If you are feeling comfortable and cosy when you are at home despite the temperature freezing cold outside, it is due to the home radiator. An understanding of how the radiator heater works would help heat the surroundings effectively. The radiators draw heat from water or steam, and they use this heat to warm up space within your home. The radiators repeat the cycle of heating the water or steam and passing the hot air to the surroundings. However, it is important to balance your home radiator to ensure optimum efficiency.
Types of home radiators
There are two types of home radiators. They are
- Steam radiators
- Hot water radiators
Working of a steam radiator
The steam radiators are usually connected to a boiler that heats up the water. The water is heated until it turns to steam. The steam produced travels through a vertical pipe to the radiator. Here, the thermal energy would be given off to the surrounding through the fins. The cycle continues to spread heat to the space intended constantly.
Working of water radiators
The water radiator system features an inlet and outlet. The inlet is meant to take in hot water, and the outlet is to let the water out. The heater and pump in the system are connected to the thermostat that controls exactly when the system has to be kicked on to heat up the radiator and hence the surrounding space effectively.
Steps in balancing the radiator
To balance your home radiator means to adjust the water valves to ensure that the radiators in different parts of the home heat up at the same speed. The steps involved include
- Turning off the heating system and letting the radiators to cool down
- Get to know about the valves. You usually have Thermostatic radiator valves TRV attached to the opposite of the lock shield valves LSV. TRV is fitted to the inlet and LSV is fitted to the outlet.
- Open up the valves on all the radiators in your home.
- Check how the system heats up by turning the central heating system on and taking account of the order in which the radiators heat up. The radiator closest to the inlet heats up first.
- Turn off the heating system and wait. This would help you ascertain how heat is flowing through the system and make small adjustments in the valves to balance the flow of water to get the desired effect.
- Check the temperature of the water at the inlet pipe of the water and the outlet pipe of the water to find the temperature of the water. If the temperature drop is greater than 10 degrees Celsius, you can understand that the water is taking too long to travel through the radiator and giving off too much heat to the surrounding space. This is adjusted by opening the valve slightly to let in more water. If the drop in temperature is not enough, you might have to close the valve a bit to prevent water from flowing off quickly.
- Check and make adjustments appropriately.
Why is balancing the radiator important?
Balancing the radiator or the heating system is important because only then you would be able to achieve the expected results- comfortable living space. Unlike the other heating systems such as the forced air systems, the radiators do not have built-in balancing systems. It is good to balance your home radiator at regular intervals to ensure the efficiency of the home radiators.