Does putting cling film on your windows save on heating bills?

Most households have already turned the heating off for the summer, but if you need extra heat in your home we look at whether putting cling film on your windows can keep the heat in and save on energy bills

Energy bills are set to drop from 1 July as the new energy price cap comes into force, which could save the average household around £426 on their energy bills. But energy prices are still at unaffordable levels for many households, which means more of us are looking for alternative tricks and hacks to heat our home. One question that often comes up is whether there’s any benefit to putting cling film on your windows?

To keep costs low, it’s a good idea to start thinking about ways to make your home more energy efficient, which could include loft and cavity wall insulation, as well as quick wins like using cling film. 

We look at whether putting cling film on your windows really can lower your energy bills, along with any better alternatives.

Will cling film on your windows save on heating bills?

Cling film is not only useful for wrapping leftover food ‒ it can also be used as a form of insulation and help provide a layer of protection against cold draughts coming in through your windows and entering your home. 

The idea is for the cling film to reduce heat loss through the windows, so less energy is required to heat a room.

It is an easy hack to insulate your home using cling film, but it depends on the condition of your window and it won’t be as effective for everyone. 

If your windows are single glazed, you will be able to tell a big difference when you put cling film on your window. But if your windows are double glazed, cling film won’t be as effective because it is already well insulated. 

An energy expert at Uswitch said: “If your windows only have single glazing, then you could lose up to 20% of your home’s overall heat.”

“Windows account for a significant portion of heat loss, so any measures you can take to prevent this happening are worthwhile to help save on your energy bills.”

What is a better alternative to cling film?

“Rather than using cling film to reduce heat loss, consumers should buy insulating film for windows, which is specifically made for this purpose,” according to Uswitch. 

It is a more effective option, like this one from Wilko for £5. Window films come in different styles and prints so you can keep your house warm at no decorative cost. 

This Wilko’s window film is water and heat resistant and easy to put up within minutes. All you need to do is stick the film onto the window and if it is too big for your window, cut it down to your window size.

Other ways to keep the heat in your home

Keeping your home warm and reducing heat loss is a good way to keep energy bills down. Here’s some other ways to help save on energy bills.

Check what time you put the heater on and how often. A lot of households want to know when is the best time is to put our heating on, and whether you can save money using electricity overnight with economy 7. 

Economy 7 can be cheaper to use at night but it’s not the safest option, as leaving appliances on overnight can pose a hazard. You can also cut costs by switching the heater on only when you need it. If you leave the heating on low all day, it costs more as it is constantly using energy. 

Insulation grants. This is one of your best bets to keep the heat in your home in an energy efficient way, and at a lower cost too. There are government grants available for loft and cavity wall insulation and the government’s Boiler Upgrade Scheme that can save you thousands of pounds. Check if you’re eligible.          

Under Energy Company Obligation (ECO) funding you could be eligible for solid wall insulation, heating controls upgrades or first time gas connection. All large energy providers offer these grants through Ofgem so it’s worth checking if you’re eligible and how to apply. 

Take part in the Money Saving Boiler Challenge. This challenge has been set by Nesta and could lower energy costs by around £100 a year. There are two simple changes you can make to your boiler that could save you hundreds of pounds a year.

The first is a small one and you can save around 5-10% on your energy bill by turning off the preheat function on your boiler. If this is switched on, it means there is always hot water ready when you need it. But if this function is switched off, you’ll only have to wait a short time until the water heats up, which can be a small price to pay compared with high energy costs.

The second, if you have a combi boiler, is to check its factory settings as most are set to 80C. However Nesta says turning down the flow temperature to 60C or below can save money on bills. You should always check the boiler manual first.

Draught proof strips for doors. Heat from your home can be lost through the door, even when it’s shut. You can get draught proof strips to put in between door frames from the inside and outside of your home. A 10 metre roll of draught excluder tape like this one costs £6.50 at Wickes. If you find there is a lot of heat loss at the bottom of the door, you can get draught excluders to eliminate this for around £10 to £20, like this one from Dunelm

Bleed the radiators. It’s important that the radiators are working properly so they can heat up to their full potential. If you feel the top of the heater is cooler than the bottom, that’s a sign it needs bleeding. All this means is there is air trapped which needs releasing.  

Put in curtains. This is a great way to stop heat loss. If you’re looking for new curtains, you can opt for thermal lined ones and at Dunelm, prices start from £10, depending on the size of your window.

If you already have curtains and don’t want to splash out on new ones, then you can get thermal lining to put on them. You can also find thermal lining at John Lewis for £8 per metre.