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Radiator Safety Tips for Older Homes


Mom and child sitting on a window ledge near a radiator

Radiator heating systems offer efficient and economical home heating. Radiators come in a wide collection of varieties, including steam radiators, hot water radiators, and electric baseboard radiators. As great and popular as they are, radiators do have some inherent cautions to be aware of. Here are a few tips for staying safe while getting the most out of your radiator.

Radiator Maintenance

When it comes to steam radiator valves, turn them completely on or completely off. Partially adjusting the valve doesn’t control the radiator, but it does increase the risk of the valve falling off. The result is a room full of hot steam. Eliminate that risk by having a professional install a thermostatic radiator valve. Thermostatic valves do give control over steam heat temperature.

Annual maintenance inspections by qualified professionals are highly recommended. A unit may look fine, but a pro can identify and address issues before they develop beyond simple fixes.

Bleeding Air From the Radiator

At the beginning of each heating season, bleed any trapped air in your hot water radiator. You can check for trapped air by inspecting the radiator for cold spots. When there are any, they’re usually near the top of the unit. Use a vent key or screwdriver to open each radiator vent and catch any dripping water that may appear during the bleeding process.

Avoid Direct Contact With the Radiator

Not only should you avoid touching a hot radiator to prevent burns, you should also keep anything in the room from coming into contact with it. Chairs, sofas, couches, and other furniture will interfere with the circulation of heat generated from the unit. Items touching the radiator can also overheat and cause damage to the item or injuries and fire hazards for the people in the home. Check your radiator regularly to make sure nothing has inadvertently been placed on it or has fallen onto it.

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Use Radiator Covers

The best radiator covers incorporate reflective backing to channel heat into a room rather than into a wall or furniture. Most radiator covers are composed of synthetic materials or metal and have holes designed to allow heat to escape. A radiator cover serves multiple purposes, including aesthetics, safety, and efficient heat distribution.

Radiator Services From American Vintage Home

It’s important to find a radiator service provider that understands vintage homes and respects their requirements. American Vintage Home offers a full range of radiator services for older homes throughout the Chicago area, including:

  • Radiator installation: We can help assess your home’s radiator needs and recommend a model appropriate for your aesthetic and budget. With installation, we’ll make sure to respect the appearance of your home is preserved during and after the project.
  • Radiator replacement: Our technicians can identify the cause of any radiator problems and, if it’s time, work with you to remove the old system and replace it with a new one. Our team will take special care to maintain the integrity of your older home.
  • Radiator repair: We’re very familiar with all brands and types of radiators. We can perform repairs quickly and efficiently.

Radiators are common in many older homes, and we’re your older home experts. We handle the full range of radiator types, including hot water systems, steam systems, and electric systems. Our knowledgeable and experienced technicians are very familiar with the unique HVAC requirements of older homes.

For more information about American Vintage Home’s full range of radiator products and services, call (847) 999-4595 or contact us online.

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