Heating 101 – Radiator Insulation

Adding insulation to your radiators can save you a lot of money on your energy bills. Approximately 25% of the heat produced by a radiator without insulation is lost through the wall of the house. This heat goes out into the atmosphere rather than working to make your home warmer and cosier. Adding reflective foil behind the radiator prevents this heat from escaping by reflecting it back into the room. As a result, the room stays warmer, so your central heating system does not have to work as hard to bring the temperature up to the comfortable level.

Benefits of Radiator Insulation:

  • Heat is given out from heaters in the form of invisible infra-red radiation, which travels outwards from any hot surface in all directions. Unfortunately, 50% of this radiation naturally travels towards the wall, which it passes through and is lost. The reflective surface of radiator insulation stops infra-red radiation in its tracks and reflects it back into the room, where it is useful.
  • Heat is not only transported in the form of radiation: it can also be passed from one hot material to a cooler one if they are in contact, through a process called conduction. Foam-backed insulation offers the additional benefit of reducing the conduction of heat towards the wall. This effect works because the foam is more resistant to conduction than the air that fills the space when there is no insulation present.
  • It is easy to fit insulation behind the radiators in your home. You simply need to buy a roll of insulating material from your favourite DIY supplier, cut the material to size using scissors or a utility knife, and fix it in place using wallpaper paste or double-sided sticky plastic strips. This is a simple process that requires very few tools, and it should be within the capabilities of most homeowners. Unlike other forms of insulation for the walls of your home, such as cavity wall insulation, fitting insulating foil does not require building work to be carried out on your home.
  • Fitting insulation reduces the amount of money that you spend heating your home. It is estimated that fitting insulation can increase the amount of heat that stays within the walls of your house by up to one third. Your home will be cosier, and your boiler will not need to work as hard to keep your home at the temperature set by the thermostat.
  • Insulation not only saves you money, it is also a small step towards saving the planet from the dangers of climate change. Whether you use electricity or gas to heat the water that runs through your central heating system, saving energy will reduce your carbon footprint. With global warming becoming an ever more serious problem, it is essential that we all play our part in making our homes more energy efficient. Fitting insulation is one of the most cost-effective ways of reducing the amount of energy that you use in your home.

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