on January 21, 2008
It's smart for a couple reasons. Of course, the concept is simple: trap the air between the glass and the room and the air becomes the insulator. But it's all in the implementation and that's where this product shines. It uses double-sided tape that isn't so sticky that it will pull of paint when removed. Have to get that right and they did. The real attention to detail is the film material. When installed, it better not look tacky. So they formulated the material to shrink just enough to tighten it up to pull out the hard and soft wrinkles, but not pull away from the tape! Don't worry if the tape and the film lie on perpendicular planes. The film won't pull off when it shrinks. It's resilient enough not to overcome the film-to-tape adhesion. Again: brilliant.
It is also optically clear, not at all diffusive. That is another absolute must. I was simply amazed at how this product brings all this together into a cheap, effective solution to drafty old windows. Someone reviewed that the tape wouldn't stick to their window frame. Probably a surface prep issue. In my application the paint was new and firmly bonded. I even had strongly curved surfaces to tape over. I found that heating the tape with a hair dryer helped conform it to those surfaces. Directions don't address that issue and for flat surfaces it's not one. This is a great product!
on December 18, 2000
This kit makes it easy to quicky insulate just about any reasonably sized window you may have. The kit includes one large sheet of plastic and 2 rolls of double sided tape. You apply the tape around the frame of the window you want to insulate, cut a piece of plastic and then apply it to the tape. Once you've done that you just need to use a hair dryer on the plastic to get it to shrink and tighten in your window frame.
I used these kits to seal drafty windows in an old building. It took a little over an hour to cover 4 windows. The temperature difference is dramatic and when the plastic has been well tightened and trimmed it isn't too noticable.
on January 13, 2014
I am really pleased with this plastic. It has cut down on the drafts in my room, but I don't notice much improvement in the way of blocking the cold. I don't think there has been much of an increase in the "R Factor".
I did put this up by myself. I am short, and had no problems doing it.
I have a 23 year old Andersen sliding door. I would love to replace it, but have to take the cheap route. When looking for the source of drafts, I used a lit match, and the wind coming through the cracks would blow the match out.
The first thing I did was to use some removable rope-type caulk to seal the huge air leaks. I didn't want this plastic to be billowing.
I wiped all the painted trim with a paper towel saturated with rubbing alcohol. This was recommended to prep the surface for the tape.
Because my sliding patio door didn't have any base trim to attach the tape to, I had to get creative. I purchased a piece of white PVC trim (1 1/2" x 1/2") and cut it just a smidge larger than I needed. This held it in place by tension. I have carpeting in the room, so I couldn't attach trim to the floor. This trim was even with the rest of the wood trim around the door. This allowed me to run tape on all four sides.
The door itself is recessed about 1 1/2" from the other trim. Although the 6 ft. trim piece fits with tension, I cut another piece of the trim to back it up and fill the gap. I used sticky back velcro to hold it in place. I am hoping to upload a photo to show how I handled this, as it is hard to describe.
I should mention that I removed the door handle. The inside handle is connected with screws to the exterior handle. I thought the exterior portion of the handle would fall off, but it didn't. I reinserted the screws into the holes to make sure that the other half of the handle stays put.
I put all the tape on the face of the painted wood trim (and the PVC trim piece by the floor) and pushed it on really well, rubbing my thumb over and over it. Then I let it rest for a few minutes to make sure it had set. I removed the protective paper from the top strip of tape only, and attached the plastic. I then did the same at the bottom. Finally one side, then the other. Removing the protective paper as I went along.
I put a lineup of dining chairs all along so that I could just walk sideways and easily reach the top without having to re-position a step stool. Kinda like scaffolding. A short person has to be creative.
I used a hairdryer according to directions. There are videos online to help you understand that part. I worked from the edges to the middle.
I had enough plastic left over to do another narrow window. I also purchased the XL size kit and did a couple windows that were each over 9 ft wide. And I did them by myself. It would be easier with a helper, but I'm just sayin', that if little old me can do it alone, and not get it all twisted up, so can you.
I will say that I wish I hadn't stretched the film taught to begin with, since the heat shrinking did cause that bottom trim piece to pull out of position a bit. I don't think you're supposed to pull it taught when taping. Learning curve.
It sealed up tight as a drum, and crystal clear. It is a great solution for those who can't afford window replacement.
on January 2, 2011
This is a great product, but what do you do if you have window shades or curtains that go across the window between the inside trim pieces? All the videos I have seen show the film being placed across the front of the entire window casement. You can do that, but then you can't adjust the window shades.
I installed this product on 10 windows having shades, and after the first one, when I made all the mistakes, I was able to do them in 5-10 minutes each. Here's how (and how to avoid the mistakes).
First - and this applies to any window - realize that when you first roll out the film to cut it, you are cutting to the width of the window (+2 inches). When you unfold the film after cutting, it unfolds to 5 feet, the maximum length of the window. After you install the film, you can trim off the leftover film at the bottom of the window.
Start by cleaning the wood surface with alcohol. This is not part of the packaged instructions, but it will surely help the tape to stick. Also, don't expect it to stick to flaky or badly alligatored paint. Now apply the tape. You will be going around the inside of the window: across the bottom sill (facing up), up one side (facing the other side), across the inside of the top (facing down), and down the other side (facing the first side). Do not start the tape in a corner, or you will have a tough time lifting and pulling off the tape covering. Start in the middle of the bottom sill and go all the way around the inside and back to the start. Before you finish the taping, pull up the covering from the start of the tape (with a fingernail or the edge of a knife blade, then finish the tape by overlapping the start by a half inch.
As you go around a corner with the tape, push and hold it into the corner with a fingernail; pull the tape part way along the next side, then relax the pull and stick down the tape at the corner and along the next side. This will help prevent the corner from pulling up and causing a small air leak. Press the tape down all around, then prepare to pull off the covering to expose the top sticky side. You should already have pulled up the covering at the start of the tape as explained above.
When you pull the top covering off the tape, pull along the direction of the tape, not up and away from the tape, especially going around corners.
When putting on the film, make sure it is completely unfolded. Hold the top of the film with the hands equally near the side edges. Stick the film to the top part of the window, sticking the film about an inch in from the edge of the film - you want a little sticking out to match the inch or so that you will want sticking out on each side. Press the film along the window top to make a good seal with the sticky tape. With the film stuck at the top, use two hands to guide the film into the corner and down one side while sticking it - stick it about 1 inch from the edge of the film. Stick the other side, also guiding the film and sticking it using two hands. You can vary the pressure - carefully - to take up the slack and perhaps not even have to use the hair dryer.
Do be careful using pressure to smooth the film when sticking it. If you rub it with your fingernails, you can tear it. If you do tear it, you can repair the tear with clear packaging tape -it will be almost invisible. If you stick one side too far in from the edge, you will not have enough film on the other edge; in this case, you can pull the film away from the first edge and do it over - it is very forgiving.
If you have measured well, the top and edges will need no trimming, just let the extra film hang out. Trim the bottom of the film with a box cutter or scissors - being careful not to pull too hard on the film at any point. Be sure to cut away or puncture the edge of the film where the shade or curtains will mount inside the window frame.
on February 10, 2007
I've spent the first part of this winter suffering because of drafty windows in the bedrooms of my new (old) home. I found this insulation kit from 3M, ordered it on Monday and it arrived on Thursday! In about 1 hour I had 4 windows sealed. I found it simple and straightforward to follow the instructions and it worked exactly as described. It's noticeably warmer in my bedroom, and I haven't adjusted the thermostat.
One note however, there was only enough plastic to cover 4 windows, not 5, and my windows are almost exactly the size given on the label. It was okay though, I covered the 4 worst offenders so it wasn't that big a problem for me.
on December 30, 2010
We have 2 gigantic windows + a patio door in our living room. Did a lot of research and chose 3M given the positive comments on the double-sided tape vs. the cheaper Duck brand (Walmart) and Home Depot/Lowes equivalents.
First off, the instructions on the box were just awful. Going by these, our first attempt at installing was a disaster. Spent a hour trying to tuck the film into the nooks and crannies of the window/frame, putting tape everywhere and then blow-drying. Got absolutely nowhere and was 5 mins away from giving up and returning. What we didn't realize is that the film is not supposed to stick to the window/frame like shrink wrap, but create a barrier that covers the entire window cavity...perhaps my stupid mistake, but I had no idea!
Having calmed down and taken a break, we tried it again and had much more success. The only other thing is that I to keep the blow dryer as close to the film as humanly possible (but without touching) for the film to shrink and become tight. Worked in the end though and was tight as a drum.
Very happy with the result (although not as crystal clear as other reviewers have said), but would recommend youtube research and patience for first time installers like myself!
on December 11, 2010
Been a Frost King customer for years - it's like, you walk into The Home Depot, and they have bins and bins full of Frost King products. So for years, as I said, I've been a Frost King user - and each year, come the time to do the weatherproofing of our windows, I wondered *why* I did it at all - saw no difference whatsoever, and hated every second I spent putting up the Frost King stuff.
This year decided to buy it online (doing some price comparisons) and when looking for "weatherproofing products", Amazon first hit was for the 3M film, not Frost King. I said, "what the heck - I know FK sucks, so let's try something new"
I *love* this product. Not only the tape is about 10x better than FK, but the film is heavier *and more transparent* than FK. FK could be compared to cooking film, for all I care. And did I mention the tape is AMAZING? We have oversized windows, and it's always been a pain in the neck to properly put up the film - with the 3M tape I was able to reposition the film as many times as I needed for it to be perfect. Come spring, guess I'll see how easy it is to remove it ;)
Temperature: we have temperature/humidity sensors all over the house. Our daughter's room faces north, and we get A TON of wind - and there was always a draft coming thru her bedroom windows. Temperature house-wide was 77 - just for her room to stay at 66 or so. Since installing the 3M film (and even after experiencing very cold night), we've gained about 4 degrees - it stays at 70 or even 71 the whole day.
Extremely highly recommended !
on April 26, 2008
This product creates a tight thin clear plastic protection over leaky windows that let in winter wind. I have used this product for almost a decade. I put it on in the fall and remove in the spring. I can often reuse the plastic the following year. After tightening up the plastic with a hair dryer, it is truly clear.
on December 19, 2009
I used this product to insulate two dormer windows in my daughter's bedroom, and one window in the laundry room. I still have plenty of the plastic and tape left over in case I ever have to redo one of those windows for some reason. There was a noticeable improvement in both rooms immediately, and since all three windows are covered with thin curtains, the plastic is not noticeable. In truth, if you follow the directions, and stretch the plastic tight prior to shrinking it further with a hair dryer, then trim the excess, it would be barely noticeable even if there were no curtains.
I'm curious to see how long this plastic stays in place, since I have no intention of pulling any of these coverings down once the winter is over. We never open these windows, and I expect that if they were letting heat out through gaps during the winter, they almost certainly have been letting the warm air in during the summer when the AC is on. These coverings will definitely increase the energy efficiency of the house in any season, so I'll leave this plastic up as long as it lasts. I may come back and edit this review a year or so down the road to give an update on the product's durability.
As others have noted, the kit is easy to use. Install the double-sided tape around the entire perimeter of the window (UNDER the window sill on the bottom if you have a sill); cut a piece of plastic to size (measure twice - cut once!), fit it in place, starting at the top, peel off and reset as needed to stretch it and get the worst of the wrinkles out; heat with a hair dryer to shrink it and stretch it, and finally trim the excess around the edges. If the paint where you are applying the tape is damp for some reason (because of condensation, for example), dry it off with the hair dryer first or the tape won't stick very well. The tape is amazing in that it is sticky enough to hold the plastic in place once you set it, but not so sticky that you can't make adjustments if you need to during install. Good job by 3M with designing the adhesive. I wonder if it's the same stuff they use on those yellow post-it notes.
I did three windows in about an hour, and like I said, both rooms were noticeably warmer when I finished. My daughter is certainly happier with a snugger room. All in all, a very good product.
on October 11, 2011
I've used this product for over 15 years. You need to clean the surface with an alcohol swab before applying the tape, letting it dry thoroughly first. If you are having a problem removing the tape at the end of the season, preheat it with a hairdryer first. Any residue can be removed with Goo Gone. My house has old, drafty windows. This product cuts out the draft and the house is noticeably warmer.
Instead of tape on 3 sides of the patio door (top and 2 sides) I only put tape on 1 side and half way across the top. Over the part of the door that slides and on its side I put Velcro that sticks to the door frame on one side of the Velcro and to the plastic on the other side of the Velcro. Nothing on the bottom - just leave 5 or 6 inches of plastic to trail on the floor. I stick the plastic to the tape where the tape is and to the sticky side of the Velcro where the Velcro is. I have 2 heavy draft dodgers that I lay across the plastic at the bottom. When I need to go out onto the deck to shovel snow, feed the birds or let the cat out, I separate the Velcro on the side of the door, open the door and go out. I just match it back up when I come back in. Works great!
Tip - Don't shrink the plastic so much that it gets really taut across the door - it makes it harder to match up the Velcro pieces when you separate them and put them back together again. Use it just enough to get the creases out. And because I don't shrink it too much, I can usually get 2 years out of the plastic and Velcro if I am careful taking it off.