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Thread: Clear plastic window film - inside or out?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Location
    Toronto
    Posts
    507

    Default Clear plastic window film - inside or out?

    I will be installing the clear plastic window film on my glass sliding door for the winter to minimise heat transfer (it's an old door). I have the option of installing the heat-shrink type on the inside (with double-sided tape), or the regular type on the outside (with tack strips to the wooden frame). There is an awning to protect it from the elements.

    What would you choose and why?

    PS: This door (and most of my windows) exhibit condensation on the inside during the coldest winter days. Lowering the humidifier (or even turning it off) only helps a little. I heard this is a problem with using a setback thermostat.

  2. #2

    Default

    Inside.

    Easier, quicker, works better for keeping out the moisture/condensation. Don't install when that room has a lot of humidity. Plus it looks way better from the outside of the home, and won't tear out unless you have curious dogs and cats.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Location
    Kent, WA
    Posts
    8,427

    Default

    SIngle pane glass is going to be cold when it is cold outside. Even if your humidity is 30% inside, cooling down your 70F air to window temperature will most likely reach the water saturation point in the air and it will condense on the window. You need a warmer window, which is accomplished via a double pane or putting the plastic over it (but you need to keep air out of that plastic, or the air trapped between the window and plastic will condense onto the window. The condensation problem may be better if you put the plastic outside, but a plastic cover over a window is a marginal improvement. You really need a double or triple pane window with a -gon gas filling.
    Mark
    Kent, WA

  4. #4

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    I say outside, and they do sell the heat shrink type for patio doors for exterior applications. I have used it in the past, and it worked quite well. Just remember, if you have kids or pets, to make sure they keep their collective paws off!
    G. Scott

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Location
    Toronto
    Posts
    507

    Default

    The sliding door is about 15 yrs old. It is double pane but leaks between the sliding and fixed part (even with extra weatherstrip).
    All my other windows are about 6 yrs old, vinyl, double pane yet they all condense near the bottom when it drops to near freezing.

    My theory is because the house is about 60 yrs old and insulation is not up to par, I need to crank the heat to get it comfortable. With the heat cranked the humidifier runs more furnace mounted). When the heat and humidity hit the cold windows it condenses. I'm hoping the plastic sheet will help some. It may not reduce my energy bills, but hopefully it won't condense which can cause mold growth.
    That's my theory.

    I try to keep the humidity as low as possible and during very cold spells I turn it off completely. Kinda defeats the purpose but better than chunks of ice on my windows.
    ________
    Jaguar r1 picture
    Last edited by Guido; February 25th, 2011 at 08:35 AM.

  6. #6

    Default

    If it were me I would put the plastic inside with an air gap between the window and the plastic. Then at bedtime close the curtains as a heat blanket during the coldest part of the night. Heat shrink it tight and seal the plast best you can to limit any air flow between the glass and the plastic. The temp change contact from inside to outside is causing the condensation. The air gap and plastic will limit it best you can till you spend the grand to replace your sliding door if wood. Vinyl is much cheaper but then again you get what you pay for.

    Wg

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