Where is the best place for me to put a radiator?
Tests prove that radiators perform best in the coldest part of a room. This is often near the windows. However, with all the sizes and shapes available, you have the design freedom to co-ordinate the best possible options to suit your home.
How do I select the correct sized radiator for a room?
Why are there cold spots in my radiators?
These can be caused by any of the following:
Why can I hear sounds in my radiators?
This is common in winter when temperatures outside drop to freezing. A radiator that is not protected against frost inside can freeze. This doesn't only happen in houses still being built, it can also happen in houses that are already inhabited.
How and why do radiators freeze?
Household spaces that, in the winter, are either never or rarely heated are called "risk spaces". Examples include: verandas; garages; spare bedrooms; attics; cellars; halls; storage spaces; washing spaces and even living rooms that are not heated in the winter for budgetary reasons. (PURMO's service department has never encountered a frozen radiator in a kitchen or bathroom.)
If these spaces are not heated, the temperatures fall below freezing point and the water inside the radiator turns to ice, causing the radiator to crack, or even explode because of the enormous pressure of the frozen and expanded water (ice). This can lead to the radiator being ruined and needing to be replaced. If thawing takes place, water will spout out of the radiator causing a great deal of damage.
How can frozen radiators be avoided?
How can I prove that a radiator has frozen?
Nearly all people suffering a frozen radiator do not agree with the diagnosis. Often, the customer incorrectly believes that the temperature in the room did not fall to below freezing point because a) he trusts his room thermostat, or b) claims that because the other rooms are heated it is not possible for anywhere else in his house to freeze.
There are, of course, ways to prove that a radiator has indeed frozen:
There is no doubt that a radiator which displays this degree of deformity has frozen. The pressure exerted on a radiator when freezing takes place is +/- 20 bar. PURMO conducts regular tests on radiators to test their pressure resistance. At +/- 20 bar (the normal test pressure for all radiators amounts to 8 bar, and the guaranteed working pressure is 6 bar) the radiator will start to display exactly the same characteristics as a frozen radiator. This pressure cannot be caused by the central heating water itself, the poor quality of the steel or by another manufacturing fault.
A frozen radiator is always a minor disaster for the customer as they are responsible for the water damage and must pay the costs themselves. It is therefore understandable that they will argue against the conclusion that the radiator froze. Unfortunately, this brings a climate of dissatisfaction and bad publicity for the radiator. Therefore, to prevent such negative occurrences, all the necessary measures need to be taken before and during installation, the customer is also to be informed about the consequences of spaces that are barely heated or not at all.
When do I need to use Low Surface Temperature radiators?
LST radiators are an ideal choice wherever high efficiency heating is required, yet where safety demands a low surface temperature, ie. where people may injure themselves if left in contact with a standard radiator. The PURMO Safety Radiator never runs above a maximum 43°C and is ideal for hospitals, nurseries and residential homes, as well as children's bedrooms.
What is the difference between a direct and an indirect system?
A direct system is one where the tap water actually mixes with the water in the radiators. An indirect system separates the tap water from the radiator water, and can also be called a "closed" system. PURMO radiators can only be fitted to an indirect system.
Why do I need to bleed my radiators, how do I do it, and when is the best time of year to do so? (Applicable to vented systems only)
You need to bleed your radiators in order for them to stay efficient. When the weather is warmer, this is the ideal time to think about this very necessary, if mundane task, to ensure you won't be left in the cold next winter. Over time, air builds up inside a heating system, and creates a bubble inside the pipes, blocking the flow of hot water that keeps radiators warm. This trapped air makes radiators inefficient, so unless you feel like bringing a touch of winter indoors, it pays to periodically 'bleed' your radiators and towel warmers.
If you're a complete novice at this, here is a five-step guide:
Can I curve or bend radiators to fit into a bay window?
PURMO Column radiators can be curved to fit most applications or alternatively, use smaller radiators to make up the total length of the bay. We do not recommend curving or angling standard Compact radiators.
What are the benefits of a 'clean-air system'?
Stuffy rooms without proper ventilation can be a breeding ground for toxic mould, which can lead to a number of allergic reactions including asthma. As we spend the majority of our time indoors, it is vital that heating methods are improved in order to ensure a healthier living environment. If opening a window to let fresh air in is not an option, then installing a clean-air ventilation system is an alternative way to improve air quality, while heating the home at the same time.
These devices are designed to look like a normal panel radiator, but also deliver filtered and heated fresh air directly from outdoors. The 'used' air is extracted through an exhaust air vent and fan, creating the suction needed to circulate the clean air throughout the room.
Such an air system can also have a positive affect on damp problems within homes. Excess moisture in the internal airspace can lead to ceiling and wall damp, and the steady degradation of the building itself. With an air ventilation system, the damp caused by condensation is either removed or reduced, and the air is dryer and cleaner. Moisture damage to our homes can be costly, but an air ventilation system which prevents or lessens the consequences of damp is a sensible investment for the future. These clean-air systems are also suitable for commercial premises because, due to ventilation being demand controlled, they are extremely energy efficient.
The PURMO Air radiator is a proven cost effective solution in Finland, with issues of mould growth and airborne bacteria now resolved across the country.
Will old twin entry radiator valves fit new radiators?
These older valves are identified by having both pipe connections in one radiator valve at one side of the radiator. They are not suitable for modern radiators. If new radiators are being fitted, it may be advisable to also renew the radiator valves.
What is the benefit of fitting a thermostatic radiator valve to the radiator?
The fitting of a thermostatic radiator valve (TRV) to a radiator gives room temperature comfort control and can help to avoid overheating if a radiator is too large for the room. This piece of equipment provides an extra fine tuning control to central heating, by allowing individual room temperatures to be maintained by sensing room temperature and automatically adjusting the flow of hot water into the radiator. Much a designer item as a functional control; the right valve will give that perfect finishing touch for a modern or traditional scheme. Beware of shielding TRVs with drapes or furniture, as the valve will not be in a position to efficiently measure the room temperature. If trapped in a warm spot, it can cause the radiator to shut down too soon, resulting in a room temperature below the desired level. Likewise, if a TRV is in a constant cold spot, perhaps being influenced by a draught from doors, windows, airbricks etc, the room may overheat at times. Of course, in an apartment or flat, it is almost impossible to account for a neighbour's over or under heating next door, above or below. This can make a big difference.
I'm fed up of tucking my curtains behind my radiator – what's the solution?
Stylish, floor length curtains are an aspiration that many homeowners have for their living room, but a radiator situated underneath a window can hamper this simple but very complimentary touch. How many of us have to resort to hanging short curtains, or, even worse, tucking our curtains behind our radiator so the heat goes into the room rather than out the window? This can look clumsy and ruin the appearance of the room. However, PURMO's radiators can be fixed to the floor by a bracket, rather than to the wall, enabling curtains to hang neatly behind. This simple alternative can make a big difference in a living room or conservatory.
Can I use my towel warmer in the summer too?
Yes, if you buy a dual fuel unit. This comes with an electric heater kit, so that in the summer when your heating is switched off, the electric element can be used to heat the unit, meaning you can still enjoy the comfort and convenience of warm, dry towels.
How should I position my radiators?
The best place for any radiator is in the coldest part of the room, which is usually under a window. Also, using several small radiators in a large room, rather than one bulky radiator, will ensure better heat distribution.
The physical size of a radiator is also important, as it can affect the balance of a room. There is nothing worse than having a small but high output radiator placed against a large blank wall. In terms of room aesthetics, it is better to pick a larger dimensioned radiator with a lower output per square metre.