How to Insulate Basement Windows for Energy Efficiency

How to Insulate Basement Windows?

To insulate basement windows, there are a few options available.

One temporary solution is to apply plastic film to the windows using double-sided tape and seal it with heat from a hair dryer.

This method can retain up to 55 percent of heat and is cost-effective.

Another option is using bubble wrap as a replacement for plastic film.

Draft snakes can be used to stop cold air from entering through windowsills.

These can be purchased online or made by filling a fabric tube with dry rice.

For basement and attic windows, foam board insulation is recommended.

These panels can be cut to fit snugly inside the frame and easily removed when needed.

Key Points:

  • Plastic film can be applied to basement windows using double-sided tape and heat from a hair dryer.
  • This method retains up to 55 percent of heat and is cost-effective.
  • Bubble wrap can be used as an alternative to plastic film.
  • Draft snakes can prevent cold air from entering through windowsills.
  • These can be purchased or made by filling a fabric tube with dry rice.
  • Foam board insulation is recommended for basement and attic windows.

Did You Know?

1. In ancient Rome, windows were often made of a special type of membrane made from animal bladder to insulate the basement area, keeping the cold air out and reducing heat loss.
2. One of the most popular materials used for insulating basement windows is polystyrene, commonly known as Styrofoam. It is not only effective at preventing heat transfer but also helps to reduce exterior noise.
3. During World War II, some homeowners resorted to using old newspapers as insulation for their basement windows. Although it was not the most effective method, it provided a temporary solution to keep the cold air out.
4. Many people think that curtains or blinds alone can effectively insulate basement windows. However, for optimum insulation, it is recommended to use thermal curtains or blinds, which have an additional layer of insulation built into the fabric.
5. Did you know that insulating basement windows can also help in reducing condensation? Insulation helps to maintain a consistent temperature, preventing warm indoor air from coming into contact with cold surfaces and minimizing condensation build-up.

The Importance Of Insulating Basement Windows

Windows play a crucial role in the energy efficiency of a home. On average, 10 to 25 percent of a home’s heat escapes through its windows. This means that if you have drafty basement windows, you could be losing a significant amount of heat and paying for it in higher energy bills.
* Insulating your basement windows not only helps to keep the cold air out and the warm air in, but it also improves the overall comfort of your home.
* By addressing these insulation issues, you can create a more energy-efficient living environment while also saving money.

“Windows play a crucial role in the energy efficiency of a home. On average, 10 to 25 percent of a home’s heat escapes through its windows.”

Temporary Solutions For Drafty Basement Windows

For those on a budget or looking for temporary solutions, there are a few cost-effective options to consider.

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One method is reglazing or replacing the windows, which can help fix drafts in the long term. However, if this is not currently feasible, there are alternative solutions available.

Plastic film applied to the windows using double-sided tape is one option. This film can retain up to 55 percent of heat and is a relatively inexpensive choice. To apply the film, it should be sealed with heat from a hair dryer.

Another makeshift solution is to use bubble wrap as a replacement for window insulation. Spray a mist of water on the window and then press the bubble wrap against it. This creates a layer of insulation that helps to keep the cold air out and the warm air in.

Retaining Heat With Plastic Film And Bubble Wrap

Both plastic film and bubble wrap can effectively insulate basement windows.

To apply plastic film, follow these steps:

  1. Use double-sided tape to secure the plastic film onto the windows.
  2. Seal the edges using a hair dryer to apply heat, creating an airtight barrier.

With this method, the film remains transparent, allowing natural light to enter while still providing insulation.

Alternatively, you can use bubble wrap as a cost-effective option:

  1. Mist the window with water.
  2. Press the bubble wrap against the window to create a layer of insulation.

The bubbles in bubble wrap act as an insulating layer, preventing heat loss and keeping cold air from seeping in.

Both of these methods are affordable, easy to install, and can significantly reduce heat loss through basement windows.

Using Draft Snakes To Stop Cold Air In Its Tracks

Draft snakes are a cost-effective solution for addressing drafty basement windows. These devices, which can be purchased online or made at home, are designed to stop cold air from creeping through windowsills.
To create a draft snake, simply fill a fabric tube with dry rice and place it against the bottom of the window. The weight of the rice-filled tube helps to block airflow and keep the cold air out.
Draft snakes are easily customized to fit any window size or shape, making them a convenient option for improving insulation in basements.

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Foam Board Insulation For Basement And Attic Windows

When it comes to long-term solutions for insulating basement and attic windows, foam board insulation is an excellent choice. This type of insulation consists of rigid panels that are made of either polystyrene or polyurethane foam.

The panels are cut to fit snugly inside the window frame and can be easily removed when needed. Foam board insulation provides an excellent barrier against heat loss and prevents the infiltration of cold air.

Additionally, it offers soundproofing properties, further enhancing the comfort and energy efficiency of your home.

Enjoying Sunlight: Easily Removable Foam Board Insulation Panels

One of the benefits of using foam board insulation for basement and attic windows is the ability to enjoy sunlight when desired. Unlike other permanent insulation methods, foam board panels can be easily removed to let in sunlight and fresh air. This allows you to maintain a bright and inviting space while still enjoying the energy-saving benefits of insulation. When the weather turns cold, simply reinstall the foam board panels to resume their insulating properties. This flexibility makes foam board insulation an ideal option for homeowners who want to strike a balance between energy efficiency and the enjoyment of natural light.

Insulating basement windows is a vital step in improving energy efficiency in your home. Whether you opt for temporary solutions like plastic film and bubble wrap or invest in long-term solutions like foam board insulation, addressing drafty windows can make a significant difference in your comfort and energy bills. By reducing heat loss and preventing cold air infiltration, you create a more efficient living environment while enjoying the benefits of natural light and fresh air. Take the necessary steps to insulate your basement windows and start saving energy and money today.


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Frequently Asked Questions

What is the best way to insulate basement windows?

One effective method to insulate basement windows is by attaching a layer of thermal curtains. These curtains are specifically designed to prevent heat loss and can be easily installed using curtain rods or Velcro strips. The thermal curtains act as a barrier, trapping warm air inside and blocking cold drafts from entering the basement. When sunlight is desired, the curtains can be easily pulled back, allowing natural light to filter in. Alternatively, applying a layer of weatherstripping around the edges of the window frames can help to seal any gaps that may be present, minimizing drafts and heat loss. This simple solution can significantly improve the insulation of basement windows without obstructing the view or access to natural light.

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Should you insulate basement windows?

Insulating basement windows can be highly beneficial in reducing air leakage and saving energy. According to a document published by the US Department of Energy, sealing all windows in cold climates can lead to energy bill savings of 30-40%. Given that EverLast™ Basement Windows specifically aim to eliminate a significant source of air leakage in basements, insulating these windows would likely have a substantial impact on energy efficiency. By minimizing the exchange of indoor and outdoor air, insulating basement windows can contribute to significant energy savings and create a more comfortable living environment.

How do you insulate the bottom of a window?

To insulate the bottom of a window, a simple and effective method is to use window insulation film. This transparent film is attached to the window frame with double-sided tape, creating an airtight barrier that helps to reduce cold air infiltration. Another option is to install draft stoppers or door sweeps at the bottom of the window. These can be easily attached and provide a seal that prevents cold air from entering through any gaps. By utilizing these insulation techniques, you can significantly reduce heat loss and create a more comfortable and energy-efficient living space.

How do I stop my basement windows from sweating?

To prevent basement windows from sweating, you can take a few measures. First, increasing air circulation in the basement can help reduce moisture buildup. This can be achieved by using fans or opening windows to promote airflow. Additionally, relocating indoor plants away from the windows can minimize excess moisture in the immediate area. Installing gravel beds around the foundation can also assist in drainage and prevent water from accumulating against the basement walls. Regular maintenance of gutters and downspouts will ensure that water is directed away from the foundation, preventing excessive moisture. Finally, properly grading the soil around the foundation can help redirect water flow and prevent water seepage into the basement.

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