Do Radiator Covers affect Heat Efficiency Output ?

We have manufactured and installed thousands of radiator covers over the years and we have never had a complaint that a radiator cabinet restricts the heat output from a radiator ! we have installed radiator covers also in our homes as a test samples to see if this is true and from our own personal opinion they do not alter the output efficiency in any way.

We Recommend that designed correctly with sufficient air space left around the radiator to allow adequate breathing space, the result does promote a convected heat in to the room which makes for a more comfortable environment.

we recommend that the airspaces are to be a minimum of 40mm extra on the width, 30mm on the height and 20mm on the depth to allow normal radiator output, making these air spaces larger will not aid the output nor will reducing them very slightly hinder the output as the heat will always find a means of escape into the room, The ventilation apertures we have incorporated into our radiator cabinet designs allow for a good size lower cold air intake and a high level warm air out put aperture, there is also a small amount of heat which radiates forwards directly into the room which passes through the many grille design choices we have available.

We also have been asked the question in the past ‘what effect does putting the thermostat room valve (TRV) inside the radiator cabinet have?’ we have found very little if no effect at all- you may need to make a slight adjustment when the radiator cover is installed to find a balance back to normal.

we also supply ‘Heat Keepers‘ which are a heat reflective panel with a specific design feature to increase convection and aids air flow of the warm air upwards and forwards

These panels can be secured behind the radiator to reduce the amount of heat being lost in to the wall to the rear of the radiator and promote efficiency and heat loss.

The link below and the text is a passage taken from ‘The Telegraph’ online news paper asking the very question.

Link to the extract:  ‘The Telegraph’

RADIATOR COVERS

What are your views on fitting radiator covers? I would like to do so from the aesthetic point of view, but am concerned about what the impact might be on the heating efficiency.

PV, Douglas, Isle of Man

AIf properly designed, with large air gaps at high and low level, a radiator cover should not interfere with the heat transfer from the radiator to the room, as there will be a flue effect of air being drawn through it. But a poorly designed or DIY radiator cover, relying only on the perforations in a sheet of decorative MDF or hardboard, might not work so well.