Aluminium is one of the most abundant metals on earth and, because of its ability to be shaped easily without losing it's strength, in recent times it has become a popular choice in radiator manufacture. In this article, we'll look at the positives and negatives of aluminium radiators and help you decide whether installing one in your home is the right option for you.
The advantages of aluminium radiators
There are a great many reasons why more and more people are choosing to install aluminium radiators in their homes, a few of which we look at below.
An excellent conductor of heat
Aluminium is an excellent thermal conductor and has the ability to heat up very quickly. This is a real positive in a radiator, because it means you it will get up to the desired temperature very quickly, making your room feel warmer faster as a result.
Avoiding the wasted energy of heating an unoccupied room results in less expenditure on gas and electricity. Indeed, studying the BTU or Watt output of the aluminium radiators on our site will show you they are is considerably higher than an iron and steel radiator of similar dimensions. Because aluminium radiators are so quick at getting to the desired temperature, it makes them very suitable for areas of a house that are only used occasionally such as an attic or a conservatory.
Low water content
Because traditional central heating systems rely on water to heat homes, it might seem a bit counter-intuitive to celebrate the fact that aluminium radiators use less water. However, this really is a positive thing.
Because aluminium is such a good conductor of heat, it means that less water is needed to get the room up to temperature. Aluminium is also a very light metal, and has a lower mass when compared to a more traditional radiator material like mild steel.
This all adds up to the fact that your heating system won't be using as much water and your water bills are likely to be lower as a result.
We all need to be aware of our carbon footprint and the impact our choices have on the world, so this is where aluminium radiators really come into their own.
Aluminium is quite simple and economical to recycle and countries across the world are increasingly introducing programmes that rescue scrap aluminium from the home and send them to recycling centres. A large proportion of the aluminium radiators on the market today are manufactured from recycled aluminium, which reduces the plundering of the Earth’s crust and the large financial cost of extracting new aluminium from the ground. It's reassuring to know that after aluminium radiators have come to he end of their natural life, the metal can be repurposed for the benefit of future generations.
The disadvantages of aluminium radiators
While aluminium radiators are overwhelmingly a good way of heating the home, there are a couple of points worth mentioning.
Radiators made from aluminium are a fairly recent innovation and like, anything new, it takes time for materials, supply chains and manufacturing costs to come down to the levels of more well-established methods and techniques. So when looking at aluminium radiators, you may find some prices are slightly higher than their mild steel counterparts.
Of course, you have to offset this initial outlay with the savings you'll make on your monthly heating costs, so in the long run these things tend to even themselves out.
Slightly less choice
In the not-too-distant past, a criticism of aluminium radiators was that there was a severe lack of choice in terms of design, finish and sizes when compared to other types of radiator.
However, as the 'alu-rad' market has opened up and become more mainstream, radiator manufacturers have massively increased their aluminium radiator ranges. There's more choice now than ever before, with the gap between aluminium radiators and other radiator materials getting ever-narrower. This effectively negates the issue that aluminium rads suffered in their infancy and the selection available to you now is absolutely fantastic.
Are aluminium radiators the right choice for your home?
Whether or not you decide to have aluminium radiators installed in your home is purely down to your personal choice. If you like the idea of having a set of environmentally-friendly radiators that can save you money on your monthly energy bills, then you may not be concerned about the possibility of a higher up front cost. If you fall into this category, then take a look at our great range of aluminium rads and you'll surely find something suitable to become a focal point of your room.
If you decide that an aluminium radiator is not for you, then at Trade Radiators we've got you covered with a fantastic range of steel and cast iron alternatives!
View All Our Aluminium Radiators