Keep The Heat In With Bubblewrap

Windows provide our homes with warmth and light, but they can also be major weak spots of your home’s thermal efficiency profile. If you want to improve energy efficiency with a very limited budget, there are some very simple and cheap techniques that can help.

By applying ordinary bubble-wrap packing material on your windows to keep the heat in, it is possible to cut utility bills almost in half. Homes with single glazed windows, especially in cold climates, would experience full effect of this simple heat loss prevention technique. Believe it or not, up to 50% of heat can be saved this way. Also it is easy and fun to install, literally few minutes per window will be more than enough. Even for double glazed windows bubble-wrap insulation does have some limited effect (up to 20% savings in heat loss), but using this technique additional on triple glazed windows does not bring any measurable improvement.

Main reason for using packing material instead of commercially available insulators is that it is abundant. People throw out bubble-wrap every day, and any modern product packaging is unthinkable without it. You can find it in almost any  products package, which is excellent thing because reusing and recycling things is our aim as well. Wrapping material with less space between bubbles is generally performing better as it holds more heat. So if you want maximum performance, try to find and select pieces with bigger bubbles.

How does it work?

After applying insulation onto your window pane from the inside, small bubbles serve as network of many insulating pockets filled with air. The only downside effect is that the view through the insulated window is a little bit fuzzy, however it does let plenty of sunlight in.

We have tested the bubble wrap insulation on north facing, single glazed windows in order to see if it would prove to be a good insulation.

Which factors are making bubble wrap a perfect choice for home insulation material:

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  • Good insulator due to its specific structure with small air pockets
  • Made of plastic which can heat up very quickly
  • Cost effective – Cheap or even free if recycled/reused
  • Easy installation, only sprayed water is needed
  • Can last on your windows for several years
  • Short payback period
  • Can be removed easily after the heating season, just peel it off from one corner and save till next year.
  • And last but not least, it does not leave stains and there’s no sticky scotch tape leftovers on glass.

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How to install home-bubble-insulation onto windows

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  • Select larger pieces of wrapping material, preferably with medium to large size bubbles
  • Use scissors to cut the bubble wrap sheet exactly to (or slightly smaller than) the size of the window glass
  • Using a spray bottle carefully spray a thin film of water onto the window pane
  • Apply the bubble wrap insulator with the bubbly side going directly onto the wet glass
  • Press it carefully until you see that it holds firmly

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After installing the bubbly window insulator, you can sit back, relax, enjoy artistic fuzzy view of the outside world and watch how your electricity bill goes down. Finally, just to mention that this is not the best possible window insulation, but it is very cheap, fun and easy to try. We encourage you to use it in your home and you will certainly be amazed with the result…