How to temporary insulate a room

Discussion in 'Community Discussion' started by SamIchi, Aug 28, 2010.

  1. SamIchi macrumors 68030


    Aug 1, 2004
    At college I live at this huge house on the 3rd floor. We keep the heat low, but high enough to keep the pipes from freezing. We all have space heaters, but being on the third floor my room gets especially cold. I need some suggestions on how to temporarily insulate my room.

    Last winter I only covered the windows with the plastic wrap things from Home Depot to stop any drafts that come in, but I think I need something more. I was thinking of creating some insulation panels to place on the walls that lead to the exterior of the house.

    After googling I didn't find too many resources, but I think I have 2 options. One, would be to get your traditional polystyrene insulation panels and cut them in to square panels and cover them in fabric, then put them on the wall. The other thing I found was this;

    Which the guy made a frame from wood, covered one side with fabric and the other with aluminized mylar.

    I don't know which one would work better. What do you guys think? The first option would be a less construction and less weight on the walls. I would also like to hear some ideas of how to get it on my wall with out nails or screws.

    Any suggestions and would be appreciated.
  2. cantthinkofone macrumors 65816


    Jul 25, 2004
    Missouri, USA
    Those blue panels work well. They are used in basements. Make sure you take the seams. They are very light weight, so attaching them to the wall would only take a few cap nails.

    Cock around the window frames if they aren't already.
  3. Ttownbeast, Aug 28, 2010
    Last edited: Apr 16, 2012
  4. Sun Baked macrumors G5

    Sun Baked

    May 19, 2002
    I'd suggest a cheap laser temp gauge for checking to see which walls are coldest. Likely end up being the floor or ceiling.

    However, you might find that removing the baseboards and putting a low expansion foam between the gap at the bottom of the walls and floor, taking the trim off the window and foaming those gaps, then putting in those weather gaskets on all the outlets/switches then caulking the outside edges when you put back all the trim, baseboards, and wall switches might stop the cold breezes.

    All that is normal first try weatherization, simply stopping the cold air from entering and usually requires a tube of caulk, some nails, a can of foam, and a handful of outlet/switch gaskets.

    If the wood on the trim and baseboards is old and hard to take off, caulking gaps might be all you want to try. Since using a dremel to cut off the old nails once you remove the trim, and repairing spit wood would be a headache. Though removing quarter round and foaming the gap between a wood floor and the baseboards is rather easy, though carpet is as easy but requires borrowing the tool to stretch the carpet back and make it grab the tack strips.
  5. Sun Baked macrumors G5

    Sun Baked

    May 19, 2002
    FedEx boxes filled with the fedex plastic bubble envelopes, taped together and then stuck to the walls.

    Who needs fedex furniture, when you really need fedex insulation products. ;)
  6. Gregg2 macrumors 603

    May 22, 2008
    Milwaukee, WI
    Turn up the heat.

    Use the money saved from not buying extra building materials and hiring a friend of a friend who's a contractor to install it to pay the power company.
  7. SamIchi thread starter macrumors 68030


    Aug 1, 2004
    This would be totally be a makeshift thing, I don't plan on hiring anyone. Raising the thermostat would be bad. A lot more money and because the house is so big, we would be heating 2/3 of the house that we don't really use.
  8. Gregg2 macrumors 603

    May 22, 2008
    Milwaukee, WI
    Yeah, I should have added a ;)

    That was totally tongue-in-cheek.
  9. stridemat Moderator


    Staff Member

    Apr 2, 2008
    If it was really cold you could use tinfoil (but that could get a bit bright). Cardboard would work well for a cheap solution, but wouldn't provide that greater an improvement in u-values, and would have to be fixed somehow.

    You could buy some Celotex or similar and create some false partitions, but it depends how handy you are with a saw.

    You will have to take into consideration providing adequate ventilation, otherwise you could be in all sorts of problems with regards to condensation (that is if you do a good job).

    Have you tried talking to you Landlord about injected insulation into the cavity walls?
  10. racer1441 macrumors 68000

    Jul 3, 2009
    Cheapest way is to dress right.

    I live in a all concrete home, and the thermometer never goes higher than 60, even on the 10 degree winter days. Dressing correctly saves big big $$$$.

    Long under ware, shirts, sweatshirts, and good slippers are you'll be as warm as needed.
  11. Tomorrow macrumors 604


    Mar 2, 2008
    Always a day away
    Concentrate particularly on the ceiling, where you'll lose most of your heat, then on the windows. Do NOT cover them with anything opaque, as you want sunlight to come in (it will heat the room). You're just looking to block air drafts there.

    Other advice here works as well - in particular, dress warmer. You might also try a ceiling fan (run in reverse), although that won't actually raise the room temperature, but it could make you feel warmer.

Share This Page