I currently live with my parents, who like the thermostat rather cold during the winter (My room is 16C right now), and its not even December yet in NY. What steps can I take to properly insulate my room? My room has 3 windows that used to have argon (A noble gas) that mitigated temperature, but it has long since vanished, although I do have closing shudders in its place, which helps mitigate thermal losses, although, even with the shudders closed, I can still feel cool air around the closed shudders, indicating that this is not as good of a thermal insulator as I would like it to be. I also have a closet, which is normally at the temperature of the rest of the house. This and there is a slit under my door (As there are in most doors), which will allow air from the rest of the house to cool air in my room, although I do have concerns that it also might protect against carbon dioxide buildup from breathing.

There are several relevant factors that should be taken into account:

1) Most of the insulation should be passive (I can't change the thermostat, obviously)

2) I need to insulate against the exterior environment, and the cooler interior environment (Expected interior temperatures of around 16C constantly)

3) I don't have a huge budget, so I can't do large projects (Not would my parents look kindly on that, although I can do things like putting a plastic layer over the windows to try and add a poor thermal conduction layer to slow down heat transfer)

  • Wait, your house has actual, real hurricane shutters that work and aren't just decorative? Really? Is there any volume of space between outer window pane and shutter? Do you care if you can't see out of them all winter? Nov 8, 2017 at 7:19
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    There is zero chance of CO2 buildup, so don't worry about that aspect. Since presumably you only want to heat to around 19-20 C, a radiant heater (the kind without a fan, so is noiseless) should serve just fine. Nov 8, 2017 at 12:18
  • What kind of space heating does the house have? Forced air through ducts? Hot water baseboard heat? First try to raise the temperature in the room by adjusting the heaters to give more heat to your room. Most systems have a means of adjusting the heat input of individual rooms. Also consider getting a plug-in electric space heater. Nov 8, 2017 at 15:36
  • sealing the drafty window with a plastic film sealing set is the single biggest gain. a good floor rug helps, as do tapestries on the wall, perhaps with Styrofoam(r) sheets behind the cloth.
    – dandavis
    Nov 8, 2017 at 21:08

1 Answer 1


Even many experts underestimate the volume of air exchange through tiny gaps, holes, slits etc. So generally too much unintended air exchange is often the biggest problem. Can be reduced by applying all weather silikon or acryl at the edge where window frame and wall are touching, and between glass and frame. This should be done outside and inside and is not expensive at alI, does not change the building substance. If the window is not airtight between it's moving and still standing frame, also silikon can help, but a sheet of foil (kitchen) must be temporarily inserted in order to avoid sticking/glueing the window frames together until dry. This helps for rotating windows. Cave: the material needs a high temperature to dry out, ca. 15 Celsius or above. The door slit can be closed with old clothes put at the edge every time the door is closed or with a special brush to be glued on the door. Air gaps can be detected with a cigarette or candle on windy days. A cheap heating is a car heating seat cushion (car accessories), heating from legs to the back like in a car, plus a voltage supply of 12V. There are also 230V/120V heating mattress covers for the bed. And a low noise hair dryer next to the bed can warm up the bed in 1 minute or less with very low costs. These 3 electric heating systems are very comfortable, inexpensive and very fast, and save money and energy and the environment. They are scalable, nearly maintenance free and can be transfered to the next appartment with no installation work.

  • Insulating the outer walls/windows will make no difference to the temperature unless there's a local heat source. The entire room, presumably, is maintained at 16 C by the house's central heating system, regardless of heat loss. I'll grant that sealing leaks removes cold drafts, which are extremely uncomfortable. Nov 8, 2017 at 14:39
  • Human beings are local heat sources, they produce ca. 40- 150Watt. Every electronic item, lamp is a heat source. The silikon/acryl is not for insulating purpose, but avoids the colder air <16 C getting into the room. That is often more important than insulation, if the house is older and not yet renovated.
    – xeeka
    Nov 8, 2017 at 14:48

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