Why Is My Radiator Slow to Heat?

Written by adam richardson
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Why Is My Radiator Slow to Heat?
A radiator that is slow to emit heat may not be broken. (white radiator image by Ekaterina Sidorenko from Fotolia.com)

Homeowners depend on radiators to take some of the bite out of winter. Unfortunately, some radiators may take a while to heat up even after the thermostat is cranked high.

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Misconceptions

Homeowners often assume that a radiator or boiler is broken if the heat is slow to warm up. In fact, there are many causes for a slow-warming radiator. Check for simple solutions first before assuming the radiator is malfunctioning.

Cleaning

Air circulation is very important for the dispersal of heat from a radiator. If layers of dust accumulate on the radiator's fins, they will not allow heat to radiate into the room. Wipe down your radiators once a month to keep heat flowing.

Types

The type of radiator can affect the way it gives off heat. Cast iron radiators take longer to heat up but will also give heat off slowly so the radiator continues to warm the room even after the heat is turned down.

Placement

A radiator's location also affects heating. If a radiator is against an outside wall, heat will be wasted on the wall. To better heat the room, slide an aluminium-faced foam insulation board between the radiator and the wall to push the heat back into the room.

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