Tom Kerridge reveals the most efficient way to use tin foil
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As a result of the cold weather, there has been a rise in hacks to help with heating and other bills. One of these is the viral “TikTok Heating Hack”. This involves taking tin foil, tearing a piece off and placing it just behind your radiator, reflecting the heat forwards. This hack reduces the heat wasted, as 40 percent of heat released is directed at the wall, with foil reflecting 95 percent of this heat towards the room, according to Dave Downing, Managing Director of CB4L.
Dave explained that for the tin foil hack to be the “most effective” at keeping a home warm it needs to be used on the right walls.
He said: “The only way that the tin foil hack is most effective on radiators is when they are situated on exposed or external walls, as these usually lack cavity wall insulation.
“Similarly, choosing an internal or shared wall is not as useful, as these maintain a higher level of heat.”
For those living in older properties, they should be aware that these often lack cavity wall insulation. The expert noted: “If this is the case in your home, it may be worth trying the hack on all radiators.”
While this tip is effective, Dave warned that care should be taken when carrying out this hack. He said: “While tin foil is not flammable, you should always be careful when placing anything on a hot radiator.
“As such, you should also ensure that it is safely secured on the top of the radiator and not in contact with any flammable materials.”
The energy expert also shared three other ways households can maximise the efficiency of their heating when heating their conservatory or home.
1. Turn the thermostat down
According to Dave, reducing the temperature on the thermostat by just one degree is one of the “easiest ways” to save on heating bills.
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He instructed: “By setting the thermostat to a comfortable temperature, such as 21°C instead of 25°C, you will save hundreds on your bills.”
2. Bleed radiators
If air is trapped inside a radiator, this will impact the efficiency of the heating system. If the system is unable to work properly, it will take longer to heat up a room, therefore costing more time and money.
Households can tell if a radiator needs bleeding if it is cold at the top and warm at the bottom. The expert noted that bleeding a radiator is “essential” to do once a year.
Andy Kerr, Founder at BOXT, also noted that radiators tend to make “funny noises” when heating up if they are in need of bleeding.
To bleed them, start off by turning the heating off and allow the radiators plenty of time to cool down. The expert warned: “If you attempt to bleed a radiator with your heating on, you risk hurting yourself with the hot air or water from your radiators.”
Bleed downstairs radiators first, then move on to upstairs. Place an old towel and a container below the radiator valves to catch any liquids to protect the home from any dirty radiator water spillage.
Use an old cloth or thick gloves to twist your radiator key anti-clockwise and open the valve. Don’t open the radiator valve completely or keep it open for too long. Turn the valve enough to hear the hissing noise of air escaping. Allow all the trapped air to escape until the sound stops and a steady stream of water starts to leak from the valve.
Wipe away any excess moisture or condensation once you’re done, in order to avoid any rust forming around the radiator valves.
After, check the boiler pressure. It’s normal for the pressure to decrease slightly after radiator bleeding. However, for reference, it should be around 1.0 – 1.5 bars when switched off and can rise to around two bars when switched on, according to Andy.
If your boiler pressure appears fine, it’s time for a “heat test”. Boot up your central heating and have another feel of the radiators. All being well, there should be no more cold patches.
3. Move furniture away from radiators
Having a sofa next to the radiator may feel warmer, but the settee could actually be blocking the flow of heat.
Dave suggested households move their furniture a few inches away as this will resultantly help to save as much as 10 percent on bills.
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