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Heat output of new radiators compared with old ones?

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We live in an older house built in about 1910 detached that has no cavity walls (hence we can't insulate) and each winter the house gets very cold despite the central heating being on. We changed the … Read More
firswood Avatar
2y, 6m agoPosted 2 years, 6 months ago
We live in an older house built in about 1910 detached that has no cavity walls (hence we can't insulate) and each winter the house gets very cold despite the central heating being on. We changed the boiler to a good quality one but still used the older styled radiators without fins. Some are large doubles and some are singles but although they feel quite hot to touch the rooms do not warm up well. If we were to change the radiators to modern doubles radiators would we notice an appreciable difference?

Any help or suggestions welcome. Thanks.
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firswood Avatar
2y, 6m agoPosted 2 years, 6 months ago
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#1
You can insulate your external walls, But it's not cheap. Double rads in all rooms are ok if your boiler is big enough.
#2
No not really, loft insulation and foil behind the radiator will help
#3
Simple answer is yes you should however it depends on which radiators you install. This is where it can get complicated because each radiator has its own btu output. It also depends if you are replacing like for like ie double radiator for a double radiator. it may also depend on other factors like the quality of the radiators you are installing. Your old radiators more than likely aren't performing to their potential. You may also get a good enough improvement by cleaning out your existing radiators.
#4
Just because you can't insulate via cavity walls doesn't mean you can't insulate (improve energy efficiency) - there is external and internal insulation options.

I assume you have double/triple glazing and good loft insulation?

Once all the above are done then maybe your radiators will be sufficient but I could be wrong.
#5
#6
Hi,you can get exterior insulation,but if you live in a stone built house you can get Internal insulation,this is government funded,there are grants available.If you or any of your family receive benefits of any kind,you may get insulation free,I've had internal insulation, big thick insulation backed plasterboard,my heating bills are half they were and I can now walk around naked Ha Ha in the freezing Scottish Highlands,hope this helps
#7
Making a room warm is not that simple, firstly check the radiator has been bled of air, then calculate the correct size of radiator for the room, I always go slightly larger as it's easier to turn down a valve than it is to wish you could turn it up. If it's under spec then you're fighting a loosing battle as a radiator gets a certain amount of heat in and can radiate it out, if the radiator is too small then you're stuffed, more fins just make that transfer more efficient with a larger surface area.

Look at the room as a whole, for example laminate flooring might look nice, but it's not warm compared to carpet, if you like laminate consider a large rug. It's the same with wall coverings, bare plaster painted may look good but it's cold, adding wall paper helps, large windows can massively impact the temps in a room, as a cheap option security films that can be added and give much improved thermal performance, adding foils behind the radiator on the wall can also help.

Edited By: Avalon-One on Dec 15, 2014 18:11
#8
Starting a small fire in each room will help. the smoke can be annoying though.
#9
transit
Starting a small fire in each room will help. the smoke can be annoying though.
I think when you're setting your own house on fire it's wise to wait outside oO
#10
Thanks for all the quick responses. Just to cover some points raised:

- the radiators have been bled of air
- we put a device on the systems that is supposed to stop sludge build up
- when we had the boiler fitted the installer said that there was no problem with the radiators for the size of the rooms
- the house is brick built
- we are not on benefits and can't get government grants
- the work & expense of internal insulation would worry me ... anybody actually done this and paid for it themselves?

Can try the foil behind the radiators but a good number are on internal walls and so may not make that much difference.

The only thought I can come up with is trying more modern, heat efficient radiators.
#11
New radiators with fins will make a difference. During mymost recent complete house renovation, my friend who is a plumber begged me not to re-use the old radiators, saying it would be a false economy and modern rads are far more efficient.

He's a good friend and a good plumber so I'm sure what he said is true.

You will need a plumber to calculate the necessary BTU output needed for each room though.
#12
How's your home for condensation? Does it feel damp?
Taking moisture out the air will help.
#13
firswood
Thanks for all the quick responses. Just to cover some points raised:

- the radiators have been bled of air
- we put a device on the systems that is supposed to stop sludge build up
- when we had the boiler fitted the installer said that there was no problem with the radiators for the size of the rooms
- the house is brick built
- we are not on benefits and can't get government grants
- the work & expense of internal insulation would worry me ... anybody actually done this and paid for it themselves?

Can try the foil behind the radiators but a good number are on internal walls and so may not make that much difference.

The only thought I can come up with is trying more modern, heat efficient radiators.

You don't have to be on benefits to get help with "greener homes". It's a government funded subsidy to reduce energy consumption and thereby reduce our carbon footprint. Talk to your energy supplier and if they aren't helpful go slap them with a mouldy wet kipper the google "greener energy grants

If it's too expensive even with the grants - look at just doing the main rooms downstairs with internal thermal cladding (like plaster boards or removing current plaster adding beading and insulation then adding plasterboard on top)

Heat rises and if you improve energy efficiency down stairs this will allow heat to rise....just my opinion based on logic
#14
p.s. I also find that with government initiatives they always say that you have to use "approved installers" .... who tend to charge considerably more than you may be able to find locally to do the same job. This makes any financial benefit disappear.
#15
Done some of mine last winter, I went for doubles with the heat convectors where they were singles. I also where I could get away with it increased the height of the rads by a 100ml. It helped a lot and the house is much warmer.

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