Expert warns this popular DIY radiator cover hack could be increasing your heating bills

He says it could 'drastically increase' energy bills

TikTok is full of clever hacks for making your own radiator covers. While a chic rattan and wooden cover might look great, it could be increasing your heating bill.

Whether you do a DIY job or buy them online, the best radiator covers do a great job of concealing ugly heaters. But Daniel Nezhad, the director of UK Radiators, cautions that they'll leave your radiators working overtime.

radiator with green wall and floor lamp

(Image credit: The Radiator Company)

The radiator cover DIY hack could increase your heating bills

'Whether in your own home or someone else's, we have all come across an unsightly radiator at one point or another,' says Daniel. They're just a necessary evil when it comes to how to keep your house warm in winter.

Daniel feels that unless you’ve fitted designer radiators, the alternatives often aren’t the most aesthetically pleasing. There are some lovely sleek, tall radiators available these days, but for the rest of us and those renting, the choices aren't great.

So it's understandable that many of us want to hide them with radiator covers and cabinets. 'However, doing so isn’t recommended and could actually cost you more than you think!' the UK Radiators director tells us.

room with radiator cream vase and wall watch

(Image credit: MY Furniture)

'Covering your radiator will significantly impact its ability to heat your home.' He argues that the heat from your radiator will be trapped behind the cover, flowing out far slower than it would from an uncovered radiator.

'This means it needs to work harder and use more energy to sufficiently heat its surroundings. Over time, this could drastically increase the cost of your energy bills,' says Daniel.

Rising energy prices mean we're all more conscious of how long we're leaving our heating on right now. One great solution is to paint your radiator the same colour as the wall to make it disappear. This will also take up much less space than installing a cover.

room with radiator wooden floor and blue wall

(Image credit: The Radiator Company)

Alternatively, you could look into how efficient underfloor heating is and see if this could be an option longer term. Radiator covers do provide a handy extra surface for storing keys and homeware accessories and stop an unattractive radiator from clashing with your decor.

But we'd speak to a professional before covering them with anything too bulky. Speaking of which, make sure you don't have a sofa or armchair blocking the radiator, as this will stop heat from flowing around the room.

Millie Hurst
Senior Content Editor

Millie Hurst was Senior Content Editor at Ideal Home from 2020-2022, and is now Section Editor at Homes & Gardens. Before stepping into the world of interiors, she worked as a Senior SEO Editor for News UK in both London and New York. You can usually find her looking up trending terms and finding real-life budget makeovers our readers love. Millie came up with the website's daily dupes article which gives readers ways to curate a stylish home for less.