The UK’s Energy Saving Trust (an independent organisation that works in partnership with the government and other bodies to provide energy efficiency advice in the residential sector) currently recommends two manufacturers’ radiator reflector products (see here: http://www.energysavingtrust.org.uk/Find-Energy-Saving-Trust-Recommended-Products/browse/insulation/radiator-reflector-panels). Buying enough of the cheaper product to suit 6 “average” radiators (which might just be enough for a small house, if you only treat the radiators on outside walls) will cost £18 including delivery. But if you live in a solid-walled old house like mine, your radiators (and energy bills) will be rather bigger than “average” and you would need to spend considerably more. This Instructable shows how to make cheap and cheerful reflectors from corrugated cardboard and sunshades, windscreen protectors or metallic plastic film. They scarcely show when they are in place and they can easily be removed for cleaning – it’s a good idea to do that at least once a year, at the start of the heating season.
There is some merit in fitting reflector panels behind radiators on internal walls too, and on external walls that are insulated, but the savings will not be as good so do the external uninsulated walls first.
Materials and tools
- Cardboard cartons or other source of corrugated card
- Reflective silver coated material
- Electricians’ tape (preferably in a colour that matches the decor) or decorative silver sticky tape
- Double sided tape or a stapler
- File spines/binders of the slide-on type (optional)
- Bamboo kebab skewers or wooden cocktail sticks (may not be required)
- Craft knife and straight edge
- Big cutting mat or a pile of newspapers
- Pen that will write on your reflective material