Radiator Heat Reflectors???

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Natalie Schrimpf
Posts: 26
Joined: Tue Sep 27, 2005 8:44 pm
Location: Lakewood, OH

Radiator Heat Reflectors???

Postby Natalie Schrimpf » Wed Aug 08, 2007 10:46 pm

In my endless (and what seems like futile) personal quest to save money on my upcoming hideous winter natural gas heating bill for my 101-year-old home, I've been browsing the internet for new suggestions.

I would love to be able to buy a new boiler (mine is a gravity-based one from the 1960s I think), install new energy-efficient yet architecturally-sensitive windows (and we do have a lot of windows!), but my "problem" is that I have a family who actually needs to eat and live, and we're on a -- dare I say the word -- "budget."

I've tried to become rather creative in conserving energy, but am always seeking new ideas that I can actually accomplish. Today I stumbled upon a new term which caught my eye -- RADIATOR HEAT REFLECTORS.

Apparently, a substantial amount of heat from radiators is directed to the outside wall. (I cannot believe that I never thought of this one before!) This relflector, placed behind the radiator, supposedly directs the mis-guided heat either back into the room or toward the radiator itself, thereby reducing heat escaping to the outdoors.

This is quite interesting. And I'm anxious to try this!

Does anyone currently use these in their homes, and if so, do they really work?

And does anyone know where I can purchase this and what the price range is?

Looking forward to a warmer, more energy-efficient, money-saving winter ahead! (So sorry, Dominion East Ohio Gas).

P.S. -- does anyone out there think it will ever be possible to install photovoltaic solar panels on a 3-story century home in Lakewood? (I can only dream! . . . )

Stan Austin
Posts: 2384
Joined: Tue Mar 15, 2005 12:02 pm

Postby Stan Austin » Thu Aug 09, 2007 1:58 am

Natalie--- I don't think what you have described would be helpful. Radiators provide radiant or generalized heat. If you had a reflective heater like small electric units then having a reflector as most of them do is important.

For radiators, covers of different styles and materials can be used but that is mostly for decorative purposes.

But, if you still want to give it a try and do it really easily and cheaply try this. Go to Lakewood Hardware or Home Depot and buy a sheet of metal of slightly smaller dimension than a radiator and simply place it behind the unit. If it's slightly smaller then it shouldn't be all that noticeable.

Stan Austin

dl meckes
Posts: 1466
Joined: Mon Mar 07, 2005 6:29 pm
Location: Lakewood

Postby dl meckes » Thu Aug 09, 2007 9:35 am

As much as I love radiator covers, anything on top of the radiator can block the heat, making the radiator less efficient. I don't know whether or not you use radiator covers (and I know that Stan has made really lovely covers) but they really impede heat circulation.

I think Stan's suggestion is a good, inexpensive way to test an idea (try it in the bathroom - especially if you have a small bathroom - for the greatest potential effect).

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