Where To Position Your Radiator
In most cases, it makes sense to position a hot water radiator on an external wall. This is because they are easy to mount, and usually one of the coldest areas within a room. If the wall is situated close to a window, this is all the more likely still. However, a hot water radiator installed beneath a window could be covered by curtains. In such cases, heat can be lost via the window or wall. Therefore, it could be a good idea to add a shelf to separate the radiator and window. Another useful tip is to add a radiator fan to your chosen room. This enables the hot air to be distributedevenly throughout it. This is especially worth considering in larger areas where you spend a lot of time. For example, a lounge or kitchen could greatlybenefit from a radiator fan. Theyll help to make sure everyone in the room enjoys a comfortable level of warmth. If youd like to explore a more in-depth assessment of the best installation location for your home heating, take a look at our guide on where to position your radiator.
Even In A Cold Climate These Efficient Units Can Provide Both Domestic Hot Water And Whole
I recently retired after 30 years as a residential contractor. My wife and I now live in a new home I built in Colorado. It’s high in the mountains and has 2,000 square feet of conditioned space heated by a radiant-floor heating system.
The author’s Colorado home has 2,000 square feet of conditioned space. His combined average costs for heat and hot water are only $20 per month, a figure he credits to tight construction, programmed thermostats, and the efficiency of his tankless water heater.
While most radiant systems get their hot water from either a tank-type water heater or a cast-iron boiler, my home’s heat and are both provided by a single Rinnai tankless or “on demand” water heater. The Rinnai uses considerably less energy than a tank-type heater and costs less to install than a boiler with a heat exchanger.
Tankless water heaters are a proven technology with a track record of many years for heating DHW . But since few contractors have experience using them for radiant heat, information about reliable system design can be hard to find. In my case, perfecting a system took some trial and error.
I consider the effort worthwhile: During the two years I’ve had the system, heat and hot-water costs for two people have averaged less than $20 per month.
Finally, we use a programmed thermostat that limits the temperature to 62°F in the middle of the day and at night, and 70°F from 6 to 8 a.m. and 6 to 10 p.m.
How Do Radiator Heaters Work
In order to confirm whether our radiator is the right option for you, it is important to understand how they work.
Radiators are one of the oldest and most effective ways of heating a home. The working principle of the radiator is to absorb heat from the water and use this heat to heat the surrounding air. By doing so, they can be effectively used to heat the room.
Panels are made from metal aluminum because it is an excellent conductor of heat. Hot water travels through the radiator, and the exterior fins naturally heat up over time. As these fins heat up, the surrounding air also heats up.
Unlike hot air systems, radiant heat doesn’t dry out your breathing passages and makes them more susceptible to infection.
They are still desirable because of their simplicity and their ability to heat a space evenly and comfortably.
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Selecting A Tankless Heater
A tankless water heater can be powered by electricity, natural gas, or propane. I considered only propane-powered models because I don’t have natural gas where I live, and because the price I pay for electricity didn’t make an electric unit economically feasible.
My unit is a direct-vent model, which uses outside air for combustion, an important feature in a tight, well-insulated home. Theoretically, it can be installed on any outside wall, and even outside in some warm climates. I installed mine in the mudroom near the electric circuit panel.
My only complaint is that the noise level of my heater can be objectionable at times. The mudroom in my house is next to the first-floor bedroom, and in times of heavy demand, the tankless unit “surges,” creating quite a loud noise. If I had to do it over again, I would not place the unit next to a bedroom.
The heater includes a remote controller with a digital monitor that lets me raise or lower the temperature of the water coming out of the unit. I set it at 140°F, which is hot enough to meet all my needs with wood and tile floors. But a plumber friend who installed one in a home with carpeted floors had to raise the output temperature to 170°F, as carpeted floors are about the most difficult to heat with an in-floor radiant system.
Numerous sources on the Internet offer methods of calculating heat losses or software that can do it either for a nominal charge or for free.
The Stylish Alternative To Bulky Cast Iron Steam Radiators
These sleek designs allow you to free up valuable space. The Steamview and Charleston Pro are available in over a hundred colors.
Available for immediate delivery in stock colors.
The Steamview and Charleston Pro are made for both one and two pipe steam heating systems, are wall mounted and offer continuous mounting. The Steam Flow Form is easily floor mounted. All Steam Radiators can be piped with the supply or return on either side of the radiator.
The Steam Radiators all welded steel construction ensures a long service life. Proprietary internal construction guards against corrosion. All Steam Radiators have a five- year limited warranty.
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How To Diagnose & Fix Cold Radiators Baseboards & Convectors
- about troubleshooting cold radiators, convectors, baseboards on hot water heating systems
InspectAPedia tolerates no conflicts of interest. We have no relationship with advertisers, products, or services discussed at this website.
Troubleshoot cold radiators, baseboards, convectors in hot water heating systems: this article describes the diagnosis & repair of cold “hot water” heating baseboards, convectors, radiators, or “hot water” radiators. We provide articles that help in diagnosing and repairing no-heat problems with each types of hot water or steam or fan convector heat delivery systems.
Thermostatically Controlled Radiator Valves:
If you have to replace the control valve on a hot water or steam radiator or convector unit, consider installing a new valve that incorporates a thermostat as well, such as the automatic radiator valve shown at above left.
This radiator control valve lets you treat each individual radiator as a “heating zone”. As long as the thermostat is calling for heat, each radiator can be regulated automatically.
If only some of your hot water radiators, hot water heating convector units, or hot water baseboard heating sections are not getting hot and the radiator valve is open then you may need to bleed air out of the radiator so that hot water from the boiler can flow into the radiator.
Many hot radiators have an air bleeder valve that the homeowner can operate if she takes care about scalding risks and avoids making a mess by bleeding just air, not water.
See AIRBOUND HEAT SYSTEM REPAIR In our photo at above right you can see not only the radiator control valve, but more: we can conclude that this is a hot water heating system, not a steam heat system because there is no automagic air vent that we find on steam radiators, and second, the radiator control valve includes an air bleeder – that nut on the side of the valve body .
In looking for an air bleeder in our article on this procedure
at BLEEDER VALVES it’s easy to miss this particular air bleeding device.
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Is A Solar Water Heating System Right For You
Though unable to provide for all hot water needs in a residential or agricultural application, a solar hot water system does offer a clean, renewable, and efficient way to cut down on the overall cost of water heating.
A solar hot water system can be connected to your existing hot water tank, allowing it to use significantly less energy. Heating water accounts for a quarter of energy usage in a normal residential home using solar heat can substantially cut your energy bill.
Whether mounted on the ground, an outside wall, or a roof, the solar collector for the water heating system should face south, so that it is exposed to as much direct sunlight as possible during peak sun hours, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.
The energy used to heat water is sunlight, a clean, renewable, and free source of energy. A solar hot water system will require only the electricity used to pump water into the collector. After installation, the solar water heating system will require only routine maintenance.
Solar Water Heating Technology
Solar water heating systems, first developed at the turn of the 20th century, convert energy from sunlight into heat, which is then used to raise the temperature of water. Solar water heating systems have a high efficiency in the summer, converting up to 80 per cent of the energy that contacts the system into heat. In the winter, around 20 25 per cent of the energy is converted. Smaller systems are suited to providing hot water for residential consumption by preheating water before it enters the normal hot water tank. More extensive solar water heating systems can heat large volumes of water for agricultural applications, like milk production.
Solar collectors for a water heating system come in many forms, and can be mounted on a roof, on outside walls, or on the ground. One common form is the glazed flat-plate collector , in which the water or anti-freeze circulates through a network of copper piping attached to a flat black plate inside a glass-covered frame.
Figure 1. Glazed flat-plate collectors for a on-farm milk processor. Courtesy of Enerworks & Ronnybrook Farms.
Sunlight passing through the glass hits the plate and becomes heat. The heat is trapped by the pane of glazed glass and raises the temperature of the liquid inside the piping.
Figure 2. Evacuated tube collectors for domestic hot water. Courtesy of CAREarth.
Figure 3. Flat-plate solar water heating system . Courtesy of Enerworks.
Figure 4. Evacuated tube solar water heating system . Courtesy of CAREearth.
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Guide To Fixing Cold Steam Radiators: Steam Vents& Radiator Slope
If your heating system uses steam radiators or steam convectors see
COLD STEAM HEAT RADIATORS for help in diagnosing and fixing steam radiators that won’t get hot. Excerpts from that article are found below.
Make sure that your room thermostat is set to a temperature higher than the temperature in the room – so that it is calling for heat.
Make sure that your heating boiler is working, that is that the heating boiler turns on and off normally. A steam boiler will usually turn on right away in response to the thermostat being turned up or on a call for heat.
Make sure that the control valve at the heating radiator is “open” or “on” as we describe just below. Details are
First check the radiator valve.
At Guide to Diagnosing Cold Radiators in buildings we illustrated different types of heating radiator control valves and explained their operation.
It’s standard to ask first “is the radiator valve turned on or “open” ?
But other problems can cause a steam heat radiator to stay cold when you want heat. Here is diagnostic and repair advice.
If some of your steam heat radiators are not getting hot, the steam vent may not be working.
If a steam radiator valve is open but the radiator is still cold, the steam vent may not be working. Our photo shows a typical steam radiator vent.
When steam is first rising in the heating system, the steam heating radiator will be cool as will be the steam vent.
also STEAM HEATING SYSTEMS for details.
What To Check First If Your Radiator Baseboard Or Convector Is Not Getting Hot
First let’s be sure we’re reading the best cold-radiator diagnostic advice for your situation.
This article will help you fix a hot water heating system radiator that is not heating up as it should.
If your heating system runs on hot water but it uses those skinny horizontal baseboards instead of radiators, you will be happier if you
see BASEBOARD HEAT for cold baseboard diagnosis and repair.
If your heating system uses steam radiators or steam convectors see COLD STEAM HEAT RADIATORS for help in diagnosing and fixing steam radiators that won’t get hot.
Our page top heating system illustration and the sketch at left were provided compliments of Carson Dunlop Associates .
If none of your heating radiators, baseboards, etc. are getting hot, start your diagnosis of the problem at NO HEAT – BOILER / FURNACE DIAGNOSIS. It may be that your boiler is simply not running, has lost power, is switched off, or that the thermostat is not calling for heat.
If you have heat in some areas but not others we discuss diagnosing baseboard heat problems below, followed by a discussion of radiators and convector unit problems for both hot water and steam heat.
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How To Bleed Radiators Of Trapped Air
If just some of your hot water radiators are not getting hot you may just need to bleed or remove air from the “cold” hot water radiator, baseboard, or heating convector unit,
see AIR BLEEDER VALVES.
Carson Dunlop Associates’ sketch shows a common location for the air bleed valve on a cast iron radiator.The advice to leave this valve alone is intended for home inspectors who don’t want to risk spilling water on someone’s floor or opening a valve to find that they can’t close it again.
See AIR BLEEDER VALVES for details about how to get an individual cold radiator working again if it’s air bound, and
see AIRBOUND HEAT SYSTEM REPAIR if the cold radiator, convector, or baseboard problem seems to affect all of the heating radiation devices on all or part of an individual heating piping loop or zone.
Since on many hot water heating systems a key air bleeding or air vent point is at the air scoop or air separator closer to the boiler,
Checking Your Radiator Pressure
The gauge on your boiler will indicate its pressure levels. If you deem it too low, youll need to top it up. This can be done via the boilers tap or lever, often referred to as the filling loop. After this is done, you can run a simple heating test to make sure everything has worked as planned. Just switch on your heating and check for any cool spots again. Providing there arent any, youre good to go thats how easy the radiator bleeding process is!
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Black Hot Water Radiators
At Hudson Reed, we have an impressive choice of black hot water radiators that are sure to bring a bold yet sophisticated look to your homes interior. A great choice for creating a look that stands out from the crowd, our black designer radiators take inspiration from European style. Theres many sizes and designs available for you to choose from and each radiator is covered by a 10-year warranty, giving you added peace of mind. Shop the collection now and benefit from free shipping as standard.
Our black hot water radiators will make a statement in any room and each one boasts a high heat output, making your space feel wonderfully warm and comfortable in next to no time. All hot water radiators at Hudson Reed have been made to the highest standards from premium quality materials, which means you can be assured of excellent strength and high performance for many years. The black powder coated finish is highly resilient and teams well with many color schemes. With so many black radiators to choose from, you will have no problem finding the perfect one to suit your home.
Technology To Improve Your Lifestyle
Select models have the Rinnai Smart-Circ Intelligent Recirculation that learns your hot water usage pattern and schedules your recirculation accordingly, providing you with hot water faster and when you need it. With the additional purchase of a control-r module , you can integrate it into your smart home technology for greater control and have on-demand hot water in seconds.
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How To Pick A Vintage Radiator
Radiators are often priced by the fin and cost between $10 and $20 per section depending on height, depth, and decoration. Shorter radiators that fit under windows are more scarce than tall models and tend to be on the higher end of the price range, says Bauer.
Most salvage yards sell radiators caked with old paint, much of which contains toxic lead. Buyers can either strip the radiators themselves, taking precautions to avoid releasing lead dust or fumes into the air, or hire a professional to sandblast them. Either way, it’s important to immediately coat the bare metal with an oil-based primer. Left untreated for more than a day, the cast iron will begin to rust, says Bauer. Most radiators are then finished with an oil-based enamel that holds up well to heat.
Finding just the right radiators for your space, getting them cleaned up, and hiring a plumber to install them may seem like a hassle. But before you resort to tinny electric baseboards, remember that these coils of cast iron have been warming homes for more than a hundred years. They must be worth the trouble.