What Size Bubble Wrap Is Best For Insulating Windows?

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If you’re looking to insulate your windows with bubble wrap, but you’re not sure how big your bubbles should be, stick with us.

We’ve got the lowdown on exactly what you need to keep your home toasty and warm with this neat little energy-saving trick. 

bubble wrap

Does bubble wrap size matter for windows?

The size of the bubbles in bubble wrap does impact its effectiveness when it comes to insulating windows. Windows are excellent heat conductors, and the bubbles act like pockets of air that help to slow the transfer of heat to the window pane. In turn, this reduces your energy bills.

If you have single-glazed windows, insulating them with bubble wrap could reduce the amount of heat lost by up to 50%, and by 20% to 25% on double-glazed windows (Source).

bubble wrap on windows

So, next time you receive a box from Amazon, don’t be so quick to throw the packaging out with the trash. There might just be some bubble wrap in there that’s ready and waiting for your windows! 

Is large or small bubble wrap better for insulation?

Bubble wrap with larger bubbles is better at trapping heat. Using bubble wrap will increase your windows’ R-value by a factor of 1. The R-value is an industrial term for heat resistance measured per unit area. The higher the R-value, the better the insulation. 

But don’t just take our word for it, there are tons of people trying out this heat-saving trick all over the US. People just like Deb on Facebook.

‘I saw one of those life hack things that said bubble wrap stuck to the window would help with insulation while letting in light. The big bubbles are more effective than the little ones. This is the 2nd year I have put bubble wrap on the 12′ windows in the old Chicago walk-up where 2 of my daughters live. Even though the windows are modern the bubbles make a noticeable difference right away.’

As Deb mentions above, although the bubble wrap will still let light in, it will obscure the view out of your windows a little bit, but this is a small price to pay given the heat-saving benefits. You win some, you lose some! 

What size of bubble wrap is best to insulate windows with?

The bigger the bubbles in your bubble wrap, the more insulated your windows will be. Bigger bubbles trap more heat, so we’d recommend buying or re-using wrap with bubbles that are at least half an inch in diameter. 

This is where your online shopping habits could come in handy, as bubble wrap tends to be a key component in product packaging. However, if your orders only arrive wrapped in smaller bubbles, never fear. You can buy rolls of wrap with the bigger bubbles here

It’s got great reviews from people like Di, who used this bubble wrap for insulating her own windows. 

‘Anyone wanting to help insulate windows, this item works perfectly. Every winter here in Idaho I place the bubble wrap on the inside of some of my older windows & it sure helps with cold air coming into the house. Have several of my friends utilizing this quick fix. Highly recommend the product’.

Which side of bubble wrap goes against the window?

When you apply the bubble wrap to your windows, make sure the bubble side is facing the glass. It’s worth also using larger pieces of bubble wrap to cover the window, as smaller patches won’t look that great. 

bubble wrapped window

Then all you’ll need to do is lightly spray a film of water on the bubble side of the wrap before you stick it to the window. Although don’t press it to the glass too hard as you’ll end up popping some of the bubbles, and as satisfying as that may be, it won’t help insulate your windows! Sigh!

The Bottom Line

Although it may seem like a strange idea, insulating your windows with bubble wrap really does work. It’s not only a good insulator but it’s cost-effective, easy to install and the benefits can last for years. 

When you need to remove it, you can simply peel the bubble wrap away and because it only needs water to apply it, you won’t be left with any unsightly marks on the glass. Phew!

If you want to know more about using bubble wrap to insulate your windows, read our helpful article to get all the deets. You’re welcome!

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