The Cottage Smallholder

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Seasonal double glazing works well

Photo: Seasonal double glazed window

Photo: Seasonal double glazed window

Our cottage is very old and just one room deep with no snug porch or conservatory at the back to hold the heat. The front and back doors open directly into the kitchen and a third door leads to the sitting room.

It has a double glazed window at the front and a single glazed window overlooking the bird table and garden. So there are lots of draughts.

The cottage ceilings are so low that only people under 5’10” (180 cm) can confidently move beneath the beams without fear of painful cranial impact. But it also means that the cottage becomes warm and snug in a matter of minutes when the central heating is turned on.

It’s pretty chilly when the heating is off. Cool in summer too. In winter it’s often a bit warmer in the garden than indoors. All the windows at the back are just single glazed. The back faces North East and this is where the cold winds blow from.

We decided to replace all the draught excluders around the external doors and motored over to the local Homebase store. That’s when we noticed a small brown box marked Seasonal Glazing Film Draught Excluder for about £8.

Perhaps this would be the answer to our single glazed windows?

This ‘double glazing’ isn’t stuck directly on the glass but on the frame, forming an air gap just like normal double glazing. It was a nightmare to fit on our unusually shaped windows. Sticky double sided tape that refused to stick in some places and had to be assisted with a squirt of super glue. A wonderful cloak of plastic film that needed to be cut to fit was trampled by the Min Pins eager to assist with draught proofing the cottage. D encouraged me as I fought the unruly elements each time he passed by to refill his coffee cup. He was cooking supper as a swap.

Eventually all the film was in place and I was on to the final stage of shrinking the film tight with a hand held hairdryer. This was fun. The wonky, creasy film grew as taut as a tribal drum.

I had taken the temperature of each windowsill before applying the film. Unbelievably the temperature rose by 10% post film. If you are on a tight budget this is a great short term investment.

Update November 2009:

You can buy this online at Wickes for £6.99. If you need a lot Amazon sells a big pack – Mr Cosy Seasonal Double Glazing Heavy Duty Film Size: 9 Sq Metres for £15.99.

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  1. Innovative solution to a problem we know all too well! We started doing this recently and it has worked wonders. It also means we get to keep the older style windows that we love!

  2. I use this in my bedroom ( formerly kitchen ) in my 30 year old cowboy-built house. The window is ten foot long and north facing. Before the film goes up I attach half a dozen little silica packets saved from any new shoe boxes etc and use double sided sticky fixers to keep them in place, spaced along the window frame, so preventing the awful mould and rush to redecorate come spring !

  3. I read somewhere once about using a hairdryer to warm the glue on plasters to make them less painful to remove. I wonder if this might work when you remove the seasonal double glazing too? I have never tried this trick but it seemed to have a sense of logic when I read it. I doubt it would work on the superglue that you used Fiona.

  4. We used to live in a Georgian Town House which had the huge floor to ceiling windows. It tooks me ages to strip each window and repaint them. One Christmas we had the inlaws round and my mother in law felt the cold so my husband rushed out and bought this product, I was not keen but it was easy to put on, great fun to air dry and it did the job. He won me over, I spent the New Year singing its praises until Summer when we tried to peel the stuff off, only to find that the paint came too.

  5. Allotment blogger

    I didn’t know this still existed! I used it in a cottage we had once in North Devon and it definitely stopped the icy draughts that cut you in half as you walked across the room. I shall have to go on a hunt for it now …

  6. We used that stuff at a previous house – it’s surprisingly good, isn’t it? I didn’t realise you could still get it.

  7. samantha winter

    sounds interesting. We have a few drafts and we want to get our windows renovated (means stops the wind from getting through)and it msy be worth a trey

  8. We used to live in an old cottage with walls only one brick thick and the loosest, draughtiest windows I have ever known (we did have a Rayburn in one room and an open fire in the other, so it wasn’t all bad!). We used to get ice on the inside of the windows in the bedroom. There were no such convenient products then, so we bought a load of plastic sheeting in a DIY store and stuck it on with parcel tape. It didn’t look elegant, but we were toasty warm, and you could see the plastic bulging with the force of the draught! Yours looks very unobtrusive by comparison 🙂

    In a later house we had double glazing that didn’t replace the existing wooden windows but fitted inside them as sliding windows. That made a much larger air gap than normal double glazing, and was very effective at both insulation and soundproofing (though generally the only noises were birdsong and the local bagpipe band practising on a Sunday morning).

  9. I have been looking into just this product this week! I have brand new windows throughout my flat but as I live in a conservation area they had to be replaced like for like and I think the joiner, who made beautiful solid wood sliding sash windows (which I love) took that literally and made windows which are as drafty and wobbly as the old ones. I wanted to say they rattle not wobble but the adverb of rattle looked really weird – rattly? rattely? rattley? They especially pick up the resonance of the cars and lorries waiting at the junction and vibrate! I sounds like a nightmare the way I have described it but it’s not really that bad. Anyway, apparently the conservation area thing means that my landlord couldn’t put double glazing in so my windows are cold. At least they didn’t have to put those horrible air vents in them although they really wouldn’t have been necessary with the existing draughts! I have had all my curtains closed for a week now which has made a difference. I decided the other day to make some new curtains with fabric that I have had in my stash for many years and thought that if I interlined them it would be even better. I found a bargain of synthetic interlining on ebay and bid 99p for 50 metres of the stuff and was very excited. The bidding crept up to £3.63 and I was waiting to snipe at the last moment but had a friend staying who had never used ebay and was mithering me about what you do and how do you know that and I forgot about the confirm bid part of the bid and missed it. I was gutted but thought it would be ok as there was another 50 metres of the stuff on ending a couple of days later also starting at 99p but when I looked I couldn’t find it. So frustrating. I’m going to Homebase today for some of that plastic film.

  10. I’ve done this too in the past. Also, I’ve used Sellotape! I once lived in a very old house into which the previous owners had installed louvred windows – like greenhouse ventilation panels – in all the windows, for the whole of the windows! It was FREEZING. The previous owner said, and this is perfectly true “I wouldn’t clean the moss between the slats away if I were you. It’s the only thing stopping the rain blowing into the room.” Hubby was very sceptical, but applying Sellotape over the gaps helped a lot. Eventually, of course, they were replaced!

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