Radiator covers are a rarely discussed but popular accessory which help to conceal your radiator and, in some cases, add an extra dimension of usefulness to this part of your heating system.
In this blog, we’ll take a closer look at the top reasons people buy radiator covers – and explore whether they’re worth it.
Should You Buy a Radiator Cover?
There are many reasons why people choose to use a radiator cover, ranging from safety concerns to more aesthetic reasons. Let’s look at some of the key arguments for using this piece of kit.
Radiator covers can help to protect against burns, which is often a key concern amongst homeowners with children. A heated radiator can pose a very real threat if it is touched by a small child.
This appears to be a big problem with steam radiators, which thankfully are rarely a feature of modern-build homes. Many homeowners find a way around the safety concern by installing childproofing features on their radiators, including gates and covers. When you buy radiators online, always consider the safety features which you will need to accompany them.
Radiators are not always aesthetically pleasing, which leads many people to explore options for covering them. Whilst the latest designer radiators are frequently more attractive than their older counterparts, they may still not suit the design of a particular home – so if this sounds like a key concern for your property, then a radiator cover could prove to be a worthwhile investment.
Radiators can be noisy, whether you have installed flat panel radiators or new Reina radiators. This is caused by differing temperatures within the unit and the water heating itself. A little noise is understandable, and while it is by no means the ideal way to deal with such a problem, buying a radiator cover can help lower the volume a little.
It’s worth noting that if noises persist, it could mean it’s time for you to bleed your radiators and release some of the trapped air. In more extreme examples, excess noise could signal a fault with your heating system – so instead of masking it, start looking for a fix.
Radiators are an important piece of household kit, but they can also take up room. This is particularly important in smaller properties, where space is at a premium. If you’re buying trade radiators you may have already experienced a cost saving, but you can help to reclaim some room by either crafting your own radiator cover or buying a design which incorporates added storage or a display area.
However sturdy and secure a radiator may be, it is still apt to breakages if treated in the wrong way. Damage can occur during DIY, or in homes with children – as well as any number of unforeseen incidents which could leave you with serious problems.
Piping and radiator valves are particularly vulnerable, in particular pieces such as the valve head and the radiator’s top grill – so this is another reason some homeowners choose to safeguard theirs with a little extra protection.
Problems with Radiator Covers
Despite these positives, radiator covers are also not without their problems. Here are a few reasons some people take issue with the idea of adding a cover.
1. Energy Efficiency
There is a chance that your radiator could become less energy efficient – and even just generally less efficient at heating your home – if it is partially obscured. Radiators need to be able to ‘breathe’ in order to do their job properly, so radiator covers which block too much of the warmth are essentially simply wasting energy.
Opinions on this matter differ, as some studies suggest that when used properly, a radiator cover might actually help to boost the warmth in your home. Ultimately, it is wise to consider both possibilities before investing in one.
Many homeowners are eager to avoid spending money on added accessories which have little-to-no proven benefit. The added cost of a radiator cover may not seem very appealing, particularly if you’re eager to stick to a budget.
There are ways around this factor, including constructing your own version – though professional covers are apt to (mostly) be both safer and more effective when you buy radiators with the intent of covering them.
Radiator covers come in a wide variety of different materials, each of which bring different merits (and problems) when it comes to working as an effective shield for your radiator. Before buying one, it is a good idea to carefully research the materials your chosen model will be made from, and gage its overall durability.