Heating Your Home with Today’s Radiators

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If you are lucky enough to live in a home that is heated by radiators, then you understand about the comfortable warmth they provide during the winter.  Unlike forced hot air systems, radiators don’t blow air at you which feels like a chilly breeze inside your house (in my humble opinion).  I’ve previously written about the merits of efficient radiant floor heating and today I’ll concentrate on the other types of hydronic radiator systems.

  • Buderus Hydronic Systems, of New Hampshire, manufactures a panel-style radiator in which the temperature of each panel can be individually controlled, making them an efficient way to heat only occupied rooms.  These various-sized radiator panels also take up little space allowing for flexible placement of furniture, plus they can even be painted to match the wall color, if desired.  They also operate quietly.  This company also offers luxurious, radiant towel warmers.
  • Runtal Radiator’s factory in Massachusetts produces energy efficient wall and baseboard panels, as well as a wide array of innovative radiant heating products, such as vertical panels, curved panels, and even column radiators.  I am especially intrigued by the design aspects of the column radiators, as they come in many colors and can be used as balustrades (pictured below) or knee walls, and are ideal for floor-to-ceiling applications, such as a warm room divider in an open floor plan.

Now, If you live in an older home with bulky radiators, a quick and easy design fix to disguise them is to cover them with radiator covers.  You can either make them (using sustainably harvested wood or formaldehyde-free MDF) and a mesh metal screen or purchase them.  Be sure to paint them with zero-VOC paints that won’t offgas harmful chemicals into your home.

You can visit your local architectural salvage yard to find old radiators that fit well into older homes.

Tag(s): Energy, Greening the Home


One Response to “Heating Your Home with Today’s Radiators”

  1. kyra gerber on December 7th, 2011 1:10 pm

    We may be updating our home and want to keep radiator heating (as opposed to forced air/gas conversion). However, there are some issues with the location and look of the old bulky rads we have. We are hoping to convert some of them to a more modern version. Is this possible (i.e. some baseboard type, towel warmer for bathroom, moving one from in front of a new sliding door walk out).

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