It has been many years since radiators replaced the fireplace, to become the most popular way for people in western countries to heat their homes. In the UK, more than 95% of households use some form of radiator as a main source of heating. Many radiators work by converting thermal energy from one state to another and two of the main types of radiator use steam or electricity to produce heat. The most common type of radiator however, uses hot water heated in a boiler and pumped through its pipes to warm up the surrounding air.
Advantages of heating with radiators
Radiators are appreciated for their simplicity and their relatively unmatched ability to evenly warm up spaces. As the radiator has evolved, it has taken on a variety of shapes and sizes, and now has a design value on top of its practicality. One of the safest types of heater, radiators do not require any other materials like wood, coal or oil for continued use, unlike gas heaters, for instance, that must be used in well-ventilated areas. Radiators maintain their heat well and although they are more efficient when uncovered, many people use them as an extra way to dry clothing especially wet towels and bathroom mats. Radiators are convenient as they can be easily switched on and off (now even remotely by mobile phone!) and only turned on in the rooms of your home that you use.
Ways to make the most of your radiators
Get familiar with your heating system control system – You can make the most of your central heating system including your boiler and radiators by learning how to use the controls. By using the timer, for instance, you can set your radiators to come on before you get in from work and switch off just after you have gone to bed, which can be a real advantage during the winter months. Learning how to set the temperature on the thermostat means that you can control the temperature in your home, adjusting it to between 18 and 21 degrees Celsius, which is considered the best temperature for both a steady comfortable temperature and energy efficiency.
Install Thermostatic radiator valves – Thermostatic radiator valves work by regulating themselves according to the surrounding temperature. They give you the ability to control the temperature in individual rooms and save you money by making sure that you only use the amount of heat you need.
Move furniture and heavy curtains away from radiators – By moving sofas some inches away from your living room radiators and ensuring that they are not draped heavy curtains you will ensure that the room benefits from all the heat being produced.
Keep radiators clean – dusty radiators prevent the effective transfer of heat from the radiator to the surrounding air. Taking the time to wipe away any accumulated dust and dirt can help you save money on your energy bills in the long term.