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Question about radiator covers

Sweet_Lew Member Posts: 116

What are the main benefits of radiator covers? Are they more form over function or do they server a bigger purpose? I know some come with a humidifier pan on top, but I could just get pans and hang them off the back. Is it worth the $$$$ to pick some up? Found a site that makes them for $100+ each depending on the size.




  • Radiator Covers

    They are used to hide the "ugly" radiators and some people get them to keep their kids from getting burnt. 

    A well designed cover will decrease heat output by 15%.  Make sure they have plenty of air openings, low to allow cold air in and high to allow heated air out.
    Often wrong, never in doubt.
  • Brad White
    Brad White Member Posts: 2,393
    Under Cover

    If you play it right, a cover can increase capacity. Specifically a cover with an open toe-space and open top but solid front, creates a chimney effect which increases overall output by about 10 percent. You lose the true "radiant" effect, but the added convection more than makes up for that.

    Covers with closed tops and bottoms but open screened faces are rather "ambivalent"; the heat just cannot get motivated and becomes a moody teenager. You can lose 30% this way.

    As for humidifiers, the older ones sometimes had long "slipper" pans which inserted from the ends between the tubes. These were made of copper, a natural biocide and of course did not rust. You do not need covers to humidify unless the radiator has a rounded top.

    Personally, I love radiators and remove covers whenever I can. Let them glow! And if kids get burned, just say, "Don't do that.".

    My $0.02

    "If you do not know the answer, say, "I do not know the answer", and you will be correct!"

    -Ernie White, my Dad
  • Sweet_Lew
    Sweet_Lew Member Posts: 116
    Thanks Brad!

    I actually just ordered some of those slipper humidifier pans. Unfortunately, they are made from galvanized steel, but that was all I could find. I'll post up how they are working when it gets colder here.
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