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Improving Steam Radiators

I have single pipe steam radiators that I am having refurbished. While they are out, I want to install some reflective materials on the wall behind the radiators to help with radiant heat into the room (versus warming the outside wall).

What material should I use? I have seen using some unpainted sheet metal as well as some ISO board w/ a reflective coating.
Also, is this worth the effort?


Re: Improving Steam Radiators

Yes, any reflective material will reflect a lot of the radiator's heat so more of it gets into the room.

I like the idea of using ISO board.

I suppose it has to be balanced with maintaining a good appearance in the room.

There are 2 ways a radiator emits heat into a room:1) by convective heat, where the hot surface of the rad sets up circular air currants to naturally distribute heat throughout the room; 2) by radiant heat, where the rad's radiant wavelengths are emitted (much like the sun's rays) until they strike something & give up their heat.

The radiant portion has the ability to be reflected back into the room.

These are very popular in the U.K., where they claim 70% of the back side of the rad's heat is wasted thru the wall without a reflective panel.

They are making them over there with heavy duty aluminum foil wrapped around cardboard & pasting them to the wall.

Google "radiator reflective panel" for numerous sites.


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