The colder months are coming, and that means it’s time to have your home heating back on frequently.
That means radiators have to start making their usual rumbling noises before they kick into gear again.
If your home relies on traditional heating, and you want to ensure energy (i.e. your bills) isn’t wasted, or you don’t end up with problems that seemingly come out of nowhere, there are radiator mistakes you’ll want to avoid.
This article is going to focus on how to best utilise your radiators in the colder months:
1. Setting Your Radiator Valves to Maximum
While your central thermostat will have a set temperature it is trying to get the house to reach, your radiators all act independently, as they’re trying to heat rooms of varying sizes.
A big mistake people make at this time of year is setting radiator valves to their maximum, when they only need to stay at low levels.
It’s like having a pot of water on the stove. Would you rather have a pot with water which is nicely simmering away to keep something warm, or are you going to crank the hob up and boil away wasting energy?
Play around with your valves by placing them at the lowest possible setting. Try it out for just a day and see if the room feels as warm as you need it to. If it doesn’t turn, the valve up a smidge and try again.
You’ll find that by playing around from room to room, you end up getting a feel on where each radiator needs to be.
If all your radiators are at the same level, and you don’t have identical rooms throughout your home, you’re doing it wrong.
And if you don’t have a clue how much heat a room needs, use a handy heating calculator online. All you need is some measuring tape, and you’re good to go.
2. Drying Clothes Near Your Radiator
A big downside of saying goodbye to the good weather is that washing and drying clothes outside can turn into a gamble.
Everyone loves having fresh-smelling clothes which dried outside. No one likes forgetting they were hanging clothes up when a sudden downpour starts.
If you’re going to be drying clothes indoors, make sure you don’t do so near radiators.
Why can it be a bad thing?
Well, let’s say you had a full load of washing in a small washing machine which takes around a 7kg load. When you pull the load out and hang it up, you’re looking at around 2 litres of water still clinging on to the clothes.
If you were to start drying everything beside a radiator, all that moisture is going to want to be drawn out and towards the nearest cold surface which can take it.
All this results in damp and mold. It’s the reason why the corner right about your bathroom shower is always the first place you’ll see those little damp spots.
If you have to dry clothes indoors, do so in a room where the load is placed away from a radiator, and ideally with a window open to let moisture escape.
3. Overlooking Cold Spots
It is difficult to know if anything is wrong inside a radiator. You can’t just crack it open and have a look inside.
After the first few days of the heating being back on, go around and do a touch test (when the radiator isn’t piping hot) of each radiator.
Pay attention to the bottom and middle. If you notice cold spots, let some air out and check again after a few days.
If it still feels cold, you may have some sludge in there which needs taking out. Best to get it looked at now rather in the middle of winter when there isn’t a plumber available, and radiators start acting up.
Get to Know Your Home Heating
Hopefully these tips can smarten you up to which mistakes to avoid when it comes to your radiators and home heating system.
If you’d like to read more articles like this, check out the HVAC section of the website.