Radiator Reflector Foil

Radiator Reflector Foil

It's been mentioned a couple of times on here, about using the foil/foam on a roll to reflect more heat into the home behind radiators.

I've just had a leaflet from Lidl saying they will have the stuff in their stores from Monday at £4.99 a roll, they have the adhesive available too. They only stock it once in a blue moon.

I don't work for the store, or have any affiliation, other than as a customer. Passing this info along because others have asked about it recently :- blf.healthunlocked.com/blog...

46 Replies

  • "I don't work for the store, or have any affiliation, other than as a customer." me either but you can do a lot worse than have a look round... ;)

  • I added that before our 'resident oxygen salesperson' makes any suggestion that I may have something to gain from even mentioning this product... :-D

  • Hi and Thanks Gordon I`m already starting to worry what the cost of my gas and leccy bills will be over winter,I will try my best to get to lidl soon after they open on Monday morning,well it might be a bit later than soon after they open cos I could sleep for England most nights and some parts of days too .Irene

    PS: Can I just say a big thankyou for all the usefull things you write on here,I don`t often write(type),but read blogs and questions most days.

  • Speaking from personal experience...

    I live in a through terrace, built about 1920, with solid walls, no cavity to fill. The loft insulation has recently been checked and is of a reasonable level, we don't have central heating and only had double glazing installed about 6-7 years ago.

    The bathroom is worse, it was added on to the back of the house, above the kitchen extension built in the 30s or 40s. The bathroom walls are only single brick, so we've had to use the foam insulation then panel or tile over that.

    Last winter was the first I had spent long periods of time at home, after losing my job and going through some bad chest infections. I had to wrap in sleeping bags and fleecy blankets to stay warm, as well as layers of clothing. There's only a wall mounted gas fire in each downstairs room and keeping those on all the time takes the good air away unless you open a window or door - which defeats the object of having the fire on.

    The inside walls at the front of the house have also been lined with this type of foam/foil insulation to try and keep the heat in and stop condensation forming. All of this was done years ago, when I was able to do the work mainly by myself in the course of decorating.

    In this day and age it's not good, I agree, but we can't afford anywhere better and it seems that we'll see our days out here, unless Camelot can get their act together and pull out our lottery numbers.

    I went to an energy saving event in the last year, this stuff was promoted more to give a little extra heat into the room by insulating it from the wall and using the foil side to reflect the heat, which can only be a good thing, regardless of how well a property is insulated.

  • Is the adhesive safe to breathe near or would it need a trip away from home while the fumes clear as it did when my son put some sealer round the windows :-(

  • I don't know as I've not seen the stuff they are selling. I put mine up years ago using water based PVA glue on the wall, then put the insulation on like wallpaper. I then used a thinner coat of PVA on the top, so the wallpaper paste would grip better than onto the foil, as that side faced inward.

  • thanks will try and get my odd jobs person onto finding out :D

  • I've just looked at their website and found it is called "Metylan adhesive for styrofoam" but cannot find any further information about what type of adhesive it is. It's made by Henkel, a German company, but their website also fails to give any information on this particular item.

  • Thanks for the info Gordon :)

  • think I'll get some, my house is on a hill looking over the sea, fab views but very draughty, I nearly froze last winter - the house does have cavity wall insulation but it's still very cold & my fuel bills are huge

    my best investment has been an electric duvet - quite expensive but so worth it, I was going to bed in a hat and scarf!

    thanks gordon

    ff x

  • you say the wallpaper paste would grip better than onto the foil, did you then put wallpaper over the silver foil Gordon ?

  • It was PVA on the bare wall, the put the foam side to the wall, leaving the foil side showing. I then applied thinned PVA to the foil surface, still quite tacky but not watery, and left that to dry. Once dry I was able to wallpaper over that, using normal wallpaper paste.

    I had tried before to use the pasted paper straight onto the foil, it didn't stick very well.

  • I've already done this, the adhesive is double sided tape so not a breathing irritant.

  • Oh dear Gordon

    That would mean that you have wasted your time & ££££'s putting on any reflector foil, as any 10 year old can tell you that the reason why it is called reflector is that the shiny silver coating should remain uncovered otherwise it defeats the whole object of the exercise

    bit like a woman putting on foundation cream and make up etc. then putting a paper bag over head, a waste of time and effort.

    The clue is in the word .....reflective, they are generally pitifully useless in radiating heat even if you're foolish enough to cover the stuff with wallpaper



  • In it's intended form, behind a radiator, I can see the logic of the reflected heat bouncing off the foil. In my case the insulation layer has helped, even under wallpaper. They sell similar foam stuff for that purpose, I just happened to get the foil coated type as I felt it would be a little better.

    Unlike refelected light, the surface does not have to be uncovered. Some of the heat will be deflected back, even when there is wallpaper over the top. The wall can feel 'warm' to the touch if you put your hand on it, that tells me something it working as I expceted.

    As for the woman and the paper bag - I didn't know you knew my first wife...

  • Not 100% correct. The heat will penetrate the thickness of anything in its way ie wallpaper before being deflected back to where it came from. Take a vacuum flask as an example it has a high reflective inner yet never has light to reflect when its sealed it relies on the vacuum and the internal reflective coating. New versions of Plaster Boards have a foil backing on them and once fitted never see the light of day again..... :)

  • The reflective insulating foil - just cut to size to fit behind your radiators and use double sided tape to fix it in position. No need to get technical guys its a simple matter.

  • just read on this link, blf.healthunlocked.com/blog...


    I bought some of the liner stuff which is a metallic foil on one side and the white foam stuff, like old kitchen ceiling tiles, on the other. A layer of that, foil side to the wall, has made a big difference.


    Would you put your raincoat on inside out to stop your skin getting wet or wallpaper the outside of your house or paste the decorative side of your wallpaper to the wall, relatively speaking putting the reflective side of reflective foil facing the wall could be a breakthrough for the scientific community

    can some sort of award for amusing innovation ideas be considered,

    Gordons fog in a can might be surpassed by Gordons back to front radiator reflecting foil, keeping his outside walls warm ?

    can ATOS beat this one for originality or common sense ?

    only joking Gordon, hope you have a good sense of humour as well

  • OOPS - yes, you're right, I did write foil side to the wall in that old blog - must have been a bad day, it is foil side facing in. No explanation for it being wrong there, other than losing my, erm, marbles.

  • think I'll follow zoee's method . . . sounds simple enough for me, tho I must remember to turn the rads off first!

    it must help prevent the heat being absorbed by the outside walls, surely

    ff x

  • Reading the instructions is a good idea, it mentions about only fitting when radiator is cold and also about ensuring the reflective foil side is facing the radiator not the wall,. thus allowing the heat to be reflected back into the room. Some of the foil insulating material comes with the double sided tape, might be worth checking that when you purchase.

  • Foam has turned to a vacuum flask and plasterboard even more confused now than when I read the first link about radiator reflectors will they need papering over to work or is it something else missing from this edition of 60 min makeover.

  • just read the instructions - simples......,

  • silver lined Plaster boards have nothing to do with heat reflection and thermos silver reflection has nothing to do with light

    also to cosider


  • Which bears out the use I have, of using the stuff on a wall with 'poor insulation performance' as they put it. It also mentions the benefit of 'expanded polystyrene foam veneer', which is what this stuff is. It works for me.

  • to reflect or deflect that is the question....... D)

  • the answer to the question is KISS

  • Effectively or defectively is that ...... :D

  • Its most effective ;)

  • <------ falls into the Defective category :)

  • If anybody comes across some marbles anywhere, Gordon would appreciate it if you wrap them up in some foam lined silver foil and inform the helpline that they have been found

    Thank you

  • Please note that if they are singing the Tamla Motown classic "Heaven Must Have Sent You" then those would be the Elgins marbles, not mine.

  • Boys, boys! Knickers & twist come to mind - methinks Gordon has come up with an alternative use for said panels, and that they are also very goood for reflecting heat back into the room behind radiators ! Can I have my breakfast now?

    Take care all


  • > Knickers & twist come to mind

    Wasn't that Chubby Checker ? Don't think it was the Elgins... :-D

  • Dunno - it's all Greek to me......

  • just getting more confused reading about this

    would it be ok to stick the foil on the front of radiator because I cant reach the backside

    it will stay hotter like a flask

  • ah gordon you made me laugh with your comment about not working for them! Im just glad there are lovely people like yourself who bother to share all this info with us well done u! xx

  • Hi Gordon

    This is brilliant and what a find, last year money Saving Expert had an offer though a company but is couldn't find anything this year.

    £4.99 is a steal and it is well worth putting this up as it is supposed to be a bitter winter.



  • Been had on adverts the same as this when they had six for a shop and it was sold out before I got in the shop all a scam getting customers into the shop for me.

  • Last time they had it at my local store they still had 2 rolls left about a month after the offer started. All down to customer demand, or lack of sometimes. Sometimes they have bargains that are snapped up quickly, other 'offers' are not so good.

  • In 2008 I was in the process of decorating my new flat which i moved into 4 months earlier. I had found the Foil Reflector which was nearly £9 a roll! I bought it because I had found that despite my flat being of recent construction (1986) it was solid wall without a cavity.

    I did all of my radiators and once it was done it was done. Along came a man from the Water Company who offered me some insulation additions. He had some sheets which looked like ventilation covers (about 2 foot square - sorry I only deal in old money). They has double sided sellotape on them and they are still in place.

    I am fairly sure they made a difference but the most significant saving I made was after installing a new combi boiler!



  • £4.99 is indeed a steal

    daylight robbery of the vulnerable or ignorant



    Planck's law describes the unique and characteristic spectral distribution for electromagnetic radiation in thermodynamic equilibrium, when there is no net flow of matter or energy.[4] Its physics is most easily understood by considering the radiation in a cavity with rigid opaque walls. Motion of the walls can affect the radiation. If the walls are not opaque, then the thermodynamic equilibrium is not isolated. It is of interest to explain how the thermodynamic equilibrium is attained. There are two main cases: (angel) when the approach to thermodynamic equilibrium is in the presence of matter, when the walls of the cavity are imperfectly reflective for every wavelength or when the walls are perfectly reflective while the cavity contains a small black body (this was the main case considered by Planck); or (beer) when the approach to equilibrium is in the absence of matter, when the walls are perfectly reflective for all wavelengths and the cavity contains no matter. For matter not enclosed in such a cavity, thermal radiation can be approximately explained by appropriate use of Planck's law.

    Classical physics provides an account of some aspects of the Planck distribution, such as the Stefan–Boltzmann law, and the Wien displacement law. Other aspects of the Planck distribution cannot be accounted for in classical physics, and require quantum theory for their understanding. For the case of the presence of matter, quantum mechanics provides a good account, as found below in the section headed Einstein coefficients. This was the case considered by Einstein, and is nowadays used for quantum optics.[11][12] For the case of the absence of matter, quantum field theory is called upon, because quantum mechanics alone does not provide a sufficient account.

    Quantum theoretical explanation of Planck's law views the radiation as a gas of massless, uncharged, bosonic particles, namely photons, in thermodynamic equilibrium. Photons are viewed as the carriers of the electromagnetic interaction between electrically charged elementary particles. Photon numbers are not conserved. Photons are created or annihilated in the right numbers and with the right energies to fill the cavity with the Planck distribution. The pressure and energy density of a photon gas at equilibrium are entirely determined by the temperature. This is unlike the case for material gases, for which the pressure and energy density depend on the molecular masses and other characteristics of the constituent particles. For a material gas at given temperature, the pressure and energy density can vary independently for different gases, because different molecules can carry different excitation energies.

    Planck's law arises as a limit of the Bose–Einstein distribution, the energy distribution describing non-interactive bosons in thermodynamic equilibrium. In the case of massless bosons such as photons and gluons, the chemical potential is zero and the Bose-Einstein distribution reduces to the Planck distribution. There is another fundamental equilibrium energy distribution: the Fermi–Dirac distribution, which describes fermions, such as electrons, in thermal equilibrium. The two distributions differ because multiple bosons can occupy the same quantum state, while multiple fermions cannot. At low densities, the number of available quantum states per particle is large, and this difference becomes irrelevant. In the low density limit, the Bose-Einstein and the Fermi-Dirac distribution each reduce to the Maxwell–Boltzmann distribution.

  • However - it it feels like it's warmer, for whatever reason, what's the problem!! Gordon appears happy with his solution, which doesn't involve invoking that well known infallible (!) organ Wikipedia. Me, I just count myself very fortunate that we have cavity wall insulation, double glazing, loft insulation & can afford to turn the central heating up. No doubt that layer of foam on the walls, with or without foil, must do something. Blinding us with science ain't necessarily going to work! Never did understand the theory of relativity anyway..........or the special one.

    Bye !

  • some men have their brains in the wrong places

    I get by without wikipedia a good barbara cartland shoved behind the radiator keeps me warm enough

  • Oh what joy its a breath of fresh air with all the doings going on in the world carer or no carer, on deaf ears or those who just disregard. Keep reflecting joy folks ;) :D

  • .... that is most effective .... ;)

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