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Radiator Covers

HeatingHelp Administrator Posts: 600
edited October 2019 in THE MAIN WALL

Let’s take a look at radiator enclosures. Some people use them because they think old radiators are ugly (I sure don’t). Others use them to protect children from burns (I recall touching a red-hot steam radiator when I was a kid growing up in New York City, but I only touched it once). Still others think that by using an enclosure, they’ll get more heat from the radiator, and this will be true if it’s the right enclosure.

Read the full story here


  • SteamHeat
    SteamHeat Member Posts: 159
    A great review of basic really important info.

    Here are some Questions:

    1. How are the calculations of the ideal enclosure dimensions affected when the radiator is further away or closer to the wall than 2 inches ?

    2. Do reflector boards, (thin wood or cardboard with a foil covering placed in between the back of the radiator and the wall), improve output of the radiator, or are they just a psychological aide?

    3. Would covering part of the grillwork with heat foil tape in the "Add 30%" radiator enclosure, (that so many people have), to create a chimney effect make any significant improvement in the output of the radiator?
  • STEVEusaPA
    STEVEusaPA Member Posts: 6,377
    edited October 2019
    I show that diagram to customers all the time.
    Just got back from Italy and snapped a pic on my iPhone of this one in a mansion converted to an event place in Florence. I have more I took with my good camera.
    (Of course people wonder why I (we) take pictures of this stuff.

  • LynnLennox
    LynnLennox Member Posts: 24
    I thought of getting these covers to hide my rusty old radiators at one point. I'm glad I didn't. When I had the back part of my house renovated 10 years ago, the contractor took my radiators out and had them sandblasted and painted. I believe they used a paint used on cars. They still look pretty good. A little rust and chipping here and there. When I last painted my bedroom, I disconnected and shimmied the radiator to the middle of the room and wire brushed it and spray painted it with a flat paint. Any cautions or comments on painting radiators? Several of mine are pretty unsightly. My house was built in 1858. I raised three kids and now have grandkids running around this old house. No one has every gotten burned. It only takes one touch to figure that out. And I agree, although my radiators are not fancy, I like the looks of them.

    I wish the dead men were still around. I asked about replacing a leaking radiator in a small bedroom the last time someone serviced my oil burner and steam boiler. The technician said he'd locate a radiator for me. Never heard from him again. I was hoping it was just leaking at the connection and that I had not properly connected it when I put it back after painting that wall. But the bottom of the radiator itself has sprung a leak. I am the only 66 year old woman I know with a pipe wrench as big as my toddler grandkids. LOL. Keep the heating stories coming; I get a big kick out of them. They remind me of stories my engineer dad used to tell me during his long career at Con Ed.
  • Shalom
    Shalom Member Posts: 165
    I always wanted to buy the display cribs they have in the baby furniture stores. They take a normal crib and cut out the whole length of it except about a foot, with the two ends. I figured they'd make an ideal radiator cover, the top is open so the heat comes out, and if the bars can keep a baby in they can keep one out as well. Problem is they refuse to sell them to me. Seems they belong to the manufacturer and when they get discontinued they have to send the display back. I still have the two ends of my kids' crib now that they're older, maybe one of these days when I have time I'll build something out of it.