Projects & Improvements

Make Your Radiators More Effective With This Household Staple

published Jan 4, 2018
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(Image credit: Jacqueline Marque)

If you’re on the East Coast of the United States, chances are you’re currently being pummeled by what meteorologists are (horrifically) calling a bomb cyclone. Basically, it’s a blizzard on steroids (aka low barometric pressure). If you’re safe and sound at home but could use a little more oomph from your radiator, here’s a handy tip that uses something you probably have in your kitchen drawer.

Radiators are a common heat source in older apartment buildings and homes, and work by heating water or air inside their metal forms, which heats the air around it that rises, then allowing more cold air to be drawn into the device.

Problem is, many radiators are located along exterior walls, so some heat escapes to the outside. If this is the case for you, just grab a trusty roll of aluminum foil. Yep, it’s for more than just keeping those sheet pans clean or covering up leftovers—it can make your space warmer, too.

Line the wall area behind the radiator with aluminum foil to reflect more heat back into the room.

You can also wrap the foil around a piece of cardboard so that it’s an easier fit—that way, you can just slide the cardboard down behind the radiator without awkwardly trying to smooth foil on your wall.

And it works. Celia Locks told The Guardian: “I’ve put some bog-standard 30cm tin foil behind the center of the radiator in my extremely cold kitchen, fixing it with a bit of sticky tape at each end, and am astonished at the result. It’s as though I’ve turned on another radiator.”

Have you tried this? Tell us in the comments.

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