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Can I insulate a wall with air pillow cushions?

I want to insulate a wall but don't have much money to spend so i'm trying to find alternative ways to buying insulation from a shop. I have loads of those air pillows/cushions that are used for packaging fragile items in the post and wanted to know if I could use them for insulation? Mainly the effectiveness but also safety. Any comments would be really appreciated.

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Vyger4 years ago
Bubble wrap would actually have some insulation value because of the small air chambers but it would take a lot of it to stuff a wall.
iceng Vyger4 years ago
And Bubble wrap is designed to be Green and decompose after some years.
So... Don't hang your life on it ! !

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blkhawk4 years ago
Invest in proper insulation if you can. Fiberglass insulation is a fire retardant and the vapor barrier helps keep the moisture out (always install vapor barriers towards the room that you want to keep warm).
zach107 (author)  blkhawk4 years ago
Hey, thanks for the advice. I wanted your help with the vapour barrier and if I need one. I have attached a picture to show what I am doing. The black box is the external structure (wooden panels on a log cabin), the green box is the insulation and the pink box represents the plasterboard. If you could have a look and tell me if i need a vapour barrier and where to put it that would really help me. Thank you.
building insulation.png
blkhawk zach1074 years ago
Notice how the vapor barrier is installed on this picture. Behind the plasterboard.

Fiberglass Batt Insulation
zach107 (author)  blkhawk4 years ago
Thank you for all your help!
blkhawk zach1074 years ago
canucksgirl4 years ago
Well, they don't provide any insulation value (so I think they defeat the whole point of what you are trying to do), and the AirPouch brand of packaging pillows are designed to biodegrade within 5 years (due to an additive)... Even if they weren't biodegradable, they are impractical for wall insulation as they can easily pop if a nail is put to the wall, which makes putting up drywall more difficult as well as you wouldn't really be able to hang anything to that wall. I'd also be a little worried about the fire hazard associated with them. The melting point isn't very high, and the air inside would just feed a fire.

I would suggest that you look for a Habitat for Humanity Re-Use-It Center, or post a local Ad for free insulation material from a renovation job. Chances are you could probably get what you need without spending much money at all (especially if you offer to help in removing it).

"I would suggest that you look for a Habitat for Humanity Re-Use-It Center, or post a local Ad for free insulation material from a renovation job. Chances are you could probably get what you need without spending much money at all (especially if you offer to help in removing it)."

+1 Fantastic suggestions!  Try craigslist.  Another online site that might benefit you is Freecycle.org.

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est of luck, zach!

zach107 (author) 4 years ago
Thank you to everyone that has replied - really appreciate it. Looks like i won't be using the air cusihions and will most probably have to invest in some proper insulation or try and pick up some second hand stuff for free.

I don't have any old rags or cloth to use but do have some unused carpet tiles that were left by the previous owner. Would these be any good?
rickharris4 years ago
I assume your insulating from the cold.

Here in the UK they use in commercial building

Polystyrene beads somewhat like you get in a bean bag or for packaging these are pumped between the inner and outer walls.

Shredded newspaper - Fire retarded for safety. Although if your shop is wooden this is pretty irrelevant because the wood will burn anyway.

Sheep's wool - Very eco

Fibreglass matting - Thick - about 4 inches. As said you may be able to get this if you look at local demolition.

Aluminium foil reduces radiant heat loss

In a work shop draughts are usually the biggest heat loss.

Your aim is to make a still air apace between the walls - Air is quite a good insulator although you need to break the space up to prevent air circulating.

Burf4 years ago
It may have some minimal effect because it will help reduce convection currents inside the wall, but there are several drawbacks which make the effort inefficient and the results potentially dangerous.
First, those small bags are easily punctured and often deflate from poorly sealed seams. And even more worrisome, they are flammable and release noxious and often toxic fumes and smoke. They would never be approved by any code authority for that use and with good reason.
I understand the need to scrimp where necessary, but using those little air bags for wall insulation isn't worth the risks and inefficiency they pose.
They have no insulating value at all. You would be better off with a good layer of trash bags taped together on the inner and outer walls. But that isn't going to stop any radiant heat from passing through. So the heat of the sun will still be a problem in the summer. And the heat inside the house will still radiate out in the winter. But it will do some good.

If you want to get some good cheep insulation then use dry grass or straw int eh walls. But you gotta be darn sure its dry and it will have to be changed out yearly to avoid fungus. Your best bet may be to get a hold of a bunch of old cloths and rags. Shred them up really good and fill in the voids.