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.
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.
Reflectix 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!