How much time have you spent thinking about how your radiator looks? I’m not talking about the design of the radiator or where on the wall it hangs, but the bits and bobs that keep it there, and keep it working without any problems.
I’m a bit of a stickler when it comes to the finishing touches on any project. I would be more likely to spend too much obsessing over the handles to kitchen cabinets, or which style of covering works best on light switches (with regards to buying switch covers, trust me when I say it’s a rabbit hole you don’t want to go down).
So how, or why, would someone even care about the accessories and odd bits needed for a radiator? Well, not only will it help with performance and efficiency, but it can also be the difference between a radiator installation looking perfect, and bits sticking out like a sore thumb. Here is how you can get those finishing touches just right, and how easy it can be.
Performance & Efficiency
Radiators are unlike any other functional item in your home in that they need tinkering and monitoring from season to season. You’d never play around with the numbers on the fridge dial to adjust the temperature throughout the year, and everyone has their own particular spot for the shower knob to be ideal. Still, your radiators tend to be the only piece of kit that you adjust throughout the year from room to room.
So how can you finish an installation to make a radiator more efficient? Take a quick look at your valves. Do you have a simple plastic cap on your entry valve? Well, you’re doing yourself a disservice and need to get a thermostatic valve.
Thermostatic valves help regulate temperatures in a room, just like the dial in your fridge cools to a specific level. They can control how much water gets in the radiator, and how hot the room needs to be. If you don’t have them installed, it’s the same as taking money out of your wallet and throwing it straight in the bin.
As something as a valve converter, I implore you to look into getting some, at least in rooms you spend a lot of time like the kitchen and living room. You’ll surprise yourself at how a quick flick of the wrist to turn a valve down a few notches will see you not even notice a change in temperature.
Sticking out like a sore thumb
Are you like me and tend to pick up on things that aren’t looking just right? A bit like a movie that isn’t in the right ratio, a radiator not looking as it should can irk me all too easily. Those of you out there who have mismatching radiators, valves and pipes, please stop!
It’s so easy to overlook, but a mismatched install is like someone wearing odd socks. It’s a bit funky, but it doesn’t fit in at all. You want one of two things with a radiator set-up: either your radiators the same colour as your valves or your valves are the same colour as your pipes (of course, all three can match too). So, if you have a lovely chrome radiator in your living room, it’s only right you have a matching chrome radiator valve to boot.
And if the pipes coming up from the floor have seen better days, go and get yourself some new pipe sleeves. A decent pair usually costs just £10 online, and they pop over your pipes without any problems. Honestly, you can play about with those two bits that attach to the radiator and be surprised by the difference choosing some nice accessories can bring about.
About to start shopping for a new radiator?
Check out this post that looks at Why You Can Never Go Wrong with a Vertical Electric Radiator. Don’t forget you can also keep up to date with all the latest tips on improving your interiors by visiting the living section of the site. Recent articles include advice on moving and how to make your home more relaxing.