Do Vertical Radiators Give Enough Heat?
While many style-conscious homeowners and interior designers can choose a designer radiator based on its appearance only, it is essential to note that heating your room is the primary purpose of a radiator.
So, before you plunge straight in and buy a vertical designer radiator because you like the look of it, ask yourself, is my vertical radiator going to give out enough heat?
You would be shocked, in certain instances, to hear that the answer is… yes.
That’s because, while vertical designer radiators do not achieve the same heating efficiency as more conventional horizontal radiators as a general rule of thumb.
If you do your research and choose the correct model, you can find a solution that not only looks fantastic but also heats your room effectively.
A radiator is a heating device that transfers thermal energy or heat from one point to another. Heat is therefore transferred to the desired point hence causing a heating effect.
Over the years, the use of radiators has become common, and thus, in a bid to enhance efficiency, various types of radiators have been introduced in the market.
Among these is the vertical radiator, which stands vertically rather than the standard horizontal. However, do these vertical radiators give out enough heat?
Radiators may look complicated from an outside overview, but they operate using a simple technique once you understand them in the real sense.
How Do Radiators Work?
Convection Is heat transfer caused by the heavy movement of molecules inside fluids. In a layman’s language, it is the transfer of heat through fluids.
This is the mechanism that radiators use to transfer heat from one point to another. Radiators always have a fluid inside them, which in most cases is water.
When the water inside the radiator gets heated, the air around and gets heat through the convection process; now, this hot air fills the room hence causing the heating effect.
In buildings, a radiator will be connected to the central heating system through pipes in which heated water flows through to the radiator.
The radiator does not hold any water inside it because hot water moves through the pipes in a circular motion.
The hot water passes into the radiator and then out to the next radiator. This chain is what maintains the heat in the water.
Since hot water cools down after a while, water must continuously pass through the boiler to get heated again.
Every time water passes through the boiler, it gets reheated, and thus the water stays hot.
The radiators in the primary heating chamber have a chain connection, and because of this, the radiator nearest to the boiler has to be connected to the water when it’s at its hottest.
During this process, the radiator farthest from the boiler will be much further from the heat and thus has to be connected to the coolest water.
To ensure there is leveled heating in the chain, a device must be used to provide the right balance in the heat spread.
This is done by using a lockshield valve, which, when adjusted, allows or restricts the flow of water into or out of the radiator.
What Are The Different Types Of Valves?
In every radiator, at the water flow side, a lockshield valve is fitted.
Besides controlling the radiator’s heat, the lockshield valve balances the heat running through the pipes making sure heat is distributed evenly across the building.
After setting the lockshield valve using the balancing procedure, it is locked using a plastic cap to make no adjustments.
When this is done, the plastic cap is only adjusted again incase there is a problem with the radiator.
The lockshield, therefore, regulates the minimum and maximum water levels that pass through the radiator.
Besides the lockshield valve in the radiator, other types of valves, unlike the lockshield valve, are adjustable.
Other types of valves
Manual valves function just like a standard home tap. In regulating the heat amount into the radiator.
You can manually reduce or increase the levels by turning the manual radiator.
These valves aren’t very accurate in determining the desired amount, and you have to test till you find which levels are best for you.
One advantage is that they are simple to use.
Besides, they are appealing and also very cheap.
Thermostatic radiator valve
A more complex model of the adjustable valve automatically regulates the heat that comes out of the radiator.
It works by reading the radiator’s temperature and, if too high or too low, controls to a standard level.
All you need to do is to set the TRV to the level you feel comfortable, and the valve will do the rest of the work.
This type of valve is considered more efficient than the manual valve. This is because they have the capability of changing the heat flow in and out of the radiators.
This as well helps save on electricity usage. However, they cost a little bit more to acquire and install.
Corner valves have 90 degrees turning angle and are therefore used if the piping system in your home has a right-angle turn.
They are more efficient for pipes that protrude from the wall.
Angled valves are often used for pipes that come out straight up through the floor and require a specific angle connected to the radiator.
Current radiators attach the valves at the lower end on opposite sides while the older versions attach the valves.
The valves’ installation differs depending on the type of radiator it is connected to—the most at both the top and the bottom end of the radiator.
Other models attach the valves all on the same side of the radiator.
In the installation and fixing of a valve, for you to pick the right type of valve.
You have to consider the position of the pipe, how it connects to the radiator, and the position from which it gets into the valve.
Anyway, this depends on how the pipes in the main chamber are connected.
The most often used diameter length for a pipe is 15mm. Most valves fit well into this size of the pipe. This is just for most modern homes in the older building.
However, there are older valves with different sizes and will need a unique pipe size.
Because of this, it necessary to find out the type and model of your radiators and valves before acquiring a new connecter for your valves.
What Is The History Of Radiators?
Radiators started as mere heating appliances. Denison Olmstead, in 1834 is considered to be the pioneer of the very first form of the radiator.
This consisted of a stove that had a heat exchanger fixed to it to radiate heat. Later on, in 1855, Franz Sann Galli invented the first efficient heating radiator.
Companies in the US then started manufacturing cast iron radiators to replace the older steel designs.
This broadened the radiators’ market range since the costs were lower, and they proved to be more efficient.
How Do You Measure The Heat Output Of A Radiator?
In any given building, there is a specific amount of heat that is needed. Some building requires a lot of heat while others require just a little.
This depends on the size of the building, the building’s location, what materials the building is made of, or the purpose of the building.
Too much heat may cause overheating of the radiator, and less heat may cause undesirable effects.
For this reason, it is essential to consider how much heat is required for your building before purchasing and installing a radiator.
The heat output of a radiator is measured using British Thermal Units commonly written as (BTI)
This can be defined as the energy it requires to increase one pound of water by a degree.
An online BTU calculator has been a beneficial tool used in calculating how much heat output you need for your building.
Once you key in the necessary information concerning your building or home, the BTU calculator will direct your n how much BTU output is ideal for your home.
This is the most crucial step in selecting the most appropriate radiator size.
How Do You Control The Heating Levels Of A Radiator?
Besides the boiler, the heating controls are also major factors that affect the heating levels of the radiator.
The thermostat, because it is directly connected to the central heating system, also performs a major function in controlling the heating levels in a room.
The thermostat is often connected to the central heating system and is used to control the general heating for the whole room or building.
The thermostat is always just one somewhere in the center of the room or building.
All you have to do is alter a few settings on the thermoset, which will change the heat output to the general building.
The older versions are manual and use a dialing system to make changes to the heat output.
This makes them much easier to operate, unlike the modern versions, which are way more complex though pretty straightforward.
Currently, radiators come with the possibility of installing another thermostat or more to control individual rooms’ temperatures separately.
Thermostats work by regulating heat output from the main boiler directly, which makes it able to control the heating of the whole building.
It also can turn off and power on the boiler.
Radiator valves, on the other hand, regulate heat flow from the radiators, so when
installing a thermostat for a specific room, you can fix the thermostat together with a TRV as they both complement one another.
Smart thermostats are still fresh in the market. They use smart technology in which you can connect it to your phone and thus controlling the heating levels all from your phone.
Besides, it can also connect with other devices for better and much easier control.
Using the latest AI technology, the smart thermostats can monitor your daily routine and lifestyle then incorporate it into the system such that t automatically control the heating levels of your home.
This, in turn, is very economical since you don’t have to switch on and off the boiler repeatedly.
What Are The Applications Of Radiators?
The hot water radiator consists of a hollow metal that is sealed and filled with hot water. It is filled using a pressure pump mechanism, gravity force, or convection.
During the heating process, once the hot water cools, it runs through the pipes to the lower ends of the radiator, where it is forced out to the other end of the radiator.
Because of this, anti-hammer instruments are fixed on the radiator to shield the radiation pipes.
These have replaced the older models of iron radiators.
They are often used in modern construction, and they entail copper tubes with a film of aluminum—the aluminum films aid in increasing the total surface area.
Conduction is then used to distribute heat into the metal radiators from the hot water.
This works by distributing hot air from the hot water pipes through convection across the whole room.
Once cool air settles at the bottom of the room, it is discharged upwards as it passes through the radiator fins.
The process is repeated continuously to maintain the balance in heat in the room.
The steam moves easily on its own without any application of pressure. This makes it able to move easily through the pipes.
Because of this, they were common before the invention of electric motors or pumps. The major disadvantage is that steam loses so much heat during distribution hence a lot of wastage.
This makes it less effective despite its easy distribution.
Similarly, steam can condense in the pipes to create an irritating banging sound (steam hammer).
This happens when steam is condensed from picks water and throws it into the piping system with high pressure.
The strain caused on the pipes from this action reduces the durability of the pipes.
Fan-assisted heat exchanger
The fan-assisted heat exchanger works by receiving hot water from the heating system. It has a thermostatic switch which powers an electric fan.
The electric fan, in return, blows hot air on top [ of the heat exchanger, which is thus circulated evenly across the room.
It’s effective in that it distributes heat evenly, and it is small in size.
On the contrary, it requires a different heat source from the main electricity supply, and the fan also produces a noisy sound.
An array of pipes is connected under the floor to rise upwards, thereby causing a heating effect to the room.
For this to work effectively, the floor has to be made of materials that can conduct heat.
This method, though, is very expensive to install and also more difficult when fixing in case of glitches.
Radiators are fixed within skirting boards, and hot water is distributed directly from the central heating system into the pipes.
How Are Radiators Cleaned?
For durability and efficiency of the radiators.
They need constant cleaning as water flows through the pipes or steam gets distributed across the piping channels.
There is a chance of collecting dust and dirt particles, which may block the free flow of air along the piping channels.
When dust or dirt particles clog on the radiator plates or fins, the pipes get insulated and thus blocking air heat circulation by convection.
What Do You Do To Ensure The Radiators Stay Clean?
Make sure the radiators are wiped constantly, probably every week, to keep away dirt or even clean dirt that was already clogged up inside.
You can use plain water or a little solution of soap to do away with stubborn stains. Dirty radiators can become costly in fixing, thus another reason to ensure they stay clean.
What Are The Different Types Of Radiators?
Metal columns are used to give out an older look but with much better effectiveness. These radiators are popular for their excellent heat output.
They have varying shapes, colors, and sizes. They exist in two models;
Double column design
Triple column design
Due to their magnificent design, they have become so popular.
Compact radiators transfer heat through the use of fins and are much smaller in size compared to the column radiators. They come in two different designs;
Single panel radiator
Double panel radiator
The single panel radiator is small and occupies a little space. However, it produces less heat.
The double panel radiator, on the other hand, is huge, and because of this, it produces much more heat. It, however, requires more space to install.
These radiators are more common in small rooms. They have a unique design in which it stands vertically or horizontally such that it is long but occupies very little space.
This is where we have the vertical and horizontal radiators.
A towel radiator operates just like a flat panel radiator in that it can not only be “wet” powered but can also be powered by electricity.
As the name suggests, these radiators are often used in bathrooms.
The towel radiator not only heats the bathroom but also allows for the drying of wet clothes inside the bathroom.
Since they have a lot of water access, which can affect them, they are mostly made of stainless steel.
What Are Vertical radiators?
Vertical radiators are not much different from other radiators. They use a convection mechanism to distribute heat and have the same components in them, just as every other radiator.
The major difference between them is their unique design. They are considered to be of an ore superior design to their counterpart, the horizontal design radiators.
The vertical radiators exhibit a tall slim structure efficient for modern homes because they occupy such a small space in the room.
Do Vertical Radiators Give Enough Heat?
Because of their shape and small size, people tend to think that they produce a lesser heat output than other radiators. This is not true.
The only aspect that differentiates the vertical radiator from different types is the vertical shape.
The shape has got nothing to do with the amount of heat output released into the room.
These radiators, when measured using a BTU calculator, produce just the same amount of BTU as other radiators because they use just the same heating mechanism, only in a compact, elegant structure.
Besides, there isn’t any heat lost at the top; therefore, vertical radiators produce enough heat.
As home designs are improving, their demand is on a constant rise. with the vertical design.
You can achieve not just space and style but also efficiency in the heating system for your home.
More about vertical radiators
The vertical designs have fewer pipes fitted to them but are longer running across the wall than along.
Vertical radiators also come in different styles, including the mirrored version and the back in black design.
In the mirrored version, the heating piping of the radiator frames the mirror. This, in turn, produces an excellent appearance.
The back in black design, on the other hand, matches well with darkly decorated homes.
Vertical radiators are also very flexible and can probably fit into any space.
Other benefits include a Great variety of styles. Since they are versatile, they are produced in so many styles where an individual can choose from whichever feels ideal.
They can be easily bent to meet your interior design needs. This makes them fit perfectly into homes, offices, and other buildings.
Acquire vertical radiators, install and enjoy warm, comfortable rooms.