Radiators are not commonly used in modern construction. For that reason, if your home uses radiators to disperse heat throughout your home, you may very well have a difficult time caring for them. Still, many prefer to keep their radiators rather than go through costly modifications to their home. Others actually prefer the contemporary look that they give a home, and leave them there for that reason.
Are you having trouble with your radiator, or are you trying to make sure that you don’t experience issues in the future? If you noticed parts of your home feeling too cool during the most recent cold season, you might want to look into the problem to see if it’s something you can repair. The tips below will help you to care for your own home radiator.
You May Need More Pressure
All hot-water radiators have a valve that reduces pressure from the water coming into your home. Obviously, when you’re dealing with hot water, you don’t want to have too much pressure. That could result in a dangerous rupture which could cause severe damage to your home or to someone inside. However, if the pressure is too low, the water won’t be circulated properly in order to disperse heat to the various locations throughout the home.
This pressure-reducing valve should display the pressure that it’s regulating. If you have a one or two story home, you’ll probably need around 12-psi to get the proper amount of water pumped through your home. If you have a larger house, you may need more than that, however. You may want to consult with a plumber on this to be safe.
You May Need to Reposition Your Radiator
When homes are first built a lot of care is taken to ensure that floors and appliances are level. Over time, however, as a home settles, things can change. Radiators with certain designs rely on gravity to keep the system in balance. Hot water rises, and cooler water falls. Where that cold water falls is important, though. If the radiator is sloped the wrong direction, hot water won’t be able to enter the system.
If you see a slight slope on your radiator, you could fix this by sliding a thin piece of wood underneath the end that’s too low. In theory, this will improve efficiency. Whether or not this works will largely depend on the design of the radiator.
Check for Leaks
As was mentioned above, these systems are highly balanced and rely on having appropriate pressure to supply hot water, and then to disperse it throughout your home. If there are any leaks, the pressure will be reduced. When the pressure is reduced, the efficiency of the system is going to decrease, and this can cause significant problems. Supplying more pressure isn’t likely to solve the problem, though. In fact, it could make it worse.
It’s important to check around the home for leaks. Leaks are most likely to come in places where pipes are joined or where there are valves. The first place you should check is the supply valves on each of the radiator units. If the radiator itself has leaks, you will probably need to replace it. It’s still possible to buy replacements of these increasingly uncommon appliances. Even unique needs such as radiators for bay windows are available.