I am retired and on a very limited income and this house needs some insulation! The walls are cold in the interior (the walls that are not interior type walls but on the other side is the outside.). Would tacking the radiant reflective foil bubble insulation to the wall and covering that with fabric be a good solution? Would that present vapor collection and mold problems on the walls themselves under the radiant reflective foil insulation?

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    What are the walls made out of? What is in them? Any insulation? Do you have a lot of windows?
    – DMoore
    Commented Jan 12, 2015 at 20:09

1 Answer 1


Although it is technically possible, doing so will be a waste of time and money. The radiant barrier itself is only effective if it is facing open space; if one side is touching the wall and the other is covered in fabric, then there is no benefit. The bubble wrap itself has an insulation value of maybe R-1, so it will offer very little insulation for the cost and effort required.

Even if you leave the foil exposed on the interior side, the added benefit is pretty small. There are very, very few scenarios where a radiant barrier provides cost effective insulation compared to traditional alternatives.

In your case, assuming you're in the US, I would recommend contacting your local Weatherization Assistance Program. If you have a very limited income and a house with no insulation, it's likely you'll qualify to receive significant insulation improvements free of charge.

  • This is excellent advice all around.
    – iLikeDirt
    Commented Jan 14, 2015 at 21:32

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