5 Ways to Insulate Your Apartment Windows for Winter

Trevor Wheelwright
May 16, 2024
Icon Time To Read4 min read

Move.org has analyzed the effectiveness and affordability of different insulation methods to help you find the best and most affordable ways to insulate your apartment. 

The best way to seal out the cold air and walk around the apartment you moved into without wearing four sweaters is by insulating the windows.

Insulation lessens over time. Depending on when your apartment was last remodeled, your heater might be working overtime trying to keep your place warm.

While you might not be able to convince your landlord to replace your windows altogether, renter friendly window insulation is an easy way to keep your apartment warm and lower your utility costs. Learn more about the supplies we recommend and ways to keep cold out.

Product image
Buy now
Window film Window Insulator Kit
Bubble wrap Bubblewrap
Magnetic insulation Magnetic tape
Rope caulk Rope caulk
Thermal curtains Thermal blackout curtains

5 ways to insulate your apartment windows

1. Use window insulation film

Window film creates an insulating barrier between the interior of your apartment and your windows. Kits typically include plastic shrink film that you apply to the indoor window frame using double-sided sticky tape. Simply heat the film with a hair dryer to shrink it and remove wrinkles. Window film is a renter friendly window installation solution because it can simply be removed when the weather warms up again.

Window film

2. Cover your windows with bubble wrap

It may not look pretty, but bubble wrap is effective and probably the cheapest way to insulate windows for winter. Simply spray a mist of water over the inside of your clean window and hold the bubble side of the bubble wrap to the wet window. Sealing the edges with tape may help keep heat in but can lift paint when removed so be cautious!

Bubble wrap

3. Install removable magnetic window insulation

Removable magnetic vinyl is the perfect DIY window insulation fix if you still want to occasionally open your windows during the winter. Instead of tape, magnets hold the insulating vinyl in place so you can put the insulation in place on cold days and leave it off otherwise. Here's how it works:

  1. Apply several coats of magnetic paint to the window trim.
  2. Measure and cut the vinyl to fit your window.
  3. Attach magnetic tape to the vinyl.

The magnetic tape will hold the vinyl to the magnetic paint and still be easy to remove.

Magnetic tape

4. Use rope caulk to seal cracks

Rope caulk is a little like Silly Putty rolled out into a long rope that you can pull apart and jam into large gaps and spaces in your windows. It’s great for temporary window insulation. Simply press the rope caulk inside the window cases along the edges. If you live in a ground-floor unit, do the outside of the windows as well for extra apartment insulation.

Rope caulk

5. Add thermal curtains to your windows

Thermal curtains feature a special lining that holds warm air inside during the winter and blocks the heat during the summer. When deciding how to insulate windows, curtains are a pretty straightforward solution. Thermal curtains also block out light and help reduce noise. Make sure your curtains cover your windows completely so they effectively insulate your apartment windows for winter.

Thermal curtains

The best houseplants for your state

While you're thinking about warming the air in your home, it's also a good time to think about keeping your air clean. Raising plants in your home can be a satisfying way to pass the time, but it can also improve your indoor air quality.

However, not every place has the same plant-friendly climate.

We wanted to know which houseplants are best equipped to thrive in each state’s weather, so we compared light, water, and temperature preferences of 20 of the most popular plants in America. We then weighed them against each state’s average temperature, percentage of sun, and inches of rain to find the best matches.

Did you know you can order houseplants online?

If you're an Amazon Prime member, check out Amazon's latest deals on houseplants.

best houseplants in each state

How do popular houseplants compare?

Peperomia was the most optimal match for nine different states, particularly on the East Coast. It requires medium to bright light with a wide temperature range of 55–80 degrees Fahrenheit, making it ideal for those looking for something easy.

Five states would find a friend in the golden pothos, an easy-to-maintain plant that generally prefers humidity but can also tolerate temperatures as low as 55 degrees Fahrenheit.

Although the Chinese money plant requires regular watering, it can tolerate temps as low as 50 degrees Fahrenheit and grows well in indirect light—just watch out for temperature swings and dry soil.

Monstera’s a challenge to maintain in some states, but if you live in a southern coastal state, the indirect light-loving plant will be perfect for adding extra flair to your home. Just make sure it’s got water.

These popular plants match up with at least one state’s average climate:

  • Snake plant
  • Chinese evergreen
  • Spider plant
  • Ponytail palm
  • Fern
  • ZZ (Zamioculcas zamiifolia)
  • Bromeliad
  • Air plant
  • Philodendron

Which popular plants didn’t quite make the cut?

Of the 20 popular plants in our list, the following didn’t make the most optimal match for any states:

  • Aloe vera
  • Yucca
  • Majesty palm
  • Fiddle-leaf fig
  • Jade
  • Dieffenbachia
  • Rubber plant

These plants can still work for your home. Just make sure your local climate can support them and that you’re willing to keep up with their maintenance schedules.

Should you pick up your state’s best houseplant?

Of course, just because a plant is popular and matches your state’s average climate doesn’t always mean it’s the right one for you. You should also consider your plant parenting abilities (not all of us can remember to water a plant more than once a month, okay?).

Outside or inside, your plant will be happiest when it gets the proper light. And if you live in a state where the temperature swings, make sure your plant can handle it.

If you’re looking for minimal effort (no stepladders required), put your plants where they’re easy to water—or where they can receive enough rain on their own.

Owning a plant is a labor of love no matter how little effort you’re required to put in. Even different parts of your home can cause your plant to either thrive or wither, so check in on your plant pals often as they keep you company.

Light Bulb
Move.org can help you move any time of year

There’s more to moving than getting your belongings from A to B. If setting up insurance, internet, utilities, or home security services while planning your move makes you hyperventilate, we’ve got an answer for you!

Move.org offers a free, all-in-one solution that provides you with a personal concierge who will assist you in setting up all those services (and more!). From finding the best mover in your area, to forwarding your mail to your new address, our moving concierge removes the hassle of self setup and helps you save money.

Recommended resources

  1. Cornell Cooperative Extension, "House Plants for Healthier Indoor Air," Accessed May 16, 2024.

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Trevor Wheelwright
Written by
Trevor Wheelwright
Trevor’s written about home products and services for over six years across editorial publications and retail/eCommerce sites. His work's been featured on Forbes, RealSimple, USA Today, MSN, BusinessInsider, Entrepreneur, PCMag, and CNN. When he’s not researching and writing, you can find him around Salt Lake City, Utah, snapping photos of mountains and architecture or seeking out some good tunes and friendly faces.