Hang on to that wrap. It's a cheap home insulator.
Bubble wrap is being rolled out as a budget-friendly way to insulate chilly homes.
When Denise Wheoki, husband Ross and their four children moved from Auckland to New Plymouth last month, she discovered their non-insulated 1950s' bungalow was freezing.
"We'd just moved in and it was really cold. We needed a solution right away."
The stay-at-home mum hit the internet and found an article citing bubble wrap as "cheap, effective insulation".
She had a chuckle, then realised she was "surrounded" by bubble wrap, which had been used to protect their possessions during the move south. A fine spray of water helped stick the bubble side to the glass. She said the difference was instant.
"I was just blown away. It's really cheap, too. I bought 10m for about $15."
Before the wrap went up heat from their open fireplace could be felt only if standing right beside it, now it reached the kitchen.
As for restricting the view out, she said the house already had net curtains, and the bubble wrap made little difference.
She planned to visit the neighbours in case they'd been wondering what was going on.
"It looks a bit like frosted glass."
The Wheokis will get a more permanent solution when they renovate but, for now, it is ideal.
"I'm absolutely sold," she said, adding: "It does look a bit tacky, though."
Chat on internet forums indicates bubble wrap is catching on, particularly in Christchurch, where many quake-damaged homes are not weatherproof.
Energy Efficiency and Conservation Authority senior technical adviser Christian Hoerning hadn't heard of bubble wrap insulation but said it put an air gap between the glass and the plastic to stop warm air from escaping.
Hoerning had installed something similar in his own home using "DIY window insulation film" for about $100 from a hardware store. The plastic film was stuck to window frames with double-sided tape then heated with a hair-dryer until it was taut.
"Obviously, the best thing is to get double-glazed windows, but it costs about $15,000-plus to do a whole house."By Kathryn Powley Email Kathryn