Most of us take the radiators in our homes for granted, that is until there’s a problem! But understanding how they work and how to fix common issues can mean having a reliable heating system throughout the winter months.
What Are Radiators And What Do They Do?
A radiator is a type of heat exchanger that transfers thermal energy from one fluid to another. Typically, radiators are used in heating systems to transfer heat from hot water or steam to the air. However, they can also be used for cooling, as in the case of automotive radiators.
In order to function correctly, radiators must be filled with a heat-conducting fluid, such as water or oil. The fluid circulates through the radiator, absorbing heat from the surrounding environment. As it does so, the fluid becomes less dense and rises to the top of the radiator. Meanwhile, cooler fluid from the bottom of the radiator circulates back into the system, creating a continuous cycle.
By transferring heat from one fluid to another, radiators are able to regulate temperature effectively.
The Different Types Of Radiators
There are three main types of radiators: convection, hydronic, and electric.
Convection radiators work by circulating hot air through the room, using either natural convection or a fan.
Hydronic radiators circulate hot water through a network of pipes and are often used in radiant heating systems.
Electric radiators convert electrical energy into heat and are available in a variety of designs.
Each type of radiator has its own advantages and disadvantages, so it is important to choose the right one for your needs. For example, convection radiators are typically more efficient than hydronic radiators, but they can be more expensive to install. Electric radiators are relatively cheap to operate, but they can be less efficient than other types of radiators.
Ultimately, the best type of radiator for you will depend on your specific needs and requirements.
How To Install A Radiator
There is now the option for buying radiators online and then fitting them yourself. However, do be aware that this can be a messy job, and so we recommend making the saving by making the purchase online but then getting a professional to fit it for you.
- Before you begin, it is important to turn off the power to your heating system at the breaker box.
- Once the power is off, you can drain the radiator by opening the valve at the bottom and allowing the water to flow into a bucket.
- Next, use a screwdriver to remove the old radiator covers. If your new radiator is larger than the old one, you may need to modify the opening in order to get it to fit.
- Once the new radiator is in place, use pliers to connect the supply and return lines.
- Finally, turn on the power to your heating system and bleed the radiator by opening the bleeder valve at the top until water begins to flow out.
- Once all the air has been purged from the system, close the valve and enjoy your new radiator!
How To Maintain Your Home Heating Radiators
Radiators are a vital part of any home heating system, and it is important to keep them in good working order.
One of the best ways to do this is to have them professionally serviced on a regular basis.
In addition, you should bleed your radiators at least once per year to remove any air that may have become trapped in the system.
Finally, make sure to keep an eye on your radiators for any signs of leaks or other damage. If you notice anything unusual, be sure to call a qualified technician as soon as possible.
Keep Clear of Sludge and Debris
Radiators can become clogged with sludge and debris over time, so it is important to keep them clean. A chemical cleaner can be added to the system to help break down any build-up, and regular bleeding will also flush out any accumulations.
Troubleshooting Common Problems With Home Radiators
Radiators are a common type of heating system, but they can sometimes experience problems.
If your radiator is not heating up properly, there are a few possible causes.
Check the Radiator Valves
First, check to see if the radiator valves are open. If they are closed, simply turn them on and wait for the radiator to heat up. If the valves are already open, then the problem may be with the water level in the radiator.
If the water level is too low, air can get trapped in the system, preventing heat from being circulated properly. Simply adding more water should solve the problem.
Finally, if your radiator is still not heating up correctly, you may need to bleed it. This involves releasing any air that may be trapped in the system. To do this, find the bleed valve on your radiator and turn it on until you hear water running. Then close the valve and wait for the radiator to heat up.
Radiator Covers – Do They Work, And Are They Worth The Investment?
Radiator covers come in a variety of shapes, sizes, and colours and can be made from a variety of materials, including wood, metal, or plastic. They vary in price but can typically be found for around £50. So, do radiator covers work? And are they worth the investment?
Radiator covers work by trapping heat from the radiator and reflecting it back into the room. This can help to reduce your heating bill, as you won’t need to turn up the thermostat to compensate for lost heat. In addition, radiator covers can help to protect your walls and furniture from heat damage. However, it’s important to make sure that the cover is well-ventilated, as trapped heat can cause the radiator to overheat and potentially become a fire hazard.
So, are radiator covers worth the investment? If you’re looking to save money on your heating bill and protect your belongings from heat damage, then they may be worth considering. However, it’s important to do your research to find a cover that is well-made and safe to use.