Temporarily seal a window?

The house I recently bought is about a hundred years old, with the original windows. The wind comes in all around them, and especially via the crack between the upper and lower window. I don’t want that, but I want to open the windows in the spring, so I’m afraid to use caulk. I have some RTV sealant, and I’m wondering if that would be ok to stick in there. I’m thinking that would be relatively easy to peel out, no? Any other ideas?

Try something like this. A few of my neighbors use them and I think they sell them at the local big box store. It will keep out the wind at least.

Yes we used to do that! A clear silicone, iirc that you put in a caulk gun. We would leave a little knob on the ends for that springtime ritual of pulling and stretching it off in order to open up the old windows. A must do if your windows leak. Ours had these tough brass pulls(an early upgrade to the pulley system) that you pushed into holes to stay open, sometimes the knob would spring back and you’d hear the window slam BAM! but they never broke.

I’ve always wondered if that stuff works. I have a sunroom that has settled and several of the windows don’t close completely, but I try to keep the room as warm as I can for the plants during the winter. I don’t want something that is going to block useful sunlight. Currently, I just put insulation foam tape over the gaps.

It looks and feels a lot like saran wrap. I think it is for those windows what have a lot of little panes and the wind just comes through. It helps keep the wind out although I imagine that a house with a lot of those windows is still expensive to heat.

Before I had my windows replaced, I would use that foam tape to close the gaps as much as possible. I also used a clear tape for a few things.

Glad to hear the silicone works – thanks.

I have a big roll of plastic here, actually, which I was planning to use to cover the windows, but I was hoping to fix the breeze first, and then use that to create an extra pocket of air. The stuff I have is pretty thick, though – I’m concerned the tape will have trouble holding it, and I really don’t want to put staples in the wood work.

For the sake of the next guy who owns your house, don’t use staples. Use the thin 3M shrink-film stuff. As you’re undoubtedly aware, these are all short term fixes, and the semiannual ritual of installing/removing caulk and plastic is going to get old fast. Long term you’re going to want to install new thermopane windows. Not cheap, but if your hundred year old house is an energy sieve like mine was, the payback is reasonable and you’ll save yourself a lot of trouble.