39 answers

Duct Tape Ok to Seal Windows?

Hi Moms!
We're renting an older home and this is our first funfilled Midwest winter (I thought they were joking when they forecasted 61 degrees in the morning and 16 degrees in the same afternoon! Um...I just realized they weren't kidding!)
Our daughter's room is the coldest in the house (we didn't know this as it was summer when we moved in). I noticed today that the old windows are letting the icy air POUR in...you can feel it! Is there any reason that duct taping around the window/window sill would be a bad idea? It seemed to help a bit. I also added a rolled towel at the bottom of the window (it's a huge double-window). All of the "adjustments" are temporary and can easily and quickly be removed in case we need to open the window in an emergency. I also thought about hanging a blanket over the entire window it this isn't enough. We plan to notify our property manager, but so far he hasn't been very willing to do anything to improve the condition of the house. Any other ideas? Any reason this is a bad idea?

What can I do next?

So What Happened?™

You guys are absolutely awesome!!!!!
Thanks so much! I removed the duct tape this morning...luckily no damage after less than 24 hours!
I bought one of those kits and it seems to help. It was easier than I expected and the hairdryer even helped to keep me warm! HA (And now I want to shrink wrap anything I can get my hands on! LOL). Tonight will be the test as it seems to be getting colder by the minute!
Thank you all for all your help. I'm actually going to keep this in my "favorites" so I can turn to all the suggestions when I need them again!
You all rock! Thanks!

Featured Answers

Hi A. and welcome to the Midwest!! I have friends who live in older homes (IL) and their windows have the same problems. If you go to Home Depot or Lowes, they have clear plastic-ky saran wrap type paper that you can use over the windows to keep the wind out. It doesn't look the best, but keeps it warmer!! You adhere it from one side of the window to the other (not directly on the glass) so that it almost hovers over the window. I would defintely go to Home Depot or Lowes and ask them for assistance! They may have better options too!

1 mom found this helpful

Plastic on the windows. Easy to do and it is made by the duck... the very same company that makes duck tape. But, blakets work too.

this is kinda late - sorry - but, there are window sealing kits at the hardware store they are plastic that you cut to size tape up and shrink with a hair dryer and they WORK!!! Good luck and enjoy the weather:)

More Answers

Go to your local hardware store and buy a roll of clear sheet plastic. I suspect the window in your daughter's room isn't the only one letting in cold air. Sheet plastic is so much more economical that the window kits because one roll should give you enough plastic to cover every window in your house and then some. (I have 21 windows including a sun porch and still had enough plastic left over to cover them all again the following year.) Then go to the nearest Dollar General and buy a roll of clear packaging tape ($1 per roll). Depending on how many windows you have, you may need more than one roll. You'll have to measure the windows and cut the plastic to size but this isn't difficult. Also, I have 3 different sizes of windows and I also cover the attic fan in the winter. The packaging tape comes off the window sill or wall easily and doesn't damamge the finish. The other responders are correct-duct tape will leave a sticky residue that's almost impossible to get off and it will damage the finish. After a couple of years I got smart and instead of throwing the plasic away each spring, I now fold them up and reuse them the next winter. Our rental doesn't have a garage and so I also have cut plastic from the roll to cover our front and back car windows during icy weather. The window kits cost between $5 & $8 for two windows. I paid $8 for one roll of plastic that covers every window in my house (and the windshield and rear windows on two cars).

2 moms found this helpful

Haven't had a chance to read what anyone else has said but, here's what I do. Target, Lowes, Home Depot or any hardwarde store has a box set of plastic and tape. It is a weather proofer. They are usually only a few bucks a set. Use the double sided tape all around the window and place the plastic over it, then use a hair dryer to "seal" it. It's much easier to remove it when you want to open the window and it works wonders. SO welcome to your 1st midwest winter and the old house! Mine is over 100 y/o and many of the windows are original, so I totally understand!

2 moms found this helpful

NO! Duct tape is NOT ok to seal windows. Your landlord will not be pleased with the damage to the woodwork. Bad idea. Also, don't nail or screw anything into the window trim. Trim is expensive to replace. As a property owner myself, I can tell you that is a lousy idea that will probably cause you to lose your deposit. Talk to your landlord. See what he/she would like to do to solve the problem. If nothing else, use real window film that is made for that purpose.

2 moms found this helpful


I too would go to Walmart and get the kit, they work well to help keep the cold out. I know it can be hard to deal with a landlord who doesn't want to fix things, however there are laws to protect the renter and many people are not aware of this. Look into how to get the landlord to fix things legally as sometimes this becomes necessary and it helps to know your rights. If you need more information let me know and I will look up the name of the book and the phone number.

The electric blanket is a wonderful idea, especially since this is not a small child and it will help her stay warm. Hang in there with our wonderful weather this week.

2 moms found this helpful

Other than damaging the paint, it will work. I would buy one of the kits like the pp was describing. Our house is not super airtight either and you can really tell this time of year. A good way to keep her comfy without breaking the bank on your heating bill is a heated blanket - we use one through the winter. Even if the room never gets completely warm, she will sleep well.

Good luck.

ETA - I just thought of this - could you use painters tape to put up lightweight plastic sheeting? That way the paint is not damaged?

2 moms found this helpful

The residue left behind will be a nightmare to clean off and will pull the paint off. You will have to redo it or lose all your deposit. They have window kits you can get at WalMart to cover either the inside or the outside. I would suggest that.

1 mom found this helpful

You can buy plastic to put over the windows, they install with a hair dryer and work great.
I have it on ny unheated back porch and it really helps keep A/C in during summer and much warmer in winter.
Hope that helps

1 mom found this helpful

I heard this on the news last week. They said use a cheap plastic see thru shower curtain. It will keep out drafts but let the sun light thru.

I haven't personally tried this, I use the plastic kits everyone has suggested they work great.

1 mom found this helpful

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