What Your Parents Never Told You About Radiators

What Your Parents Never Told You About RadiatorsThe heavy steel or cast-iron heating appliance that we know as the common radiator is usually seen a noise-making eyesore. It uses either steam or hot water to provide cozy heating, but they’re known to draw attention as they spit, hiss, and clank through the winter. Although radiators might seem undesirable, they happen to be one of the most durable residential heating options available.

Most homeowners do not take the time to understand much about them unless it happens to be malfunctioning for some reason. Understanding the different types, how they work, and the advantages of each can help gain additional insight into this type of heating appliance.

Hot Water Radiator

Circulating hot water to efficiently warm the home is a fairly simple design to understand. Basically, water is pumped from the boiler so that it can circulate through the radiator and put off heat. It is able to supply heat as a circulating pump is constantly cycling water in one side of the container and then forced to exit out of the other side as it cools down.

Steam Radiator


steam radiatorEliminating the need for a pump, steam is pressurized enough to flow through a radiator without additional components. Generally speaking, the steam option is usually only found in older buildings because they can be noisy, leaky, and less reliable than hot water. The water in this system is heated by the boiler to convert into steam that enters through a supply valve. A major complaint is the hammering sound that is created when condensation is forcefully pushed by the high pressure steam. It’s also less efficient because it operates at such a high temperature that heat is lost.

If you’re interested in upgrading from an old steam or hot water radiator, have a professional heating contractor take a look at your current appliance. It may be possible to salvage part of the existing system to reduce some of the investment cost. An old water pressure system can also be upgraded to a smaller, more attractive, attractive new radiator if desired. Give us a call so that we can give personalized options based on the needs of your home.


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