In your home you may have a quaint old chair that has been left to you by your grandmother. It probably is not very comfortable but you like it for sentimental reasons. Also, if you took it down to the Antiques Roadshow it may be worth a few quid.
You may also have a few old radiators in your home that are antiques as well. Like the chair they may not be able to their job very well but these old things probably need replacing. It all comes down to fins.
As welding techniques improved in the 1980s radiator manufacturers started to add convector fins to radiators. A modern radiator will have fins on the back. This does not mean they can swim but the fins increase the surface area available for giving off heat.
25 million radiators
Research from the Manufacturers’ Association of Radiators and Convectors (MARC) calculates that nearly 5 million homes are using finless products, which can dramatically affect the energy efficiency of your radiator. That means there are roughly 25 million radiators out there that are working inefficiently.
If you have a vertical radiator or a designer radiator you can probably be guaranteed that it has been built to perform at modern standards of efficiency. However, if you are still using the radiators that were installed back in the heady days of the 1970s then chances are your radiators do not have fins.
Because the convectors allow the radiators to emit a greater amount of heat it means that the boiler can operate more efficiently. This will make your home a greener and cheaper place to heat as a more efficient system should use less fuel.
For instance, a single panel radiator which is 300mm high which is finless will give an output of 483 (W/m) whereas a finned panel radiator of the same size gives an output of 541 (W/m). This represents a vast improvement in performance which makes a big difference to the environment and people’s pockets.
The green deal
At the moment the government’s green deal is focusing on insulation and keeping the heat that your column radiators are churning out in your home. Yet by replacing a few old radiators homes can be made more energy efficient as well.
As MARC chairman John Colling said as they produced the report, “While the Green Deal focuses on other product areas, radiators are still as efficient, if not more so, than other emitters on the market, and, with these products already installed in 23.6 million…homes in the UK, changing them and making a difference to the environment could not be easier or cheaper.”
By simply changing an old radiator you can make a big difference to your bills and help to save the planet. In the same way that you threw out those old flares a few years ago you can replace your old radiators with sleek and efficient designer radiators that will keep you fashionable.
It is strange that your grandmother’s chair which has past its sell by date can be become an antique and yet other things simply have to be thrown on the scrapheap.