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Budget Fixes for Drafty Windows

Dealing with drafty windows and doors this winter? Keeping your home warm doesn’t have to come at a high price, thanks to these easy-to-do fixes.

Winter view outside of window. iStock

4 Cheap Ways to Fix Drafty Windows and Doors

Bring on the Heat

On average, 10 to 25 percent of a home's heat escapes through its windows. If you're feeling drafts, you should consider reglazing or even replacing your windows.

But if you can't because of time—or budget—first weatherstrip, then try these other temporary solutions to fix drafty windows on a budget to help beat the chill.

Plastic Film

Man using hair dryer to shrink film on window. iStock

Applied to panes with double-sided tape and sealed using the heat from a hair dryer, this inexpensive clear shrink film can allow a room to retain as much as 55 percent of its heat.

In a pinch, bubble wrap makes an effective replacement; just push the bubble side of the wrap against the glass and adhere with double-sided tape.

Shown: Duck Crystal Clear Shrink Film, about $6.59 per pack, Home Depot.

Draft Snakes

Draft snake in window iStock

One way to fix drafty windows on a budget is to stop cold air from creeping through windowsills with a snake. You can buy one online, or easily make one yourself by filling a tube of fabric, like an old knee sock, with dry rice.

Rigid Foam

Square Edge Rigid Foam Board Insulation Sheathing

For basement and attic windows you don't need to see out of, cover the panes with a piece of foam board glued to ⅜-inch drywall. Cut pieces to fit snugly inside the frame, press the foam side against the glass, then simply pop out when you want to let in sunlight.

Shown: FOAMULAR 1/2 in. x 4 ft. x 8 ft. R-3 Square Edge Rigid Foam Board Insulation Sheathing, about $14.50 per 8-4-foot panel, Home Depot