Tuesday, May 13, 2008

As Seen On TV

All I can say is, I tried. Earlier this year I vowed that I would replace my leaky, crappy old windows with nice new ones. After seeing my electric bill go from $250 per month, to $350 per month over the last year, I swore I would get new windows to help keep the air-conditioning inside. As time and money became short, I realized that the windows wouldn't happen this year. I decided that I would try a stop-gap measure involving plastic sheets over the windows, secured by duct tape. This is an old trick I learned years ago, in Chicago, to keep the heat in and cold out. I figured it would work just as well keeping the cool in the house, and the oppressive heat and humidity of Florida out.

My first try involved a sheet of plastic from Home Depot and some wood slats. I think it was effective but Mark declared it to be an eyesore, and unfortunately I had to agree. Instead Mark suggested a product he had seen advertised on television. It consists of a sheet of clear plastic film, double sided tape, and a hair dryer.

In theory it sounded good, so off to Amazon.com I went, and ordered three boxes of the stuff. As soon as it arrived, I sent Mark off to buy a cheap hair dryer and we were ready to seal our selves away from the heat. I only wish it were as easy as it looked on television. In the TV ad, the lady easily attaches the double sided tape and film to the window. In a few moments, with the help of the hair dryer, the film forms a tight, clear seal.

First of all, the tape doesn't stick where you want it to stick and when you aren't ready for the tape to stick, it sticks to everything. Trying to wrestle with the large sheet of plastic film while getting it to stick to the tape turned into a nightmare. No matter how many times I tried, the film would go up crooked, and just when I would get it positioned correctly, the tape would release and the film would fall back onto my head.

After much wrestling with it and patching it with duct tape, I finally exploded in a curse filled rage, tore the film into bits, and literally tossed the whole project out the window. My final solution for the time being, is to just close off the sun room again this year. I really hated to do that because it makes the living room dark, but if I left it open I'd have to sit and look at my failed project all summer. It's best to just hide it away until next year.


  1. I have experienced the same thing with that kit. $350. for electricity per month! Wow!

    This is what I would do. Raise your thermostat to at least 78-80 degrees. Turn your ceiling fans on. If you intend to seal the windows use a small bead of clear silicone to seal between each seam in those jelousey windows. Do a little at a time. Don't try to do it all in one day. You won't be able to open the windows without breaking the seam but you will see a difference in your cooling costs. My second suggestion would be to do the clear heavy plastic again. Who cares what it looks like. Mark could probably paint the wood slats to look like an exspensive Marble or Gulded frame.

  2. I use that stuff every winter for the 7 foot windows all over my old farm house. It takes practice.Even with the cost of natural gas doubling and tripling my gas bill is still less. The trick is to put it up when no one is watching and trying to instruct you. I buy it at Menards. And I use Carols good hair dryer.

  3. After living in lots of old houses I'm a pro at the window plastic.

    I'll be happy to come and put all of yours up...if you pay my airfare...