Indianapolis Commercial Contractor

Quick-Fix Solutions to a Drafty Window

While curling up on the couch with a warm blanket during the winter can be a nice comforting activity, it can also be an annoyance when the reason is that an old drafty window is making your living room feel like an icebox!

Whether it is because of age, damage, or improper installation, drafty windows are one of the biggest annoyances homeowners face when it comes to keeping a warm and comfortable indoor temperature during the winter. Not only is this an irritant, it can also be expensive.

As warm air seeps out and cold air creeps in, your furnace must work overtime just to keep up. This constant running necessary to compensate for the heat loss can cause your heating bills – as we are sure you’ve noticed – to jump through the roof during the colder months.

With all that money essentially sneaking out the window, it is important to take care of old drafty windows as soon as you can. However, the middle of January or February – especially here in Indianapolis – may not exactly be the ideal time to get new windows installed.

Fortunately, there are several relatively inexpensive and easy temporary solutions to dealing with a drafty window to help get you through the winter.


Weatherstripping is a simple method to help create a tighter seal around your windows that keeps the warm air in and the cold air out. Available in vinyl, foam, and felt, weatherstripping is easy to apply to the edge of any window and can be found at just about any hardware store for around $20.

However, this simple quick fix doesn’t come without its own drawbacks that keep it from being a proper solution. Even the extra seal may not be enough to protect a significantly damaged or improperly installed window from leaking and most weatherstripping’s low durability and interference when trying to open and close the window keep them from being a long-term fix.

Plastic Film Shrink Wrap

Shrink-wrapped windows? You bet! This is another simple method of providing an extra layer of protection between your home and the cold outdoors. Plastic film window kits can also be found at most hardware stores and are pretty simple to install. Place adhesive strips on the outside edges of your window, attach the plastic film, cut the excess from the edges of the frame, and finish it off by gently heating the plastic with a hairdryer to tighten the seal.

While simple and effective, relying on plastic shrink wrap on your windows is also not a long-term solution you want to rely on. Heating the plastic makes the seal tight and helps keep the cold out. However, it becomes very taut and fragile, meaning even a little bit of pressure can cause a tear. One hard push from a rambunctious child or a curious dog greeting a visitor means you need to rip it down and start again.

Heavier Drapery & Curtains

If your windows are covered by simple shades or blinds, they may not be doing much in the way of providing insulation and keeping the cold air out. If you want to a more stylish solution to your drafty windows you can consider upgrading to some heavier drapery or curtains for your windows.

This is certainly a more aesthetically pleasing alternative to wrapping your windows in plastic for the duration of the winter, however, it is definitely not as budget friendly. Springing for a brand-new set of curtains (depending on where you shop) could set you back $50-100+ per window. However, this is definitely the most long-term solution of the three.

The Best Answer: Replace Them!

While these are all relatively simple and budget-friendly fixes, the best solution to an old drafty window is having it replaced. Rattling, rotting, constantly stuck, or sloppily installed windows are major heat and money drains and should be taken care of as soon as you are able, no matter if you are able to get through the winter with quick fixes.

When it comes to window replacement, that is one solution that you shouldn’t DIY. Leave it in the hands of the pros! Lathrop Contracting, Inc. proudly serves Central Indiana homeowners, providing roofing, siding, gutter, window, and masonry contracting services to our customers.

Let us help keep your home warm and keep your energy bills low with new windows this year. Call (317) 783-6929 to schedule your appointment today.