Boilers & radiators

A boiler system can be an efficient way to heat your house - if you know how to use your equipment effectively.

Maintenance and safety

Boiler systems need regular maintenance to keep them operating efficiently. There is a danger of scalding or steam burns when working around a boiler system, so maintenance should be left to professionals.

And if you have small children in your family, be sure to watch them closely around the radiators. You might want to wrap foam pipe insulation around pipes and valves for added safety.

Radiators

Radiators usually aren't the most attractive element in the room, so most people try to disguise or hide them. But this can significantly reduce the amount of heat that reaches the room.

Air needs to circulate underneath the radiator, so avoid pushing furniture up against the radiator or covering it draperies. If you like to have a shelf or cabinet around your radiator, make it easy to remove during the heating season.

If you paint your radiator, be sure to use the right kind of paint - choose one that's made specifically for "high-heat" applications. Otherwise it may crack or peel within a few days. Keep in mind that multiple layers of paint can also cut down on the amount of heat that reaches the room.

There is an easy way to improve the efficiency of your radiators - just add a reflecting panel behind it. You can purchase them at a home center or hardware store, or you can fashion your own with a piece of plywood and a smooth sheet of aluminum foil.

More from this category

Maintaining your fireplace

Inspector looking inside fireplace

Proper maintenance of your fireplace is important to make sure it's working efficiently and safely.

learn more

Whole house fans

Illustration of a whole house fan system

A whole-house fan, also known as an attic fan, provides great ventilation, lowers indoor temperatures and summer electric bills.

learn more

A/C tune up

Megan and repairman near an AC unit

Learn how professionals tune up your air conditioner and get some tips on how you can keep it running at peak performance.

learn more

Heating and cooling new homes

New home exterior

When planning your new home, make sure you consider newer heating and cooling technologies that could save you money.

learn more

Sealing ductwork

Man applying mastic tape to ductwork

Leaky ductwork is one of the most common household problems. Luckily, it's easy to fix with the right materials.

learn more

Space heating myths

Myth in large lettering

Space heaters are not the best way to heat your home. Find out why.

learn more

Ceiling fans

ceiling fan

A cooling breeze can reduce your need for air conditioning.There are some important things to know about purchasing and installing ceiling fans.

learn more

Maintaining your furnace

Man working on furnace ductwork

It's important to keep this big piece of equipment in tip-top shape in order for it to operate at peak efficiency.

learn more

Getting a new fireplace

Man installing ductwork for new fireplace

Is it time to upgrade your fireplace?  Learn how you can improve your home's efficiency with the right fireplace.

learn more