Central Heating Radiators and Efficiency

Central heating radiators are used to distribute heat in a central heating system. Central heating is the most popular form of heating in the UK and is used in the United States and other locations as well depending on the climate. If central heating is the most suitable choice for your locale, then it is useful to know what makes central heating radiators efficient in general, how to improve on their efficiency even more and how to balance radiators in a central heating system for maximum efficiency of your system.

What makes central heating radiators efficient?

Central heating radiators are more efficient than other radiator types because their heat output is much greater.  Greater heat output from the same device means that you get more bang for your buck. Since heating is required on a regular basis in the winter months, the fact that a traditional radiator such as a central heating radiator produces more heat for the same price as other types of radiators will save you a lot of money.

How to further increase the efficiency of central heating radiators

Although this sounds counter intuitive, one way of further increasing the efficiency of your central heating system and save money is to actually add the amount of central heating radiators that you have in your home. The reasoning behind this is that most home boilers have a heating capacity that supersedes the needs of the home. When you only have a few radiators in the home, water gets channeled to those radiators and is swiftly returned to the boiler which tries to re-heat it before returning it again to the same few radiators. This means the boiler is reheating hot water which is very wasteful. If the number of radiators in your system equals the power capacity of the boiler than when water completes the entire cycle it will have sufficently cooled down and the boiler will be heating up cold water and not wasting energy on trying to heat hot water.

Balancing Central Heating Radiators

Not only do you need to have enough radiators in your central heating system to make it run efficiently, the distribution of water through the system needs to be even as well. What this means is that you want to make sure that the hot water is evenly distributed to all the radiators in your home. Since radiators produce heat as a result of hot water pumped through a system of pipes, radiators that are closest in the system to the boiler tend to get a disproprotionate amount of the system’s hot water. Your first line of defense to balance this out is to use locksheild valves on the radiators. What these valves do is restrict water to some radiators while allowing more hot water to reach other radiators. The idea is similar to closing the vents in some rooms on a central air conditioning system forcing the cold air into other rooms that need it more. You will need to play with the valves to achieve an even distribtuion of water and a proper balancing of the system. Pipe thermostats will further help achieve this goal.

Evaluating your central heating systems for the right type of radiators, the right number of radiators and the right balance of those central heating radiators will result in the most efficient use of your central heating systems and substantial savings of energy bills.