Keep Your Radiators Uncluttered

For a radiator to work efficiently, it needs to breathe.  Quite often, and for a number of reasons, people have their radiators installed into awkward places and congested spaces. Because of the real estate normally needed by the bigger and heavy cast irons in the home, some people try to hide or camouflage their rads by positioning them behind furniture; dressers, shelves, cabinets, living room couches and chairs, etc. As a result, the radiator will not function efficiently and the negative effect will be a room with restricted hot air flow. For the heat to travel and permeate the room, it’s important to keep the immediate area surrounding the radiator as clutter-free as possible.

Curtains Are Detrimental to Radiators

One of the culprits often seen during inspections are floor length and mid-length curtains hung in close proximity to the radiator.  They are commonly used to complement a steel or cast-iron radiator’s direct environment, especially those placed in common places such as beneath windows and such. Radiators positioned awkwardly will more than likely restrict the flow of hot air in the room.  The heat can’t travel smoothly when blocked.  The radiator’s immediate surroundings, when possible, should always remain spacious and clutter-free.  Bottom line – a radiator being camouflaged by a drape is not a good idea – more than likely, the heat for the room will be insufficient after being trapped by the curtains.  Radiators placed in close proximity to any elements including furniture, curtains, upholstery will result in a poorer radiator performance (less efficiency).

Positioning Your Radiator Behind A Door; The Pros and Cons

Radiators can be installed in some unique places.  Sometimes there are situations where installation has to take place in a small room and placing the radiator behind a door is the only practical option. As long as the door has enough space to open properly, the right radiator should be able to fit right behind it. Although it may sound awkward, a radiator tucked behind a door offers the advantage of being out of the way.  Here, the radiator will be less susceptible to damage; scratches and dents will be fewer or non-existent. What’s on the other side of the door should be kept in mind too. If the door leads to a colder room environment, heat will be lost, sucked up by the colder area, and will exit the main room at a faster pace when this same door is temporarily opened for any reason.

Pipework Restricting Positioning

Today, design is all about creating new environments inside old ones.  It’s a mind opener – finding that ultimate change of location for your rad and seeing just how much it frees up floor and wall space in your home and perhaps even creating a smashing new look and design.  A challenging toll, yes, but when steel and cast iron radiators are in the mix, the feat can become an exciting adventure.  Traditionally, the big heavy cast iron rads have always required their own real estate, with the pipework located in the home playing a main factor in determining where the radiator is ultimately placed.  With the new look steel and designer radiators currently on the market and available in all shapes and sizes, this has all changed.

Low Profile Radiators:  A Solution to Restricted Space

A restricted space presents new and unique challenges for professional steel and cast iron radiator installers. The non-traditional low windows seen in conservatories, auditoriums, lecture halls, and libraries, etc., are examples of spaces that can present common installation problems.  Because today’s steel and cast-iron radiators come in all shapes and sizes, there should be a number of radiator options designed to meet these challenges. Now meet the Low-Profile Radiator.

Low Profile Rads are steel rads, smaller in size and height than their originals, yet still extremely highly efficient. They can also be made to look very modern and slick, perhaps adding a bit of finesse to any desired space. Todays’ Low-Profile Radiators are more advanced than their predecessors, designed not too get too hot and overheat, despite their small size with so much power packed in their punch.

Convector Radiators Blow Heat From The Top

Unlike traditional cast iron radiators, a convector radiator is designed to emit heat from the top of its structure, not from the body of the steel or cast iron itself. When a particular room presents a unique challenge for installers, and radiators are placed in crowded and space-restricted environments where they can be blocked by objects like furniture, convector radiators make an ample solution. The same room can still be sufficiently heated because of the convector radiator emitting heat upwards. Consumers should also clear the convector radiator environment; even though they blow heat from the top, interference from objects such as short to mid-length curtains can restrict heat output in the room.

Insulating Will Prevent Heat Loss

There are a number of conveniently affordable ways of maximizing the heat output of your radiator, and each installation will present unique challenges.  When there are limited choices for the placement of the radiator in the home, radiators are often put in awkward places, perhaps against a door or an exterior wall, where significant heat will be wasted. In these cases, it’s best to securely insulate the area around the radiator. To ensure that the heat to be reflected back into the room, a sheet of foil-faced, expanded polystyrene lining behind the radiator will act as insulation, just like in your basement, and significantly reduce heat loss.

Towel Warming Radiators for the Bathroom

Once you try a towel warming radiator for your bathroom, you risk becoming addicted to the comforts and the lifestyle. These rads are exactly what they are promoted as being – dual purposed; a dual-purpose heated towel radiator will keep your entire bathroom cozy and warm while also keeping your towels warm and dry at the same time.

Electric Wall Radiators

Because today’s electric designer radiators are both attractive and adaptable, they are no longer a distraction to good design, and instead can be the focal point. What’s better for easy positioning than being able to plug your electric wall radiator into the closest plug-in wall socket and being able to hang it wherever you want.

Electric Wall radiators are also very adaptable when it comes to rooms with fluctuating temperatures because they run independent of the home’s main heating system. They can easily be turned on an off and offer quick start up heating.  Generally, while a home’s central heating system warms the entire home, the electric radiators is combinable, and will be a benefit to any poorly insulated room.

A kitchen is practical place for the electric wall radiator, since their floors and tiles can often get cold under normal central heating conditions where the ovens and stoves are not in use. The electric radiator now simply has to be unplugged to allow the benefits of the excess heat caused by cooking and baking action to keep the kitchen, still benefiting from central heating, at a comfortable temperature.

The bathroom is another practical and popular place where we find electric wall radiators, but not necessarily because of fluctuating room temperatures. If you want nicely heated towels when exiting the bath, nothing beats the convenience of having electric heated towel warmers (also called towel rails), whether it be during cold winters or hot summers when central heating is temporarily turned off. Buyers beware, even though these radiators may seem easy to install, there will be situations where for your safety, your bathroom electric wall radiator may have to be hard wired into the mains and an electrician will be needed for the install.

Steel Designer Radiators Standing The Test of Time

The questions that today’s most prudent consumers sometimes ask before taking out their wallets; will today’s wave of popular steel designer radiators stand the test of time? How long will they last, when compared to the traditional cast iron radiators that has been an institution inside people’s homes since the mid 1800’s?

Admittedly, it’s a bit early to tell, and it may take decades for the answer to this question to revealed.  Until then, this concern can be seen as one of the few steel and designer radiator deterrents; we don’t know how long they will last. Yes, they are beautiful, versatile and fashionable, and are growing in popularity.

At this stage, we don’t have the comparison data and proof to see how these radiators perform over time, and how long they will last in comparison to their cast iron counterparts. For now, we will continue to monitor the steel rad upsurge. Most steel radiators do have a 5 or 10 year manufacturer warranty, which puts most minds at ease.

One must remember that steel radiators do not provide heat in the same way as traditional cast irons.   Cast iron radiators are a thicker heavier metal, and releases heat into its environment at a slower rate resulting in a more consistent heat when compared to steel.

Do Cast Irons Offer Superior Heating Than Steel?

Ironworks customer feedback indicates that when comparing a cast iron system to a steel radiator heating system, customers prefer the heat of a cast iron radiator over steel option.  When we hear from consumers who have had both systems in their homes, they prefer the traditional cast iron heating system chiefly because the heat is more consistent.  A cast iron system releases heat slowly over a longer period of time so the distribution of heat is more even. The steel radiator has to be heated up and releases heat more frequently, leaving more room for inconsistency.