When it comes to high energy costs, heating and cooling your home to a constant and comfortable temperature is almost always the culprit. Not only can this account for as much as fifty per cent of your living expenses, but many inefficient methods of heating can be just as harmful to the environment as they are to your budget. Fortunately, there are measures we can take to help protect our wallets and our atmosphere; properly maintaining your radiator heaters being one of them.
Cleanliness is next to Godliness
As with many appliances in your home, a radiator must be kept clean to continue working at its tip top best. Wiping away any dust that may accumulate on the outside cover will keep the radiator from having to work as hard to, well, radiate its heat. It is also recommended to routinely open the front panel, and checking for dust and grime there. If there is, a small hand held vacuum cleaner should take care of it nicely. For your safety reasons, radiators should always be switched off before attempting to clean them.
Radiators get Gas, Too
Air bubbles can become trapped inside the radiator, and keep it from heating up properly, or in some cases, at all. This is why it is a good idea to bleed the vents two or three times a year. This can be done quite easily. Start by turning the radiator off, and then look around the top of the unit for an air vent. Once you have found it, open the vent with a screw driver. You may want to have a towel nearby, because some water may come out as the air bubbles escape. There will probably be a hissing sound until the pressure is relieved, and the vent can be replaced. This does not need to be done on all radiators though, as some will be self-bleeding.
Don’t Just Go with the Flow
A big part in the efficiency level of your radiator is that it is being operated with the proper water flow setting. The water flow is controlled by flow control valves or by thermostatic radiator valves. They are usually found somewhere on the side of the unit, and can easily be adjusted when needed. Some prefer to adjust their radiators to a setting that allows less water to flow through, which can decrease the amount of gas needed to heat it.
Air is Free – Maximise Air-Flow
Another very important thing to consider when it comes to saving energy and money using radiator heat is the placement of the unit in relevance to the room itself. There should not be curtains or furniture blocking the heat, and there should be plenty of open air around the radiator to help with circulation. Heat resistant reflectors are excellent energy savers, because when you place them on the walls around or near the unit, they insulate and reflect to increase the efficiency and output of the radiator. Another tactic that many with radiators use to get the most out of their money is to put shelves or shields on the wall above the unit. As we all know, heat rises, and unfortunately, this often results in it just going up and disappearing, before it really has a chance to spread through the rest of the room. Using a shelf can redirect the warm air flow to the rest of the room.
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