We all want to make sure that our radiators are working effectively and efficiently – after all, a poorly functioning radiator can leave you with more than just a cold room. Inefficient radiators can leave you with high heating costs, unexpected repair bills and more.
So which type of radiator is the best one to choose? Read on for the low down on how to choose the most efficient solution for you.
Faster heating – or longer lasting temperatures?
Aluminium is one of the best conducting materials available, and when used in radiators, this quality means that they can heat up much more quickly than other models. They’ll also often require less water to heat up for the same reason, requiring less energy from your heating system. In fact, compared to some other metals, an aluminium radiator can save up to 15% on energy usage overall, compared to other metals used for radiators.
However, while cast iron radiators can take longer to heat up, they provide efficiency in a different way, as they will retain heat and cool down much more slowly. They also tend to have a larger internal volume, so while they may take a little power from the boiler to heat up fully, in the long term, they can keep a room warmer, for a longer period.
So which one should you use? If you’re looking for quick heating in a smaller space, an aluminium radiator might be the most efficient solution for you, but if you’re looking for heat that will retain well in a space for a longer period, then you may want to consider cast iron radiators instead.
How fast a radiator heats up isn’t the only sign of efficiency – the impact they have on the environment may also be another factor to consider. Both cast iron and aluminium radiators often come out on top on this – as they can be taken apart and recycled when they come to the end of their usefulness.
Boosting efficiency in other ways
Whatever your radiator is made of, you can still boost their efficiency in a number of other ways, by taking a few simple steps to ensure they are properly looked after.
One of the biggest causes of a poorly functioning and inefficient radiator is a build up of debris or lime scale, as this can block the flow of water around your heating system, forcing it to work harder and use more energy. By regularly paying attention to your radiators and monitoring tell-tale issues, such as making sure they’re clean and addressing any unusual noises or leaky valves, you can maintain efficiency for longer, as well as avoiding costly repairs.
Another way to keep your radiators as efficient as possible is by having a regular health check carried out. It’s a good idea to have your boiler and heating system looked over, at least once a year, just to address any burgeoning issues before they become serious.