Now that you know which radiators are the most efficient, it’s a good idea to find out more about these heaters so you can choose the right one for your needs. Below you have all the information you need to make the perfect decision
Types of Radiators Depending on The Heating
Radiators heat a room through a process of heat transfer called convection. When the water in the radiator is hot, the air in the room will start to heat up due to convection. Hot air begins to circulate through the room, creating heat as it moves. There are three main types of radiators, which we describe below.
Radiators Connected to the Heating System
Radiators connected to the heating system are the most common; they are connected to your plumbing system and use the hot water supplied by the boiler or boiler to generate heat.
You can control this radiator as part of the heating system. In order for them to last and be durable, they are usually made of cast iron, which offers the best thermal values.
As the name suggests, these radiators are powered by the mains. Unlike those connected to the plumbing, electric radiators operate independently of it. Inside, they are filled with anti-corrosion and rust-resistant solutions.
Electric radiators are heated by an element at their base. Inside, there are thermodynamic fluids, which heat up and expand as electricity passes through the system. The heat of the fluid heats the radiator, and the heat dissipates in the room.
You can mount them directly on the wall, preferably under the window in the case of horizontal ones. Some electric radiators are portable or semi-portable.
They work independently, so they can be placed anywhere in the room. Portable radiators usually come in addition to the normal ones, if they can not provide enough heat. Such a radiator has a good price, most of the time.
Dual Fuel Radiators
Dual or mixed fuel radiators are a combination of electricity and plumbing. The electric and mixed ones work similarly, having a similar heating element. However, the mixed radiators are connected to the sanitary installation of the house, so they can be used as an extension to the centralized system of the house.
What Materials are Radiators Made of?
Radiators are of various shapes and have certain qualities. The type of material used to create such an object reveals a lot about its quality and endurance. The following is a list of materials that can be used to make radiators.
Cast iron radiators were very popular before modern solutions, as they are harder to heat, but just as hard to cool. Cast iron radiators are very well built and quality, but they have one advantage: they are extremely heavy. As already mentioned, they need some time to warm up.
Thus, if you have such a radiator, you need to put it into operation sometime before the actual time you want it to be used. Cast iron radiators retain heat for a long time after they have warmed up, so you can turn them off after they have reached the desired temperature to make energy savings.
Radiators made of steel are the most common and are usually very cheap. They are so common that they make up the majority of the commerce. Due to the fact that they are made of steel, they have the advantage that they are much easier to make with various designs.
They also have good resistance, being created to be solid. However, an important disadvantage of these is that they can rust quickly, especially if you have a combi boiler in your home. You can prevent rust by constantly maintaining the radiator and adding an inhibitor to the mains.
As with steel, stainless steel radiators have important properties, such as strength and versatility in design. The main difference between the two is that stainless steel radiators will not suffer from corrosion, like steel ones. However, adding an inhibitor to the system is not a bad thing.
Stainless steel is rust-resistant, so warranties for such radiators start at 5 years and can last up to 25 years. Their disadvantage is that they are quite expensive compared to steel ones. In addition, there are fewer designs available than steel radiators.
Relatively recent on the market, aluminum radiators are ideal because the material is an excellent conductor of heat; such sanitary ware heats up and cools down in just a few moments.
Due to the superconductivity, aluminum radiators provide the highest amount of heat compared to the models presented above. Aluminum is actually such a good conductor of heat that instead of buying one or two classic home radiators, you can only buy one aluminum one, which will do the same job.
Aluminum radiators are also very light, but they have the disadvantage that they are quite expensive. The low weight also translates into some fragility of these radiators.
Types of Radiators
There are several types of radiators to choose from, and below is a list of the most important models
Radiators With a Single Convector Panel
Single-panel radiators are usually wall-mounted, facing the room. These radiators have a smaller surface through which they can emit heat, so they are less efficient than those with two panels. However, they are very good for use in a confined space.
Radiators With Two Convector Panels
These radiators are made of two steel panels, which are connected by means of two convector fin structures, which are responsible for generating a greater amount of heat. The addition of the two convector fins significantly increases the surface area of the radiator, making it even more efficient.
Radiators with Elements
These radiators are made of a kind of tubes that are arranged in rows and connected up and down to form a single section. Each of these tubes is called an element. Radiators with elements are ideal for large homes, which have high ceilings, where a lot of heat is needed. Compared to radiators with convector panels, those with elements have a larger surface area, providing even more heat
As the name suggests, these radiators have a design that allows you to dry and heat the towels you have in the bathroom. They can, of obviously, have been used to heat a room, but that is not their primary use.
What to Keep in Mind When Buying a Radiator?
You need to pay attention to a few things when you want to buy cheap and good radiators, as some of these features will be crucial to your satisfaction.
Heating Capacity of the Radiator
The heating capacity of the radiator is probably the most important determinant of the purchase. It is measured in BTU (British Thermal Unit). The maximum size of a room that can be heated with a radiator can be found by a calculation related to the area of the room and the BTU measurement of the desired radiator.
This will allow you to determine the radiator’s size. For example, if the BTU value required for the room is 3,500, you can take a radiator that has a capacity at least equal to that value.
When buying a radiator, you need to consider its cost. This includes not only the purchase price of the item, as well as the costs of operation. For example, if you choose an electric heater, you should also consider energy bills, since such an item consumes a lot.
In the case of a central heating system with fixed radiators, you need to think about the cost of gas and the maintenance of the entire system. In general, the costs of radiators range between 300 and 1,000 lei.
Radiators not only have different sizes and costs, but also various designs, so you need to keep this in mind before making a purchase. Most are either horizontal or vertical.
Horizontal radiators, placed under windows, are usually hidden by curtains and drapes, but also by masks made of wood or other material, so they are not created with aesthetics in mind. The vertical ones, on the other hand, are much more varied, because they are placed in spaces where they are visible.
You can control the heat emitted by most radiators; in the case of those connected to a centralized system, you can control the heat from the central panel, but you can also do this individually from the valve of each radiator. In the case of an electric radiator, you can choose one that has several power levels.
The climate of the region or country in which you live must also be taken into account. A radiator is not useful in a very hot region. In a country like Romania, the temperate climate that usually offers mild winters is also influenced by the relief, so in some areas, temperatures can drop well below 0 degrees Celsius in winter.
If you live in such a region and where centralized systems are widespread, it is advisable to buy more efficient radiators, both in terms of size and material. If you are not connected to such a centralized system but want personal comfort in your home, you can opt for an electric radiator.
In this section, we will introduce you to the functions of electric radiators. These are rather self-contained objects, as they do not have to be part of a central heating system.
When buying an electric radiator, it is good to choose one that has a remote control. This way, you can easily control its functions. Some slightly better models offer Wi-Fi connectivity and even give you an app through which you can control all functions even remotely.
An important function of electric radiators is their screen. Most sanitary ware of this kind has a small LED display, which is especially useful for presenting information about the heating cycle, the thermostat, and more. You should look for such a radiator with a display for added comfort.
If you want to use the radiator often or even daily, then the timer will be a very useful function. Having access to it, you can set the radiator to start at certain hours or to stop after a certain operating time.
The thermostat is certainly the most important feature of a good value radiator. This is because this aspect is responsible for measuring and maintaining the temperature you want in the room.
The ability of the electric heater to maintain this temperature is influenced by how accurate the device’s thermostat is. If the thermostat is inaccurate, you will find that the heat level varies and some areas are warmer than others.
Scheduling for an electric radiator is very important because it is related to its timer. The programming of a radiator varies, being possible for the timer and the thermostat. You’ll be able to set different heating times for different rooms using these arrangements.
Power Consumption Monitor
You certainly don’t want to pay too much for your electricity bill. That’s why you need a radiator that also monitors energy consumption. This way, you will know exactly how much electricity the radiator consumes during use, so you can save on your electricity bill.
Where to Place the Radiator
Now that you know all this about radiators, one last important question remains. Where to put the radiator? We have an answer for that too. For efficient use, you need to place the radiator in a central area of the room.
In this way, the device will be able to distribute heat evenly in all corners of the room at the same time. However, if the BTU level of the radiator is at least equal to that of the room, then the location will not be a problem.
You can also place the radiator on the window, as the cold air currents coming from the window will reach the bottom of the room, while the warm air from the radiator will rise and be transmitted to the room. This eliminates much of the heat loss from the window.