A.G., Christchurch.

I just saw your column in The Star, mentioning bubble wrap for window insulation. The contributor recommended sticking the wrap to the window with a little water. I tried that, but found it fiddly. They also mentioned stationery stores as a source for bubble wrap, but if you buy it there you’re paying over 4 times the wholesale price. I ended up buying a roll of JUMBO bubble wrap, plus 2 rolls of 2″ wide clear packing tape and dispenser from a packaging supply company for around $100. This was enough to do an entire 4 bedroom house and garage with enough left over for my brother to steal to do a few rooms in his house. You do it on a fine day so there is less humidity at the time (after washing the windows and surrounds the day before) and after tacking the bubble wrap up with a piece of tape in each corner, you tape all the edges to the aluminium window frame to create a sealed unit. Before doing this, our heat pump couldn’t keep up with the energy loss through the windows. Now, the major cold soak is the walls and floor, and the heat pump has no trouble warming the house to a comfortable temperature. The $100 spent was paid back in no time and the landlord doesn’t have to put up with our whining about the cold house. Bonus – hardly any condensation – it only appears on the aluminium part of the window. Best $100 I ever spent. Do it!