How to Easily Seal Windows for the Winter Months

Winter is on its way, if it’s not already arrived for you. One of the most cost-effective and easy ways to seal windows for winter is by installing winter window inserts. Insulating your windows for winter doesn’t have to come with costly replacements or extra labor; not when DIY winter window inserts can take all the hassle out of home protection.

Drafty windows can make your home freezing cold in winter as heat flows outside and force your air conditioner to work extra hard in the summer—leading to high energy bills all year long. To learn about the benefits of window inserts and to discover how to seal windows for the winter, both before the cold season and during, continue reading and prepare for immense time and money savings.

How to Seal Windows Before Winter

5 ways to seal windows for winter: weatherstrips, caulk, shrinkwrap, replacement, window inserts

Before winter, you can choose from weatherstripping, extra caulking, draft stoppers, and DIY shrink-wrap kits in an effort to weather seal your windows and reduce the amount of drafts felt over the cold months.

strip of foam weatherstipping used to seal leaky windows in winter

If you want to weatherstrip, measure the perimeters of each window and then add 10% to account for materials. You can choose vinyl, felt, or metal weatherstripping materials. They range widely in price and capabilities so do your research before choosing to ensure you get the right one for your home.

Before applying your weatherstripping, clean your windows, make sure they are dry, and that the outside temperature is at least 20 degrees Fahrenheit. Apply weatherstripping snugly against both the sash and frame. Be careful not to interfere with the operation of the window.

caulk gun used to seal windows in winter

If you choose caulk to seal your windows, first clean them and make sure they are dry. You can apply caulk to all joints in a window frame and the joint between the frame and your wall. Make sure your caulking gun is held at a consistent forty-five-degree angle to get deep into the cracks.

Caulk in one continuous stream to the best of your ability, and if it oozes out of the crack, use a putty knife to push it back in. Caulking is tricky and definitely takes practice. It’s important that you make sure not to skimp on the amount. If the caulk shrinks into the crack, reapply to ensure a smooth bead is formed to seal your cracks completely.

You can also DIY draft stoppers or shrinkwrap kits. It will take a lot of materials—both in the number of tools and the amount of each material—including fabric, scissors, tape, insulating material, shrink wrap, straight pins and, more than likely, a sewing machine. For a DIY draft stopper, you’ll need to measure your windows, cut your fabric, fold it in half, sew seams, turn the fabric tube inside out, add insulation and sew it together.

diy winter window inserts: shrink wrap, double-sided adhesive, caulk, weatherstripping

To shrinkwrap, you need to apply double-sided adhesive on all sides of your window. Cut it to your desired length with a little extra on the sides. Add shrinkwrap to the adhesive starting at the very top and pull it as taut as you can on the way down the window frame. Blow-dry an inch or so away from the wrap until the wrinkles are gone and trim the edges with a box cutter.

Each of these methods is a decent way to reduce drafts and save a little bit on your utility bill during the winter. However, they are all very time-consuming and several can be difficult to install correctly. Not to mention, they can be an eye-sore even if done perfectly.

The easiest, less time-consuming, and most aesthetically-pleasing way to seal your windows will be using a window insert.

Benefits of Window Inserts

closeup of storm window insert sealing windows for winter

Sealing windows for winter is incredibly important, but installing windows in the winter is time-consuming and downright exhausting. It’s cold, requires construction, extra labor, and it really makes your wallet take a hit before the holiday season. Instead of installing brand new windows, you can reduce your hassle and get all the benefits of new windows, with interior storm windows, also known as window inserts.

Window inserts greatly reduce, or entirely eliminate, condensation on existing windows. When you purchase a high-quality insert, it enables homeowners to get energy savings equivalent to standard double-pane windows at 15-20% of the cost. All while nearly disappearing when installed, allowing the aesthetics of original wood windows and the home’s beauty to shine through.

By increasing insulation through the windows, you are able to:

And because of your savings on heating costs, your energy efficiency is improved and your carbon footprint is virtually eliminated.

If your home is older, has some wear and tear, or you live in a harsher climate, then you should consider investing to get it in good shape going into winter. Not only will you be more comfortable through the season, but you will save more in maintenance and energy costs long term. As an added bonus, you will add value to your home.

How to Seal Cold Windows During Winter With Inserts

Many weatherizing solutions can’t be installed during the actual winter. For example, when it comes to caulking, the temperature needs to be higher than 45 degrees Fahrenheit to achieve the best results.

So, if you procrastinated weather protection measures, or if you thought you could get away without, and catch yourself with a draft, caulking, weatherstripping, and other methods will not work for you. And full window replacement can be miserably cold as you will have a hole in the side of your house until the new window can be installed.

Indow® has customized inserts that fit snugly into your existing window frames. Once in the frame, they create an airtight seal that blocks the cold, outside noise, and harmful UV radiation.

Indow uses proprietary software to design compression-fit inserts that fit into virtually any existing window. They can be installed without hardware and are undetectable once in place. Unlike other solutions, Indow inserts are custom made with a laser-measuring system.

Since homes and buildings settle over time, most windows aren’t square. To seal window drafts effectively, Indow custom-makes inserts to be the exact shape of your window frames. The laser measuring system ensures each insert fits every window just right.

The patented compression tubing allows you to easily install or remove your inserts without damaging your existing windows with a mounting bracket or track system. The thermal acrylic increases the surface temperature of your existing windows, which raises the overall room temperature and lowers your energy bills.

Indow window insert installation is incredibly simple. A full installation can be completed in a few minutes per window and there is no construction necessary (so no holes in the side of your home!). If you accidentally waited too long to install inserts during the fall and winter weather has already arrived, no problem. The inserts can still be installed during the cold, harsh winter months from the comfort of inside your home. No more questioning how to seal leaky windows in winter.

  1. Check the label on the insert to make sure you install it on the correct window.
  2. Place the bottom of the insert into the window frame and ensure it is centered correctly, so the compression on one side isn’t stronger than the other.
  3. Push the bottom corners into place.
  4. Continue pushing the insert into place starting from the bottom and going up each side, ensuring even compression as you go.
  5. When you reach the top, push in the insert in the middle of the top and then work your ways out to the corners.
  6. Check the seal all the way around to make sure it’s evenly compressed.
  7. That’s it! Your window is sealed.

Thermal Imaging Proof

Insulating windows for the winter instead of installing new windows in the cold is an easier, quicker, and more feasible solution. Don’t believe us? Check out the thermal imaging one of our satisfied customers took of their home after installing Indow inserts to replace his plastic window kits.

Greg happily told us, “I can see out my windows in the winter and let light in on a sunny day. My house is no longer a dark cave with little light in the winter.” He started by installing Indow inserts in one room to make sure the fit was perfect and to see if they made a difference. After the success of his imaging test, he moved forward with the rest of his windows in his Albuquerque home.

Want to learn more or get started on protecting your windows for the winter today? Check out all of the window inserts Indow offers, or get started on your free estimate today.

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Customer Reviews

Excellent

4.49 Average 1494 Reviews

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Paula S

From start to finish, we were very pleased with our rep, Reed, and the other staff at the PDX will call! The inserts themselves are stupendous! We purchased six total for the noisiest, road side(s) of our home. The outcome was beyond our expectations! Not only did the three rooms that bordered the road become at least 70% quieter, the other end of our home did as well! I cannot recommend Indow inserts more! The technology makes sense to add the inserts rather than purchasing new windows. Great results and thank you! Paul and Paula Spilsbury

Posted 4 weeks ago

JD

Brian was very helpful & informative. He helped me order the correct windows for my needs. They were shipped with the utmost of care & arrived ahead of schedule. Ultimately, the Indow Windows have been very helpful in muffling unwanted noises & they have helped save on our energy costs. Thank you, Indow Window!

Posted 1 month ago

Cynthia M

Very happy with the reduction in noise. Easy to install and use. Great customer service.

Posted 2 months ago

Juli E

We are thrilled with our Indow window inserts! I'd been on the lookout for a more permanent solution to leaky windows in our third floor living space. I discovered Indow on social media but since then have learned of friends who'd had Indow recommended to them by their rennovation contractor. The entire process went smoothly with friendly reps at hand to talk through questions during measuring, etc. They fit perfectly and help us to maintain the beautiful design of the windows on our 100 year old home! Highly recommend!!

Posted 3 months ago

Jen F

Worth the money!

Posted 3 months ago

Elizabeth H

For townhouse living, this solved my problem with noise from my neighbor's with my kitchen window. A considerable decrease of noise indeed! Measurements were a bit frustrating so I recommend using a laser measurement device and following directions to use a string for the diagonal. They look great and were easy to push into place. I highly recommend as an alternative to buying a new window.

Posted 4 months ago

Anonymous

Easy to install, and instantly stopped drafts and dampened outside noises very effectively!

Posted 4 months ago

Robert C

The process could've been smoother with the sending of the measuring kit. There was a delay with weather in Oregon but then it felt like my kit was still delayed due to other reasons. Most new homes (like mine) have textured paint and it can also be inside your window frames. I measured everything out but I still have little tiny gaps due to the texturing. Not indows problem but just be aware you made need to sand or fill in those gaps yourself to get a perfect seal. I did the acoustic grade inserts and they have reduced some noise but they will not completely block or significantly reduce road noise. This is most apparent with deep or lower frequencies like truck exhausts or modified street racing cars that are quite popular these days. Taking the inserts out to open your windows isn't an easy task. The little metal hook they provide needs to be either bigger or you can attach something to it as a way to leverage yourself. Overall the process was average. I think they're definitely a good option for weatherproofing and some sound reduction depending on the type of windows you have. I would purchase again.

Posted 4 months ago

Shelley C

The process for ordering and installing the Indow Widnow inserts was so easy. They sent the measuring information and it had great instructions. The inserts were delivered by UPS was crushed on one corner, but the company had packed them well, so there was no damage. We installed them the same day. It works best if you have two people completing the installation. We felt the results immediately and are glad we spent the money to make our home just a little more efficient.

Posted 4 months ago

Barry B

The insert fits like a glove and insulates the window! No more frost and condensation on the interior of the window! Thank you for an easy, effective and attractive fix!

Posted 4 months ago

Susan A

The support during the entire process was wonderful, thank you so much for the extra quiet space!

Posted 4 months ago

Volodymyr R

Very good good quality. Overall very satisfied with this product and service. Thanks

Posted 4 months ago

Jane H

Our home was built in 1913 and has beautiful old wavy glass single-paned windows. I’m so glad we were told about Indows and didn’t have to replace the original windows. We live in Canada but had no difficulty placing the order and were very impressed by how accurately the company met its deadlines, including cross border delivery. The Indows inserts blend in perfectly with our home and the existing window frames. You don’t see them unless you’re actually looking for them. But what we did notice was how much warmer the rooms feel the minute the inserts were installed! I can’t speak to any heating bill savings because they just went in this week, but our home feels much, much cozier. Our contractor who took all the measurements and installed the Indows says: “Excellent instructional videos: clear and informative. Very impressed with the design and the product. Overall, the ease of installation is quite impressive. Working with all the staff at the company was great – everyone was very helpful.” I’m already recommending this company to any of my friends who live in drafty older homes and want to reduce their heating/cooling bills and do some good for the environment.

Posted 5 months ago

Anonymous

Don't be afraid of buying an older home with single pane windows. This company has you covered. Their inserts are super high quality and fit well thanks to the laser measuring kit they send. Highly recommended!

Posted 5 months ago

Katie M

We purchased three Indows to reduce drafts and noise in our bedroom, which faces the street. The improvement was immediate. Our house was built in 1958 and although we have exterior storm windows we didn't want to replace the windows outright due to cost and architectural consistency. These were an excellent solution.

Posted 5 months ago