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What are Electric Fans for Radiators?
Electric fans for radiators or radiator boosters are units that sit on top of existing, centrally heated, wall-hung radiators. The fans draw the heat from the radiator up through holes in the unit, expelling the warm air horizontally, into the room. This maximises the heat from the radiator by reducing the warm air rising where it is of less benefit.
Do Electric Radiator Fans Work?
Radiator boosters work really well at pushing the heat out into the room and can be a great way of increasing the temperature of the room quickly.
As the radiator starts to heat up, large amounts of heat from the radiator starts to rise. This heat then starts to collect near the ceiling. It’s not until the recently warmed air forces the slightly cooler air down into the room. It is this cycle of newly warmed air that slowly raises the temperature of the room. Electric fans for radiators push the heat straight out and warms the room low down, where it can be felt by the occupants more effectively.
Users say they experience a 1 to 3°c rise in temperature when using radiator boosters. That might not seem a lot but when you consider a wood-burning stove will raise the temperature of a room by 3 to 5°c. Of course, much will depend on the size of the room and radiator but this rise in temperature is pretty good for simply redistributing what would otherwise be unfelt heat.
There are various designs of radiator boosters and some are more effective than others. The effectiveness of the boosters is generally down to whether the radiator fan is placed above or below the radiator.
Placing boosters below the radiator is generally thought to be less effective than the boosters placed on top of the radiators, heat is still being sent vertically around the room. However, this doesn’t mean base rad fans are a waste of money. Increasing the speed of the warm airflow cycle we described earlier, can really help with increasing the temperature of the room quickly.
Are there Radiator Boosters for Single Radiators?
Due to the width of the fans, most radiator boosters are designed to fit double radiators. You can, however, use floor-based radiator boosters that sit on legs, just under the radiator itself. Blasting the heat from the radiator around the room.
Using Airflow diverters on top of the radiators can divert the warm air into the room.
Diverting Hot Air away From TVs
TVs mounted above radiators or electric fires can suffer from rising heat emitted from the heat source below. Using radiator fans or airflow diverters to dissipate the heat, can be an effective way of protecting the TVs above.
Electric Radiator Fans with Thermostats
Not all radiator fans or boosters have built-in thermostats. This means the radiator boosters will continue to blow air whether the radiator is hot or cold. You could find yourself with unfortunate blasts of cold flowing air when the radiator starts to cool down! Definitely an advantage in the summer, but if your main objective is to increase the warmth of the room in winter, they may be counterproductive.
HOT TIP: There is, however, an effective workaround… Plugin thermostats! These nifty little units plug directly into the wall socket, you then plug your radiator booster into the thermostat and hey presto you have a thermostatically controlled radiator booster fan!
As the temperature drops in the room, the fan ceases blowing cold air and restarts as the radiator starts to warm again. You will need to get a plugin thermostat that can control both cooling fans and heaters. This will enable you to set the temperature range correctly to control the rad fan.
HOT TIP: If you have a long radiator, there is no limit to the number of radiator boosters you can have on your radiator.
Other ways to Increase the Temperature of a Room Fast
There are many ways to increase the effectiveness of radiators and increase the temperature of a room quickly. Walls behind the radiators can soak up the heat, making them up to 20% less efficient. Placing reflective sheets or specially designed panels behind radiators can increase the temperature of a room much quicker, reflecting the heat back into the room.
Other alternatives to heating a room
There is nothing worse than a cold room and although radiators do a reasonable job there is an alternative that you might want to consider.
Bioethanol fires are becoming an increasingly popular way to add additional heat to a room. The fires come in many different designs, they don’t need a chimney or flue and they can sit on your coffee table, adding heat and a cosy glow to your room. The fires can raise the heat by an extra 3 to 5°c. You can read more about them here.