Can I Cover My Window Grate With Plastic?

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Installing plastic over your window grate can save energy.
Installing plastic over your window grate can save energy.

If your house is a little drafty, consider applying plastic over your windows to form an airtight seal. Eliminating drafts and cold air coming in through your window cracks can significantly reduce your heat and electricity bill for the winter. If you have grates over the interior of your windows, it can be challenging to apply plastic. But you can still make your windows more energy-efficient. Use care and caution in applying plastic to avoid ripping and tearing.

  1. Grate Types

    • A window grate is typically used for two reasons: decoration or safety. Having a grate over your window provides an extra layer of protection against burglars and intruders. A grate does not block much airflow from the outdoors, especially if the grate is found on the interior of the window. Grates are typically made from cast iron, to provide long-lasting durability and security for theft prevention. Grates may be simple in design, such as a series of thin bars in a vertical or fence-type pattern. Some grates are more ornate, with finials or scrolls on the top or edges. If your window grate has sharp or uneven edges, it can be difficult to seal your window with plastic.

    Plastic

    • Select the right type of plastic for sealing your windows and grates. Most plastic used for winterizing is purchased in a window insulator kit. Included in the kit is either a premeasured piece of plastic or a large roll of plastic that you will have to measure off before use. The kit may also include window film tape or a foam or cardboard border for holding the plastic in place with additional tack nails.

    Application

    • If you have an interior window grate, be sure to measure over the grate to assure you cut enough plastic. If the edges of your grate are sharp or pointy, use electrical or painter's tape to cover it up; this will prevent ripping a hole in the plastic. When you apply the plastic, start by securing one side with tape or by tacking it down to the window trim. Pull the other side over the grate and the window carefully. Pull until it is airtight and the edges are completely sealed. If you are unable to apply plastic to your interior windows because of grates, you can apply the plastic on the exterior of your home.

    Benefits

    • You should see a significant difference in your newly insulated room. Your home will retain heat better, reducing the need to run your furnace frequently. Properly sealed windows, along with caulking large gaps or crevices and adding insulation if necessary, can cut down your energy bills significantly. Plastic on your windows and grates can also help keep your home cool in the summertime.

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