Are you not able to snuggle up in your favorite chair, to read your favorite book because of the cold draft falling on your shoulders? There are two reasons: 1) The interior air is sheeting across the cold glass which makes the air heavy and creates a river of cold air to the bottom of the glass. 2) The window seals are bad and cold air is leaking through the window frame, perhaps even around the window frame where it meets the wall. If you can easily hear dogs bark and traffic through your window, then it is not sealing well. Your window shades are not able to correct for these examples:
THE FIX: In the order from Cheap to Steep,
1) FILM: At Walmart and Hardware stores, purchase a box of Window Kit Insulating Shrink Film, 10 windows for $10. Stretch the film across the cold window and then use a hair dryer to shrink the film tight. This is good for one season. It seals the air from coming through cracks and from conduction of cold glass surface.
2) PLEXIGLASS Storm Window: At Lowes, purchase a sheet of Plexiglas, a roll of magnetic tape, and a couple of flat 1/2" wide steel rods that are long enough for all four sides of the window. Then have the sales helper custom cut the plexiglass a half inch larger than the perimeter you measured of the window, When you get home, glue magnetic tape to all four sides of the plexiglass, cut the steel rods to four lengths, one for each side of the window and then glue these to the wall or window frame of your choice where each steel bar touches it's mate at all four corners for air tightness. Pick up your Plexiglas and mount it to the steel bars and witness how easy it is to place and remove the Plexiglas for later storage to be used next year. $40-80
3) OFFICIAL STORM windows: From Alpen windows and other manufacturer: Purchase an official factory-made Storm window-insert that looks professional and can remain there in addition to your original windows, all year, for many years. It adds another windowpane to your existing window.
4) REPLACEMENT: Measure your existing window width and height behind the sheet rock, and order new windows. Window insulation values range from an extremely poor R-1 (U=1) to an excellent R-10 (U=0.1). To compare, a 2x4 wall with pink insulation is about R-9. Alpen makes windows that are better than the insulation of a 2x4 wall! Their top of the line Fiberglass frame window is quadruple pane, with Krypton gas which is so heavy that the gas does not want to move and therefore doesn’t create eddies inside the windowpanes, therefore creating excellent R value. $500 to $1800 depending on size of course. Always ask for fiberglass frame instead of vinyl frames because Fiberglass expands very little and at the same rate as the glass. This ensures decades of no leaking whereas cheap vinyl frames expand near the rate of gasoline by comparison to fiberglass. MOST IMPORTANT: During installation, all four sides of the new window must be "taped" to the house window jam. Without the tape, cold winter air will invisibly flow into your room creating NO PERCEPTIBLE IMPROVEMENT to your comfort.