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  • FIRST POST
    Big_Cat
    Do insulated radiator panels save money? - I'm testing them now
    • #1
    • 9th Jan 07, 1:21 PM
    Do insulated radiator panels save money? - I'm testing them now 9th Jan 07 at 1:21 PM
    Hi

    I recently bought a pack of Novitherm /Heatkeeper radiator panels via a special offer in the COOP bank magazine called Change.

    The company website blurb says you can save between 10-20% of your heating bill. It also had an impressive set of independent tests results and the Energy Saving Trust like 'em too apparently and a big list of customers,...... BUT do they work?

    I'm monitoring my gas usage, but does anyone else have them and if so do they work?

    By my reckoning if they saved 10% they would pay for themselves in less than one winter as the special offer cost was only Ł32 for 10 !!!

    I'll see if the offer website link is still working if anyones interested.

    Cheers
    Big_Cat
Page 2
  • beer2006
    But it has bubble wrap on the back, how can you say it can't stop the convection heat being cooled by the wall?
    Not above the rad, obviously, but behind it.

    Its true btw that the flaps sticking out do get heated to a certain extent, but the alternative is to have the curtains hanging down (its the mrs, she insists on long curtains)
    “Pleasure of love lasts but a moment, pain of love lasts a lifetime.”
  • masonic
    But it has bubble wrap on the back, how can you say it can't stop the convection heat being cooled by the wall?
    by beer2006
    In that case, you have more than just reflective panels. You have additional wall insulation, if you like. Some of the heat is being reflected (radiative). Some of it is warming the relective surface (convective), but the insulation (partially) prevents it being conducted to the wall itself. So, the question is whether the reflective part is really necessary? Bubblewrap itself might be almost as good.
  • beer2006
    In that case, you have more than just reflective panels. You have additional wall insulation, if you like. Some of the heat is being reflected (radiative). Some of it is warming the relective surface (convective), but the insulation (partially) prevents it being conducted to the wall itself. So, the question is whether the reflective part is really necessary? Bubblewrap itself might be almost as good.
    by masonic
    Which you would then say was absorbing the radiative heat :rolleyes:
    Which is why we have foil covered bubble wrap effectively.
    “Pleasure of love lasts but a moment, pain of love lasts a lifetime.”
  • masonic
    Which you would then say was absorbing the radiative heat :rolleyes:
    by beer2006
    I can't resist pointing out at this point that the radiative heat would probably not be absorbed by the bubblewrap as it passed through.

    My point was: if you are going to add insulation, then are these really just reflective panels, or are they acting mainly as bog standard insulation? Sure it's worth having a reflective surface - every little helps, but perhaps 'reflective panel' is then a misnomer, just as 'radiator' is a misnomer.

    BTW, if it hasn't already become apparent, I was using the term 'reflective panel' in the above discussion to mean just that - tin foil - in my original response to djohn2002uk. Though I know you discussed the foil/bubblewrap combination before I joined this discussion, you didn't mention it again until just then. Our discussion has related to different things.
  • beer2006
    I wonder how much the radiated heat would be stopped by the trapped air in the bubblewrap? Redundant thought anyway, as it has foil on it and it would be neglible compared to that presumeably.

    I assume that all of these panels have a certain amount of insulation in them as well as a reflective layer. Thats what I was working on.
    It certainly would seem so, text taken from the "My tech" link on previous page.

    "Properly designed reflective panels, which combine reflective foil with a thin layer of insulation, can reduce the heat lost through walls by up to 18%."

    As an afterthought I remember reading somewhere that std kitchen foil loses its shinyness after a while and stops being such a good reflector, I think the commercial panels have some non dulling surface on them.
    “Pleasure of love lasts but a moment, pain of love lasts a lifetime.”
  • masonic
    I wonder how much the radiated heat would be stopped by the trapped air in the bubblewrap? Redundant thought anyway, as it has foil on it and it would be neglible compared to that presumeably.
    by beer2006
    The only constituent of air that has any real infra-red absorption is CO2 (and that only has two very narrow bands of absorption), so in answer to your redundant thought, next to none. The plastic could absorb some though, depending what's in it.

    I assume that all of these panels have a certain amount of insulation in them as well as a reflective layer. Thats what I was working on.
    It certainly would seem so, text taken from the "My tech" link on previous page.

    "Properly designed reflective panels, which combine reflective foil with a thin layer of insulation, can reduce the heat lost through walls by up to 18%."
    Agreed, and the insulation is clearly pretty crucial to their effectiveness. I'd still like to know what that 18% related to.

    As an afterthought I remember reading somewhere that std kitchen foil loses its shinyness after a while and stops being such a good reflector, I think the commercial panels have some non dulling surface on them.
    You can always replace the foil, though, or cover it in cling film.
  • beer2006
    You can always replace the foil, though, or cover it in cling film.
    by masonic
    Ahh but the plastic in the clingfilm would absorb the radiated heat



    Actually the clingfilm is a good idea, assuming it doesn't melt or get distorted by the heat, or fall off, maybe a clear thin glue, following on......... some sort of thin clear layer painted on the foil. Clear varnish?
    “Pleasure of love lasts but a moment, pain of love lasts a lifetime.”
  • masonic
    Ahh but the plastic in the clingfilm would absorb the radiated heat



    Actually the clingfilm is a good idea, assuming it doesn't melt or get distorted by the heat, or fall off, maybe a clear thin glue, following on......... some sort of thin clear layer painted on the foil. Clear varnish?
    by beer2006
    I saw that coming! WD-40 might do the trick, though if you do go down the varnish route, do let it dry before you hang it behind the radiator.
  • Cardew
    text taken from the "My tech" link on previous page.

    "Properly designed reflective panels, which combine reflective foil with a thin layer of insulation, can reduce the heat lost through walls by up to 18%."
    by beer2006
    As both I and Masonic have asked above, what does that 'up to 18%' relate to?

    Firstly I have grave Suspicions when the phrase “up to” is used; as that covers from 0.001% upwards.

    Secondly up to 18% of the wall area behind the radiator? It surely cannot possibly be 18% of the total loss through all walls?

    Lastly given that total heat loss through all walls is normally 20-30% even in the unlikely(impossible) event that it saved up to 18% of the total loss through all walls, you are talking of 4-5% of total heating.

    My guess is they will save less than 1% of total heating bills; around Ł5 a year for most.
  • masonic
    It surely cannot possibly be 18% of the total loss through all walls?
    by Cardew
    That claim would seem pretty absurd to me also, since unless you have a lot of radiators I can't see the space behind them totalling anything close to 18% of the total external wallspace in a house. So even if the panels were 100% efficient at preventing heat loss through the area of wall behind them, they could not live up to that claim unless the temperature of the wall behind the radiator (relative to the temperature outside) was several times higher than that of the rest of the wall.

    Edit: On thinking about this further, I'm starting to consider an 18% reduction on the total loss through all walls to be somewhat less far-fetched. I estimate about 5% of the area of my external walls are behind a radiator. If I were heating my house to 20 °C and it was 10 °C outside, in order to see an 18% reduction the area of wall behind the radiators would have to be losing heat 3.6 times faster than the rest of the wall area. That would equate to a wall temperature difference 3.6 times greater than 10 °C: namely 36 °C more than 10 °C (so a wall temperature of just under 50 °C behind the radiator). Now that does not seem unreasonable. This is all assuming a 100% efficient insulating panel, though.
    Last edited by masonic; 12-01-2007 at 12:09 AM.
  • beer2006
    As both I and Masonic have asked above, what does that 'up to 18%' relate to?
    by Cardew
    Its no good getting shirty, I was only copying a link as I said, why don't you go and find out?
    “Pleasure of love lasts but a moment, pain of love lasts a lifetime.”
  • silvercar
    My house has solid walls (1930s build). the walls are generally cold to touch except behind the radiators where they are warm (marshmallow melting wall).

    Sounds like I would gain by fitting these panels. Some of the radiators, particularly the ones curved into the bays have very little gap between the wall and the radiator - how large a gap do I need to make these sheets worthwhile?

    Some of the main rooms have radiator covers in MDF or wood. (stupid idea in my opinion, the wood warms up nicely!) They have to stay as the wooden flooring underneath them has not been completed. Could I put these insulation panels on the inside of the radiator covers? You can actually feel a hot draft coming out of the radiators with these covers on, so they do direct some heat. Unfortunately, its the radiators that are not on an outside wall that have the covers.
    • Ken68
    • By Ken68 12th Jan 07, 11:03 AM
    • 5,801 Posts
    • 3,440 Thanks
    Ken68
    I have panels behind every radiator , been there several years, and D.I.Y so paid back by now. Wouldn't be without them...a bit off topic...this site is good for detail and a huge thread on multifoils..
    http://www.greenbuildingforum.co.uk/forum/index.php
  • beer2006
    Thats a good link Ken and a massive thread as well. Starting to work my way through it, if you've read it would you give a conclusion?

    I didn't know about multifoils, interesting.
    “Pleasure of love lasts but a moment, pain of love lasts a lifetime.”
    • Ken68
    • By Ken68 12th Jan 07, 1:25 PM
    • 5,801 Posts
    • 3,440 Thanks
    Ken68
    http://www.housebuildersupdate.co.uk/2006/10/multifoils-banned.html

    Not banned in the sense of being harmful, just not as effective as claimed.
    Multifoil insulation is foil..bubble wrap...foil and as sold by the DIY sheds at £4 per sq metre. The foil seems be sprayed on.
  • silvercar
    the link talks about roof insulation. is it worth putting behind radiators on solid walls?
  • beer2006
    Well silvercar, thats what the whole debate was about ............. I think
    I have solid walls and I think it is, I may do some temp tests when I have time........ like 2020 then.

    Why don't you try one radiator and do temp tests above and behind the rad?
    If something is wrong with this simple test, would someone please pipe up
    Like I need to ask :rolleyes:

    From a very quick read, because I'm building a woodshed, I thought multifoil was multiple layers of foil and thin insulation? I'll have to go back and have a better read when I have time.
    “Pleasure of love lasts but a moment, pain of love lasts a lifetime.”
    • Ken68
    • By Ken68 12th Jan 07, 3:01 PM
    • 5,801 Posts
    • 3,440 Thanks
    Ken68
    Kitchen foil (£1.89 for 25 metres, just over a ft wide) pasted with heavy duty wallpaper paste onto cardboard (free) or bubble wrap from a garden centre has to be the cheapest way.
    Must not touch the radiator, and either pasted or taped to the wall. Don't think my rads have the space to take profiled radiator panels.
  • anne_sussex
    Cheapo radiator insulation panels
    It was suggested to me that those Ł1 car sunscreens, ones with foil reflectors, work well behind radiators. Double sided tape, cut foil to fit and away you go. Does seem to have saved me money in the last few months.
    • Ken68
    • By Ken68 13th Jan 07, 1:51 PM
    • 5,801 Posts
    • 3,440 Thanks
    Ken68
    Good one Anne....double use.
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