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DIY Double Glazing

By Gabrielle Prior     Gabrielle is a member of Beechworth Sustainability and the North East Regional Sustainability Alliance

Are you tired of tired of living in a winter cave with the curtains drawn to keep in the warmth?

Are you wishing you had double glazing, but can’t afford it? Or perhaps you are renting and upgrades are simply not an option?

Enter bubble-glazing! No, it’s not an urban myth – you really can use bubble wrap to improve the insulation provided by your windows.

Bubble-glazing is cheap and easy to install. All you need is regular bubble wrap (not the blue-tinted biodegradable version) and a spray bottle with water. Next spray the window with water, place a piece of bubble wrap cut to size onto the window – bubble side facing the glass – and press gently. We have found that a little bit of glycerine enhances the sticking power, but plain water also seems to work.

Bubble-glazing is great for home-owners and renters because it is easy to remove by just peeling it off the window. There are no marks left on the window and with a quick wipe it’s good as new. The bubble-wrap can also be used for several years.

The only downside is that it does impact on your view, with an effect a bit like frosted glass.

However it doesn’t reduce light into a room, and for areas like bedrooms, laundries and bathrooms where a view isn’t a primary consideration, then the trade-off for warmth is well worth it.

Over the past month or so we have “bubble-glazed” most of our thin windows, with the exception of the upper living and dining room windows so we can still enjoy the view. We don’t have central heating, just a wood burning stove and a ceiling fan. The bubble-glazing has allowed us to dramatically reduce our use of electric heaters, while allowing us to leave curtains open to enjoy the daylight.

Bubble-glazing in the bathroom and toilet have made a large difference to the temperature of those unheated rooms on cold mornings, and it’s no longer the same degree of icy torture to get up in the middle of the night to visit the loo.

Not convinced? It’s easy to test. Put some bubble wrap on one window and leave an adjacent one bare. Put one hand on each window – feel the difference?

If you’re interested in finding out more about bubble-glazing there is plenty of information on the internet.