How tin foil can keep your home cool during a heatwave

·2-min read
How tin foil can keep your home cool during a heatwave

The UK could see its hottest day on record this week, with temperatures forecast to hit up to 41C (106F).

The Met Office has issued a red extreme heat warning for Monday and Tuesday in much of England, including London, the southeast, and as far north as York and Manchester.

As the mercury rises, many people are looking for unorthodox ways to keep cool amid the rising mercury.

While fans and cooling devices may play a central role, an unlikely kitchen staple can also offer some respite from the oppressive heat.

Aluminium foil is both pliable, cheap and highly resistant to high temperatures.

Spreading tin foil on any windows that receive direct sunlight can redirect the sun and heat away from your home.

While it may introduce a somewhat space-age aesthetic to your household, it’s a cheap and temporary fix to the problem of extreme heat.

Watch: How to cope with the extreme temperatures

Other hacks include applying wet, cold towels to the head and shoulders, putting feet in a cold bowl of water, keeping curtains and blinds closed, avoiding caffeine and alcohol, and drinking plenty of water.

According to the UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA), about 1,600 people died in the UK because of heatwaves in 2021 and about 2,500 in 2020.

For some people – especially older people, young children and those with underlying health conditions, as well as those who cannot adapt their behaviour to keep cool or who are exposed to high levels of heat because of where they live or work – the summer heat can bring real health risks.

A fan is a good way to keep cool in the heat (Getty Images/iStockphoto)
A fan is a good way to keep cool in the heat (Getty Images/iStockphoto)

These include dehydration, overheating, or heat exhaustion and heatstroke.

Extreme heat can also place a strain on water and energy utilities, road and rail transport and the health and fire services.

The current highest temperature in the UK is 38.7C and was recorded in Cambridge in 2019.

Temperatures in England on Monday and Tuesday are expected to surpass this figure, however.

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