radiateur à eau chaude

Hot water radiator: An ecological alternative for heating

Wood stoves, electric baseboard heaters, heat pumps, gas boilers: there is no shortage of heating options in Quebec! In this unexpected range, hot water radiators stand out ecologically.

Yet, nationally, they are only 5% of households who say they use this option as their main heater; the province most receptive to its assets is Prince Edward Island, with 19% of households having them.

Little or little known, the hot water radiator therefore deserves to (re)find its letters of nobility! Thanks to a portrait presenting its operation, its advantages and its (some) disadvantages, you will be able to learn more about this ecological alternative for the heating. And why not, choose it for you!

How the hot water radiator works and available models

As you will have understood, hot water plays a key role in the operation of this type of radiator. It is first heated by a heating system – in the majority of cases, an electric boiler or gas – which moves in the tubes of a closed circuit, before being diffused and released as heat progressively, via the radiators. This diffusion can be done by convection (with the movement of water), or by radiation (through the hot wall of the radiator). As for the fuel used by the boiler, it can be natural gas, propane, electricity or even wood.

On the market, the hot water radiator comes in an impressive variety of designs, which can adapt to any decor. Among them, we can cite:

  • Panel radiators, the most common. Generally mounted on a wall, they contain a network of tubes through which hot water circulates, and can be installed horizontally or vertically.
  • Plinth radiators, which look like the first ones, but this time, will be installed on the floor.
  • Towel radiators which, as their name suggests, are primarily designed to heat the bathroom and dry towels.

As for the materials used for their manufacture, again, the options are diversified:

  • Cast iron, which is a durable material, retaining heat long after the boiler has shut down.
  • Steel, lighter, which has the capacity to offer a rapid rise in temperature.
  • Aluminium, which is also light, with good thermal conductivity, and which allows components to be heated and cooled quickly. Bonus: it gives a decidedly more modern look than its predecessors.

With this short statement, you are already able to get a better idea of ​​the styles and materials that might suit your needs. Let’s take our analysis a step further, with the advantages, disadvantages and prices proposed for this type of system.

Hot water radiator: advantages and disadvantages

If we allow ourselves to present the hot water radiator to you in such detail, it is because this heating option has many qualities. Whether in its design, its energy consumption or its durability, it fully deserves to be highlighted in our heating alternatives.

First of all, its versatility: you will inevitably find a model that will match your interior. Along the same lines, it is also very fair to talk about its versatility of use with different fuels. We mentioned natural gas, propane and wood, but we could just as easily have mentioned air-water heat pumps or water-water, or even thermal solar panels.

Regarding the heat itself, it is a system that produces gentle and uniform heat quickly. And since it uses hot water as its main energy source, it wins the prize for energy saving!! Finally, the majority of models are recognized for their solidity, quiet operation and durability (25 to 35 years).

In terms of disadvantages, the most often mentioned is undoubtedly the maintenance that must be done on a regular basis. The most well-known manipulation is “purge” which consists of letting the trapped air escape so as not to hinder the proper functioning of the system in its entirety. It will also be necessary to remove any dust that could accumulate there so as not to hinder its effectiveness. Add to this a check of the water pressure, pipes and valves – to prevent the appearance of possible cracks and therefore water leaks – and you will have all the crucial points to watch out for. And finally, if it is not equipped with a temperature regulator, it can be complex to control precisely. Fortunately, the most recent models often have them automatically.

Price of a hot water radiator

We’ve talked about the pros and cons, now what about the price? Well, it is difficult to give, because it depends on several factors:

  • The style and the material, but also the brand, the size, the power.
  • The installation. Is it planned in a new residence or as part of a replacement? In which case, this will surely require some adjustments.

Overall, we can say that it will cost you a few hundred dollars to install on top of the purchase cost.

As a summary, we therefore have a system available at a reasonable price, which can be set up quickly and easily, very efficient from an energy point of view, and above all very durable, for relatively minimal maintenance. For all these reasons, the hot water radiator can definitely be named as the ecological alternative for heating par excellence!

Not completely convinced yet?

Come and discuss it with the experts at Plomberie Roger Chayer. In addition to benefiting from their sound advice, they will be able to offer you a detailed argument on the different heating solutions… And finish convincing you of the real ecological advantages of the hot water radiator!

Sources : 

Recommended Posts