More Refrigerator Insulation

By Carolyn Shearlock © 2013 • all rights reserved

Does the sun beat down on your refrigerator or ice box?  Stop it from heating up all that nice cold air on the inside by putting Reflectix on the outside.I have long recommended getting auto windshield reflectors and using them to wrap your refrigerator, cooler and even hang over the side of the boat where the refrigerator is.

During the “Improve Refrigerator Efficiency” seminar that I led at LoretoFest, a cruiser told me about a better solution:  Reflectix.  A couple more chimed in with their stories too.

Reflectix is sold at home improvement stores (I’m told it’s available at the Home Depots throughout Mexico even) and is available on Amazon.  To greatly oversimplify, it’s bubble wrap that has a reflective foil surface on both sides.

Roll

Better yet, it’s not particularly expensive (as I’m writing this, a 2′ x 25′ roll costs just under $25).

The manufacturer describes it more fully:

Reflectix is a 5/16-inch thick, seven layer, reflective insulation which is available in rolls of various widths and lengths. It is used extensively in both specialty and standard construction projects. Two outer layers of aluminum foil reflect 97-percent of radiant heat.

The best application is on the outside of a refrigerator, ice box or cooler where sunlight might hit it.  It won’t do much to put it on the inside of a box since there really isn’t any radiant heat there.  Admittedly, it isn’t the prettiest thing but it does work well.

Cooler-in-ReflectixReflectix is really easy to work with — you can cut it with ordinary shears and the bubble wrap center makes it not tear easily.  It comes in rolls of 25 feet and more, and in widths ranging from 1 to 4 feet (the 1-foot width is called “duct wrap” but it’s the same thing).

For best results, tape seams with Reflectix Foil Tape although you can use duct tape or any other type of tape.

As the discussion progressed, one cruiser — Tim — said that he had an Engel Portable Refrigerator and loved it . . . particularly after he made a Reflectix “jacket” for it and cut the already low power usage nearly in half.  That’s his creation above!

See all Reflectix products available on Amazon.

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Comments

  1. Kelley Gudahl on Facebook says:

    This is great – On Sailing Chance we used rigid insulation you get from home depot and then insulation tape to secure it. Works great!

  2. Julie Sandler Lambert on Facebook says:

    I sewed that same product between the sunbrella and lining fabric on all of our hatch covers. It reflects the heat and makes the covers waterproof. And they float when the wind grabs one out of your hand. Great stuff!

  3. Jaxon White says:

    This is great stuff! I first saw this when I had http://www.radiasource.com/ install reflective insulation. I had that idea to use it on a few things and it turned out to work on all of my ideas. I thought I was the only one but I guess not. Thanks for sharing this article.

  4. You can also take the scraps and make covers for your ports. This really cuts the heat inside the cabin especially when your boat is closed up.

  5. Been using this for years.

  6. we used this stuff in our port windows. I spray glued pretty fabric to both sides and cut to fit////

  7. I have pictures of the whole process somewhere and one of the boating mags did a story on it…maybe L&A years back.

  8. Harold Delk says:

    We’re not boaters, but use this in our Pleasure-Way RV (small Sprinter Class B) on the interior of windows and it keeps us cooler and/or toastier depending on the season. Easy to stow when not in use and easy to stick back up when camped. Side benefit is they also block light and prying eyes at night.

  9. This is great stuff . After you start using it you will find a multitude of uses for it on the boat as well as in an RV and house.

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