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Radiators

Radiators, Thermostatic Valves, and Bypass Valves.

For control of room temperature, it is beneficial to fit thermostatic radiator valves (TRVs). As the room temperature approaches the position set by the user on the TRV, the valve begins to close. This restricts the flow of water through the radiator. When the room temperature reaches the set point, the valve will be completely shut, thus maintaining control of the room temperature. Most TRVs can now be fitted on either flow or return. It is important that boiler manufacturers′ requirements are checked before fitting TRVs, because some boilers require that a minimum water flow rate is maintained at all times. Such boilers will require that a system bypass or an automatic bypass valve, is fitted. Sometimes, one radiator can be used to provide a bypass by not having a TRV fitted to it. However, it is generally more efficient to have an automatic bypass valve fitted, normally near the boiler or the cylinder. When replacing your boiler, you may need to fit TRVs and an automatic bypass valve to comply with the Building Regulations.

Radiator panels.

Radiator panels can save energy and money. Without radiator panels, heat from the radiator escapes through the wall behind it... by fitting them, the wall behind the panel stays cool and the hot air which naturally rises behind the radiator is caused to spin out into the room. This improves heat distribution, reduces heat up time and virtually eliminates cold spots. Fitting is quick & easy with no need to remove radiators.

Keep radiators clear.

Keep radiators clear - don′t block them with furniture. Blocking radiators will reduce efficiency and increase your heating bills.

Here we list a few pieces of advice you may have heard, and that we think you would be well advised to ignore.....



′There′s little increase in your heating bills when you heat your home 24 hours a day′

If your home is well insulated, it is true that running your heating 24 hours a day increases your energy bill by a comparatively smaller amount. However, even if your home is energy-efficient, you will ALWAYS reduce your fuel bill by reducing the running time of your heating system. If your home is badly insulated, the potential savings are huge. You will also increase the life of some components in your heating system by switching off. Reduce the running hours of your heating system.

′It′s cheaper to keep your heating switched on overnight at a reduced level′

The logic here is that you burn a fair amount of fuel getting the home back up to a comfortable temperature in the morning. However, you will burn EVEN more fuel by heating your home overnight even at a reduced temperature. In any case, there′s no point in heating your whole home when you′re asleep and tucked-up in bed. As stated above, by switching off you will also extend the life of some components in your heating system. Switch heating off overnight.

′Radiator shelves save energy by directing heat away from windows and into the centre of the room′

If this statement were true, you would wonder why most radiators are fitted under windows. The reason why radiators are mostly fitted here is to counteract downdraughts. These downdraughts are not draughts from outside - you will have downdraughts even with the most airtight windows. Downdraughts are the result of room air being rapidly cooled on the cold surface of the glass, causing the air to fall and producing a draught. If it were true that radiator shelves direct warm air from radiators to the centre of the room, it would be equally true that shelves direct cold downdraughts to the centre of the room. In fact, neither of these statements is true.

It is also untrue that heat from radiators is immediately lost through windows. This will only occur if the window is open. Radiators are mostly installed under windows because this is generally the preferred position for them.

As ANY radiator manufacturer will confirm, radiator shelves actually REDUCE the heat output from your radiators, typically by around 5%. Therefore, this is hardly a measure to increase your comfort or to save energy. Avoid radiator shelves.

′Always tuck in curtains behind the radiator when it′s dark′

It′s sound advice to close curtains at dusk to help reduce heat loss. However, tucking in curtains behind the radiators is not recommended.
With most modern radiators, at least half of the heat output is from behind the front panel. If you tuck in curtains behind the radiator, you will restrict the free flow of warm air. In some cases, tucked-in curtains will completely block this passage of warm air, and substantially reduce the heat output. Therefore, the best advice is not to do anything that restricts the free flow of air around the radiators, or you will reduce heat output. This also applies to space under and in front of the radiators, where there should be a minimum of 4 inches clear.

If your curtains drape below the top of the radiator, you must consider buying shorter ones. If you are not prepared to do this, consider tucking the curtains onto the window sill when it gets dark.
If the tops of your radiators are very close to the underside of the window sills, ensure your curtains are as short as possible. When drawing curtains at dusk, tuck them onto the window sill. If you′re not prepared to do this, it may be better to hang them loose and in front of the radiator, rather than tucking them behind, as this can cause less of a restriction to the free passage of warm air. However, if you have a pelmet above your curtains, then leaving them loose and in front of the radiator is not advised. You′ll need to use a bit of judgement. Allow plenty of space for air to circulate freely around radiators.