Intro: Weather Strip a Window on the Cheap!
In this instructable I will show you my way of weather stripping a window for little or NO MONEY! well maybe 5 cents.
Step 1: Step One.
First the story:
When I arrived in my new abode, I found that the sliding glass aluminum framed windows leaked air severely. When the wind would blow the air would howl through the cracks and they would rattle and keep me from sleeping. As the winter season came along, the room got progressively colder. The vertical blinds were little if anything more than cheap decoration.
I called the apartments complex and they sent a guy up with some 1/4 inch foam insulation. I watched him install it and laughed thinking nope this wont cut it. The window still leaked air and rattled horribly.
I tried to think of ways to solve this problem on my own since I wasnt getting much assistance with it from the building owner.
I knew I could not make permanent changes or risk violating my lease. so here was the solution!
I took 4 plastic shopping bags. (any brand will do) the best ones seem to be the cheaper food bags. the more durable once in larger sizes are less flexible. YOU WANT FLEXIBLE HERE!
Gather shopping bags, a pair of sissor or a knife << be careful with that!
A roll of scotch tape, and a smooth surface to use at least 1.5 x 1.5 feet square.
Sorry these pictures were taken with my phone, they are not the highest quality but I think you will get the ideas I present.
Step 2: Step 2
Taking the sissors and a bag, make a small cut in the bottom of the bag anywhere is fine. we are not looking for air or water tight in the bag.
Step 3: Step 3 Rolling the Bag
Lay the bag flat and true up the sides a bit.
Turn the flattened bag towards you with the handles pointing at you.
Start by folding the handle away from you and laying them even with the top of the bag this will make rolling it a lot easier.
Then start rolling evenly the bag from what would be top to bottom. keep this small as it will increase in size as you roll.
The picture here should show you aproximately what you are looking for.
Step 4: Step 4 Finished Product
Continue rolling the bag until you are done and the bag is all rolled up. It should now be about 3/4 inch in diameter.
Place a small piece of tape on the joint to keep it from un rolling.
*** NOTICE on the left from the tape, there is the cut you made in the bottom of the bag. It simply let the air out so that when you were rolling the bag it would not inflate. This cut could be just a nic or small hole in the bag it only needs to release air.
Your finished product should look something like the picture. My windows in the bedroom are 3-4ft tall so I used 4 bags, use as many as you wish. this project will also work for a double hung window as well, but make sure you can still lock it after adding the insulation.
Step 5: Step 5 Installing the Insulation
After you have made as many strips as you think you will need, its time to install them.
Open the window and notice the track that the window closes into before it locks. usually it is "U" shaped and receives the window on both front and back. normally there would be sufficient insulation in there, but as windows age and weather takes its toll, often this insulation degrades.
You can now insert your strips into this channel one above the other, taking care not to leave gaps between them. if you have a bit left over, either pack it in by folding the end over, or cutting off the end while leaving enough to fully fill the space. ** DONT FORGET TO CLOSE THE WINDOW :)
I found I did not have to slam the window but a tiny amount of extra force caused it to latch properly.
I instantly found that the room was quieter and not so much wind was making it into the room.
Please note these windows were done 2 years ago and are now on the 3rd winter and the strip is still working very well. Not bad for cheap!!!
Step 6: Step 6 Final Touches (The Rattle Problem)
After installing the insulating strips which by the way tend for the most part to stay put on their own.
I found I still had a rattle when heavy wind would blow.
I was still getting a slight draft from near the top/bottom and middle joint of the window but not nearly what it was before.
As you know a sliding window sits and rolls in a track. often it gets loose over time with no real way to fix it.
I found that bending a standard Q-TIP and inserting it between the track and the window after closing would help the rattle.
More over it also assisted by closing the gap that was left as well. I was able to use Q-TIPs on the top and bottom track with good success.
If any of you try this feel free to let me know what you did and if you added ideas of your own as I might try them as well.