I just bought a home built in 1960. It has old recessed radiators. I've noticed that behind the radiators is some sort of reflector foil which I'm guessing is backed with insulation.

Should I replace this or leave it alone?

It looks original to the house.

  • Could this possibly be asbestos?
    – user23898
    Jul 26 '14 at 19:14
  • 1
    The reflector is unlikely to contain asbestos. More likely it's just sheet steel, sheet aluminum, or aluminum over cardboard.
    – keshlam
    Sep 25 '14 at 0:34

If you want to make the effort, you could fish the reflectors out, clean them, and reinstall them. But vacuuming the radiators may make as much or more difference...

(The idea behind these is supposed to be to encourage more heat to go into the room, rather than heating the wall. I don't know whether anyone has actually measured whether this makes a difference or not, or if putting non-reflective insulation there would work just as well or better...)

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