How to boost the efficiency of your radiators

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As long as they get hot when we want them to, we don’t generally give our radiators much thought. In fact, you can make a lot of difference to the effectiveness of your radiators in the way you use them.

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Heating accounts for over 60 percent of what a typical household spends on energy, so it’s important to make the most of it.

Out in the open

One mistake that many householders make is to have radiators behind furniture. Your radiator may not be very pretty, but sticking the settee in front of it means that much of the heat will get absorbed and not get out into the room. By the same token, ensure that radiators mounted under windows are not covered by the curtains.

If you want an alternative to dull flat panel types that you don’t really want to have on display, then column radiators may be a good alternative. These have more visual interest and if you’re wondering can you get column radiators in different colours, the answer is yes. You can also get vertical models that take up less wall space. These designs are good for smaller rooms where space for conventional radiators is at a premium.

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The material that the radiator is made from is important too. Aluminium, for example, heats up more quickly than iron and steel. However, it will also cool more quickly once the boiler switches off, so you need to think about your requirements. Some rooms, kitchens being a prime example, have heat from other sources, so may not need a large radiator.

Use it well

As well as not blocking the heat from your radiators, you should also make sure you use them effectively. Thermostatic valves allow you to set the temperature for each room individually, so that it’s cooler in the bedrooms, for example. However, you must have one radiator in the system that isn’t fitted with a thermostatic valve.

You also need to take steps to ensure that when you have heated your house, you keep as much of that heat in as possible. Well fitted double-glazed windows will keep out draughts and help retain heat. Well insulated walls can help too. A good low-cost solution is to mount reflective material on the walls behind your radiators to bounce heat back into the room.

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