterize on a budget.   In this blog, we'll explore two popular options: the thin plastic used in window shrink and seal kits and the thick vinyl plastic. We'll delve into the benefits of each, the installation process, and help you choose the right solution for your winter needs.

  Plastic Window Shrink and Seal Kits:

  1. They are budget-friendly, making them an attractive choice for cost-conscious homeowners or renters. These are typically 0.7 to 1.5 mil in thickness   The thickness   will vary depending on the brand you purchase but they are typically between 0.7 to 1.5 mil.   While not as effective as thick vinyl, these kits still provide a layer of insulation, reducing drafts and heat loss. It's designed to be thin enough to make it easy to shrink using a hairdryer or heat source but still provides some insulation benefits by creating a barrier against drafts and cold air

 Installation Steps:

  1. Clean the Windows:
  2. Measure and Cut Window Film:
  3. Apply Double-Sided Tape to frame of window.
  4. Attach the Plastic Film onto the tape leaving a slip overlap on all sides:
  5. Shrink the Film. Think is an important step to shrink and tighten up the seal:
  6. Trim Excess Film from edges.

 Thick Vinyl Window Covers:

Vinyl Window covers are typically 6-8 mil and provides more durability, tear resistance and insulation properties and it doesn't shrink like the thinner plastic film used in shrink and seal kits.  Thick vinyl is highly durable and is reusable over multiple seasons saving money in the long run. It also provides better thermal resistance, reducing heat transfer and energy loss effectively.

 Due to the increased thickness of the vinyl sheets, they weight more, making the use of  adhesive tape less than ideal for attaching them to the window frame. Instead, it is recommended to employ a more robust solution, such as a storm window kit, to support the added weight of the thicker vinyl.

 Installation Steps:

  1.  Peel adhesive backing off Channels strips and affix them around the frame of the window
  2. Cut Vinyl to size leaving and 1-2 inches on each side and place over the Channels
  3. Pressing frame strips over the vinyl securing them in place
  4. Cut excess out excess vinyl using scissors
  5. For use in the next season, remove the frame strips and fold vinyl.

In the battle of "Thin Plastic vs. Thick Vinyl" window covers for winter, the choice ultimately depends on your budget and insulation needs. While thin plastic shrink and seal kits are affordable and easy to install, thick vinyl plastic provides superior insulation properties and long-lasting durability. Whether you opt for the budget-friendly solution or the superior insulation, both options will help keep the cold drafts away. Stay cozy, and happy winterizing!

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