Why it's time to upgrade your rads if they are over 15 years old

In this modern world of energy efficiency targets and rising energy bills, quality radiators and heated towel rails are becoming increasingly important in efficient central heating systems. This means that people are starting to realise that if they have radiators that were installed before the turn of the century, it is now the time to start replacing them.

In the last 15 years, radiator technology has improved significantly resulting in homes that were much more energy efficient than they were previously. Modern rads are now smaller than their elderly predecessors, yet are able to emit just as much heat, if not more, with less energy expended. Today’s rads are much more efficiently designed, with better internal water channeling, which results in the hot water coming into contact with more of the radiator metal, but with much less water required.

If people need to install a new boiler, it’s now increasingly recommended to also upgrade the radiators if they were installed before 2000. While having a new efficient boiler to replace an old inefficient or broken down one, it’s impact on heating bills will not be seen through to it’s full potential if it is having to pump water through old, dirty and inefficient radiators. Heating installers will now likely recommend to the homeowner that it is worth the extra investment of a full set of radiators if a new combi boiler is being put in.

One of the common issues with old radiators is corrosion on the inside. When water runs through the boiler, pipework and rads, it can react with the metal which, over time, can cause small flakes of metal to break off into the water. These small flakes of metal tend to come to rest in the bottoms of radiators, causing radiator sludge and the associated side effects that come with it - rads cold patches, lukewarm rads and generally higher heating bills because of the system having to work harder to keep the home warm.

We always recommend the use of a chemical inhibitor within your heating system to help prevent the nasty effects of internal corrosion, however, if you have neglected your heating system, you may find it’s best to start again and install brand new radiators and adding inhibitor every 6 months to one year. Additionally, if you have recently moved into a new house, you cannot know the home’s history. so you may need to have the system powerflushed or you may wish to rip everything out and start again.

It may not only be for energy efficiency reasons that you want to install new radiators. Let’s not forget that modern radiators are much more attractive than the uninspiring white blocks of years gone by. Any interior design plan incorporates stylish radiators into the mix as they have become an integral focal point of any room. Even the basic-model panel radiators are stylish, with slim bodies, rounded edges and high quality finishes.

Vertical radiators have grown in popularity in recent years and have been cleverly marketed by manufacturers as the answer for those who have limited horizontal wall space. The modern vertical radiator takes advantage of vertical space and kicks out just as much heat as it’s horizontal counterparts.

For those with period properties who are trying to maintain an air of tradition, yet incorporating the benefits of modern efficiency, there are the classic column radiators, which come in a range of styles and sizes and look great in any setting without putting a huge dent in your wallet.

In the bathroom, the chrome heated towel rail has remained a firm favourite, yet it is being quickly caught up by rails with a black or anthracite finish. The reason for this is mainly aesthetic, with many liking their rails to have a darker look to them, however it’s also been realised that towel warmers with a painted finish actually give off more heat than the chrome plated ones.

So, if you do have a home with radiators that need to be pensioned off and let go, there is a huge choice available for you to choose from. Whatever size, style, colour or finish you desire, there will be a radiator to match your requirements. Not only will they look better than your existing rads, but they will also perform better, putting out more heat, using less water and helping to lower your heating bills!

Our full range of radiators and towel rails are available at TradeRadiators.com

Article by Benjamin Clarke

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