The central heating system is an essential component of a modern home – you tend to realise the importance more in the winter when it’s cold and you badly need your home to be heated! But in order for it to do its job properly and fulfill your warmth requirements, it helps if its efficient.
Now the weather is warmer, it might seem like a strange time to focus on your central heating since it’s most likely turned off. But as this sponsored post highlights, if there’s a chance yours isn’t working properly, or the radiators need maintenance, now is a great time to get them working better so they’re ready and efficient for when you need them again.
Remove trapped air
As time passes and the more you use your central heating system, air gets trapped in your radiators. In fact, trapped air is one of the main reasons why your radiator doesn’t heat your home as effectively as it should.
If your radiator doesn’t heat properly – for example, it doesn’t warm up at all, or is cold part of the way down – then it may be that your radiator has trapped air and needs bleeding. This is something you can do yourself (check out our previous post to find out how) or ask an engineer to do it for you as part of a central heating service.
Beware radiator paint problems
If you paint your radiators, take care not to add too many coats, as it can reduce its heating efficiency.
If you have radiators in your home with years of paint on them, then it may be time to replace them with newer models.
Improve heat control
When you want to improve the control of heat in your home, the installation of thermostatic radiator valves (TRVs) is the best choice.
When you install TRVs, they provide independent temperature control in every room of your home. Plus, they can improve the overall comfort in your home, as they help even out the distribution of heat.
Keep radiators clear
If you’re not keen on the look of your radiators, or you want to avoid dust getting on them, radiator covers are often used. Although they look good, if they end up covering the thermostatic radiator valves (TRVS) this can effect their performance.
According to heating experts, it’s best to avoid covering the TRVs as they’re responsible for sensing the air temperature around them and controlling the flow rate. If the radiator is covered, it can result in trapping the heat between your radiator and the cover, which can make the TRV think the temperature in your room is higher than it actually is.
So before you cover your radiator, think about the efficiency issue and aim for a cover that doesn’t prevent the TRV from working properly.
Adjust your curtain length
If you’ve got radiators positioned under windows that have curtain, don’t tuck them behind your radiator. Modern radiators tend to have half their heat output coming from the back panel, so tucking curtains behind the radiator can trap the heat and restrict the flow of warm air into the room.
Long curtains that completely cover your radiator can have a similar effect. For the best efficiency, aim for a curtain length that skims the top of your radiator.
Avoid hanging washing on a radiator
When you dry washing directly on the radiator, it reduces the efficiency of your central heating system because it blocks the convection currents from the radiator around the room. Also, it could end up increasing your usage cost, so stick to a clothes airer for drying purposes.
Choose radiators carefully
In order for your home heating to be efficient, it helps to have the right size and type of radiators. Large radiators may increase your bills, whilst small radiators might not provide you with enough heat. If you’re looking to replace your radiators, choose carefully to find the most efficient option for your home.
It’s worth knowing that cast iron radiators are renowned for their efficiency, and more so than radiators made from steel. They tend to warm up faster and remain warmer for longer, plus they’re easy to maintain. Cast iron radiators are available in a variety of designs and styles, so are ideal for a contemporary home.
Image via Shutterstock
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