• 25 Year Guarantee
  • Latest ECO Friendly Technology
  • 35+ Areas Nationwide
Get a FREE quote

Many homeowners today are looking to improve how energy efficient their homes are. This makes sense, as with utility costs still on the rise, energy efficiency has been a huge focus recently. Double glazing is definitely one option to consider if you don’t already have it… But are there any cheaper alternatives to double glazing? Insulating film has been used by those with single pane households for a while. However, recent developments show it may not be worth the hassle or the cost.

Here’s our guide to insulating film and whether it’s worth the effort (and the investment)!

What is Insulating Film for Windows?

Insulating film is often considered a cheaper version of double glazing, as it can work to insulate the home by reducing heat loss through windows. The insulating film is made from a thin layer of polyester, combined with an adhesive layer, that is designed to stick on to the interior side of your windows. It is sometimes also called window film.

Some brands sell window insulation kits for single pane windows, whilst others offer ‘secondary’ glazing films that claim to boost the energy efficiency of windows that are already double glazed. You can purchase cheap insulating film for under £2 per square metre. These secondary insulating films are often applied during winter months to optimise the thermal retention properties of existing double glazing.

If you do not have double glazing already, however, will insulating window film work?

Does Insulating Window Film Work?

If you have single pane windows, insulating window film will likely improve the energy efficiency of your windows. Applying this additional layer of thermal protection within the home can work as a cheaper alternative to investing in double glazing.

Despite its ability to insulate single pane windows, insulating film is not as effective as double glazing. Applying a thin layer of film is not as insulating as the additional layer of glass (and noble gas) that in double glazing.

According to the Energy Saving Trust, double glazing can reduce heat loss in the home by up to 70%. This is a significant amount of insulation in comparison to the quality of insulating films available on the market. Insulating window film works (especially with single pane windows), but double glazing is evidently better.

Are There any Downsides?

There are downsides to insulating film.

  • Application Difficulties – Applying insulating film requires a great deal of precision. Measuring your windows properly and cutting the film to size takes time and effort. If you fit your window film incorrectly, it won’t work effectively. You will be left with gaps in the film, exposing certain areas of the window to colder air. While insulating film seems like a cheaper option, it is sometimes more cost-effective in the long run to have a specialist in that can fit quality, double glazed windows!
  • Appearance – Window film can be visible from outside the home. This may not bother many homeowners; however, double glazing is the standard for most homes across the UK. Double glazing is more appealing to look at than insulating film, which may also cloud up or obscure the view you have from outside the home as the quality of the film and adhesive deteriorate.
  • Removal – The film is quite difficult to remove from windows. If you are in a rental property (you should ask them why they don’t have double glazing), you may be hit with deposit losses should you move out of your home. The film can be difficult to remove as the adhesive is meant to last 5 years; often, it will stick and leave an unsightly residue on the surface of the glass.
  • Effectiveness – Insulating window film is not as effective as double glazing. It’s up to you to weigh up the costs involved; however, double glazing will always be more insulating than a film that you have to remove, re-invest in, and re-apply every 5 years.
  • Effort – As mentioned above, insulating window film does need replacing every 5 years in order to maintain its impact within the home. It’s worth considering if you have the time to do this, and whether having double glazing installed would be a simpler option.

In comparison with proper double glazing, window film will always be lacking – in terms of both appearance and durability. If you still have single glazed windows and are considering insulating window film, we’d recommend weighing up the costs and benefits that each will provide in the long term.

What is the Best Option for Me?

If you are here to weigh up the pros and cons between insulating film and double glazing for energy efficiency purposes, your best option is to get double glazing. No thin sheet of plastic will offer the same insulating benefits as double glazing.

Insulating films may be cheaper to begin with – and if you have single panes, you may notice their impact. However, the effort involved with reapplication – and the further costs involved in repurchasing insulating film – may mean double glazing is your best option.

If you do already have double glazed windows and want to ‘top up’ their efficiency for winter, the effectiveness of ‘secondary’ glazing films is still debateable.

Quality Double Glazing by Cloudy2Clear

For a more effective long-term solution that can help you save thousands on your energy bills whilst adding value to your home, go for double glazing instead of insulating film!

With Cloudy2Clear, we offer quality double glazing you can rely on. Our 25-year guarantee ensures you are spending your investments wisely, as we’ll repair any of our double glazing installations or upgrades that may fail within this time. We offer this guarantee as we know our double glazing experts get it right the first time, every time.

If you would like to book in for a consultation, call us now on 0800 61 21 119. Our engineers will provide a non-obligation quote so you can decide the best way to insulate your home throughout the year.