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The oily rag community is electric with their latest scientific discovery. Some say it is the most far-reaching discovery of the new millennium. No it’s not the discovery of the God Particle in a tunnel in France and Switzerland that has everyone excited - its bubble-wrap!
Who would have thought that humble bubble-wrap, that has been for so long been seen as a mere packaging material, is also a great insulator when affixed to windows?
Since it was mentioned a few weeks ago by an oily rag reader, we have been wrapped with the response. Many have written in warm and glowing with pride, like A.G. from Christchurch who writes, “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 four 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 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!”
There you go, what a quick and easy way to keep your home warm. Heavens knows where this new discovery will go? See through bubble wrap? Jumbo bubbles to use in wall and ceiling cavities perhaps? Suction bubble wrap curtains that cling to windows and walls?
That’s the thing about science – be it the science of subatomic mass attracting particles circulating in a very expense atom smasher, or the science of support attracting oily rag ideas – it’s a journey into the unknown an a brighter and better future where things cost less than they do today.
Julie from Napier also has a tip that she thinks is world changing when in comes to kids eating their greens. “After cooking the silver beet and putting it on the plates we always put some mint sauce on it and found that the kids ate it that way.”
And here’s a call to all you flour buyers in New Plymouth. Sue is a keen baker. He would like to find the place that sells the cheapest flour. Can you help Sue? If you live in the New Plymouth area, how much are you paying for flour?
Frank and Muriel Newman are the authors of Living off the Smell of an Oily Rag in NZ .If you have a favourite money saving or money-making tip, send it in to us so that we can share it with others. You can contact us via the oily rag website (www.oilyrag.co.nz) or write to Living off the Smell of an Oily Rag, PO Box 984, Whangarei
* Frank and Muriel Newman are the authors of Living Off the Smell of an Oily Rag in NZ. Readers can submit their oily rag tips on-line at www.oilyrag.co.nz. The book is available from bookstores and online at www.oilyrag.co.nz.