Always wanted to change the old single pane windows in the original part of the house. The dome addition has nice double pane argon filled windows. Downstairs, it's old double hung windows. There was always something more pressing, (or interesting) to spend money on.
Single pane windows lose a lot of heat. Every year, they've been covered up with one thing or another. In the early years, I had some scrap wood and built frames covered in plastic. Those were then screwed over the outside of the windows. They worked well enough for a few years. One annoyance was that the plastic was translucent, not clear. It wasn't possible to see anything out the windows.
Eventually, the plastic became brittle and the frames broke. After that, we tried the clear plastic that's applied with double sided tape on the inside of the windows. Once the plastic is in place, a hair dryer shrinks the wrinkles out out of the plastic. That too works well enough and has the added bonus of being perfectly clear. Two problems: the plastic is only good for one season, and the tape has a tendency to remove paint off the window frames.
We even tried bubble wrap. A local store had a huge amount of bubble wrap to give away. It actually insulates a window really well. Of course, we are left with the old problem of not being able to see out the windows.
This year, we had the money to put in brand new windows, but it was much more interesting to buy a sailboat. After buying the sailboat, something still had to be done about the windows. None of the old standbys interested me this year. It was time to try something new.
I must confess to being a bit of a pack rat. Over the years, I've acquired a goodly number of old windows. Most of them are for a greenhouse project, but there are more than I need for that. I found some of the salvaged windows were a few inches winder than my house windows. After cleaning them up and replacing some loose glazing, I screwed them right over the outside of the house windows.
Not only do they work really well, they even look pretty good. Better yet, they are reusable and didn't cost any money. The only downside is that they work well enough that I might never get around to replacing the old windows with new.
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