This 68p hack is going viral as the best way to keep a house cool in a heatwave

The kitchen foil on windows hack might sound bonkers, but we'll try anything at this point

Bathroom with partially blocked out window over bath
(Image credit: Future PLC/Fiona Walker-Arnott)

As the heatwave reaches its peak, we're willing to try just about anything to try and stay cool, from sitting in front of one of the best fans on the market to testing out all the tips and tricks on how to keep a bedroom cool at night.

Since it's often too hot to sleep in the summer, with warnings of today being the hottest in UK history with predicted highs of 43C, people are coming up with unique ways to beat the heat.

One viral hack? Putting kitchen foil on windows to redirect the heat from the sunlight. And this isn't a tinfoil hat theory - the science is there to back this one up.

Roll of tin foil

(Image credit: Future PLC)

The kitchen foil on windows trick

Using kitchen foil on windows is one of the most budget-friendly ways to keep a home cool, costing around 68p per roll. After all, with the cost-of-living crisis, how much does it cost to run a fan is on the top of many of our minds. And air-con is far from a given in the UK.

If you're desperately attempting to keep cool, then take a roll and spread it on your windows - especially those that get direct sunlight. Windows magnify heat, so by using foil you're reflecting the sun off the window, sending it away from your home.

'Blocking your windows with tin foil will help to keep your rooms cooler in the heat as it reflects the heat back outside,' explains Adam Pawson, Head of Digital, Safestyle. 'However, one mistake people make is by placing the foil on the inside of the window. It is really important to be careful to place the tin foil on the outside of your windows rather than the inside to prevent the glass from getting too hot. 

Desk area in front of window with curtains on either side

(Image credit: Future PLC)

There are a plethora of other nifty tactics for how to keep a room cool - from putting pillowcases in the fridge to increasing airflow. It can be tempting to combine as many as possible, but be careful you're not actually making things worse for yourself.

Keeping curtains drawn is often suggested as a way to stop a room heating up, but if you're using kitchen foil on windows this will make your room too hot to handle.

'It’s also important to note that although it is tempting to open every window during hot spells, make sure to keep those that are south facing closed over during peak hours in the day,' adds says Jessica Steele from BestHeating.. 'Once the sun has set and the temperature has eased, open again and let air flow through the home.'

Side return extension with skylights above dining area

(Image credit: Future PLC)

Aside from this precaution, the kitchen foil on windows hack is definitely one worth trying in this "danger to life" heatwave. Remember that foil is non-toxic and can handle temperatures up to 660C, so even the Great British summer won't make it unsafe.

Above all, keep cool, keep safe and let us know if you discover any other clever ways to keep us from melting in the intense heat!

Thea Babington-Stitt
Managing Editor

Thea Babington-Stitt is the Managing Editor for Ideal Home. Thea has been working across some of the UK’s leading interiors titles for around 10 years.

She started working on these magazines and websites after graduating from City University London with a Masters in Magazine Journalism. Before moving to Ideal Home, Thea was News and Features Editor at Homes & Gardens, LivingEtc and Country Homes & Interiors.