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.