Are cast iron radiators as efficient as modern radiators?
A common question we get from our customers is how cast iron rads, which are usually viewed as more ‘traditional’, compare with their more modern counterparts. We’ll explore this issue in this article.
Generally, a cast iron radiator has a greater internal volume than a more modern flat panel radiator. This means that although initially the boiler has to work harder to heat up a cast iron radiator, this is offset by the fact that the thick cast iron gives an extended heating time.
In practical terms, it takes longer for a cast iron rad to heat up, but takes much longer for it to cool down, resulting in it staying hot for longer. Therefore, it could be said that the efficiencies of both types of radiator are very similar.
Most modern radiators, whether made of cast iron, thin steel or aluminium are made with energy efficiency at the forefront of their design, so whichever material you choose, you’re very unlikely to choose a radiator that will cause your heating bills to sky-rocket.
When thinking about making your home more energy efficient, it’s actually more useful to look at other components of your heating system rather than the radiators themselves. Installing a modern boiler, or at least getting your existing boiler serviced once per year will have a huge impact on heating costs. Likewise, installing thermostatic radiator valves will help to stop wasteful heating, as will using a temperature control and timer, to ensure that heating is only on when you want it to be.
So, when choosing a radiator, please remember that they are just a small part of your overall heating system and make sure that you’re not overlooking any other areas that could be improved, which may have an even greater impact on lowering your heating bills.
Article by Benjamin Clarke