Go Back   DIY Chatroom Home Improvement Forum > Home Improvement > HVAC

CLICK HERE AND JOIN OUR COMMUNITY TODAY...IT'S FREE!

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Old 08-31-2011, 03:39 PM   #1
Newbie
 
Join Date: May 2011
Posts: 21
Share |
Default

Radiator covers


I have a steam heating in my home with large cast-iron radiators. I plan to build wooden covers for them so that they are more attractive. I hope not to detract from any heating efficiency.

I plan to have the front and the ends fluted so that air can circulate through. My question is, should the top be solid, or should it have vents?

It seems that a solid top may help push the hot air out the front and into the room, rather than simply up the wall (or window) behind the radiator.

Any thoughts? Thanks

jmhultin is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-31-2011, 03:55 PM   #2
Retired from the grind
 
gregzoll's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: Midwest - Central Illinois
Posts: 13,732
Default

Radiator covers


Put sheet metal on the inside. As for the top, you could keep it solid, so that way, if someone wants to set books or the such on the top, or their keys, they do not have to worry about stuff falling through. The only other thing that you may want to think about, is how hard it would be to place a pan of water on top of the rad's, so you can humidify the house during winter months.

gregzoll is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-31-2011, 04:06 PM   #3
Newbie
 
Join Date: May 2011
Posts: 21
Default

Radiator covers


thanks. as to the sheet metal, your talking about the inside of the top? I have room to put about a 1" foil-faced sheathing inside the back of the cabinet. Would that be reasonable to put inside the top also?

I've actually tried the pans of water before - the cat seems to get to them before the heat does

thanks
jmhultin is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-31-2011, 05:09 PM   #4
Retired from the grind
 
gregzoll's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: Midwest - Central Illinois
Posts: 13,732
Default

Radiator covers


Cat can't get to them, if you make it so they are enclosed under the cover. I would cover all interior surfaces with the foil facing, or sheet metal.
gregzoll is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-31-2011, 05:15 PM   #5
Newbie
 
Join Date: May 2011
Posts: 21
Default

Radiator covers


Got it - I thought you meant to place on top. Sounds good - thanks for the advice!
jmhultin is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-31-2011, 05:29 PM   #6
fabrk8r
 
fabrk8r's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: Iowa
Posts: 849
Default

Radiator covers


If you use wood you are going to want to insulate the entire inside of the radiator cover, including the top. If you don't the dry heat will pretty much ruin the wood in short order if you use solid wood. MDF may hold up better, but I can't say for certain.

I build radiator covers out of 20 gauge cold rolled steel with a decorative metal front to let the air circulate. I leave a 3-4" gap at the bottom front and a 1" slot across the front top under the cap. The only insulation I use is on the back, behind the radiator against the wall. I then paint the covers to match or contrast with the wall color, depending on preference.
__________________
"The physician can bury his mistakes, but the architect can only advise his clients to plant vines." -- Frank Lloyd Wright
fabrk8r is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-31-2011, 05:57 PM   #7
Member
 
biggles's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Long Island
Posts: 3,600
Default

Radiator covers


might want to cut open the top so the pan is showing and cover with what your going to use on the front sheet of perferated metal,make sure you cut the bottom rounded off so the drafting can happen
biggles is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-31-2011, 10:06 PM   #8
An old Tradesmen
 
Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: PA
Posts: 24,392
Default

Radiator covers


You will lower the heat transfer efficiency. Probably by around 15%. And you will notice that your comfort is lessened without the radiant heat that the rads use to provide.
beenthere is online now   Reply With Quote
The Following User Says Thank You to beenthere For This Useful Post:
Canucker (07-27-2012)
Old 08-31-2011, 11:52 PM   #9
REP
Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2011
Posts: 615
Default

Radiator covers


Most radiators are a bit large for the areas that they are installed in so you have some wiggle room.
Those radiators are putting heat into their area in two ways.
The first is by radiation whereby heat energy travels through the air until it hits something like a wall or a person much like the sun works.
The other way is by convection which is what happens when air touches something hot (the radiators) it gets hotter and rises and circulates around in an enclosed space like a room.
When you enclose a radiator you cut down on both the ways it provides comfort to your living area .
Keep this in mind and design the cover so it allows the most advantage to how the radiators work.
Good luck
REP is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-01-2011, 06:40 AM   #10
Member
 
biggles's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Long Island
Posts: 3,600
Default

Radiator covers


any foil faced styrafoam sheet you can slip between it and the outter wall is more heat into the space....just again be pretty liberal with the bottom draft opening no need for it to be a box leave the back open so you can tip them out not lifting them....
biggles is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-01-2011, 09:14 AM   #11
Newbie
 
Join Date: May 2011
Posts: 21
Default

Radiator covers


thanks for all your comments and suggestions!
jmhultin is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-01-2011, 09:49 AM   #12
fabrk8r
 
fabrk8r's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: Iowa
Posts: 849
Default

Radiator covers


jmhultin, just wanted to let you know that there are companies out there who make metal radiator covers to your dimensions.

Here are a couple of sites to peruse. They also provide information on how and why they work.

http://www.beautifulradiators.com/ra...enclosures.htm
http://www.swampyhollow.com/radiator-covers.php
http://www.radiantwraps.com/size.html

The ones I make are similar to the ones on those websites. I will take a picture of one I made for my own kitchen and post it so you can get an idea of what they look like when made from metal (if I can remember to take my camera home tonight).
__________________
"The physician can bury his mistakes, but the architect can only advise his clients to plant vines." -- Frank Lloyd Wright
fabrk8r is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-27-2012, 05:59 AM   #13
Newbie
 
Join Date: Jul 2012
Location: Chester
Posts: 2
Default

Radiator covers


cover all interior surface, i recommend you to contact the radiator cover company, they will know more than any one.

craigpaterson is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off





Top of Page | View New Posts

Copyright © 2003-2014 Escalate Media. All Rights Reserved.