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Posts Tagged ‘Radiators’

Cast Iron Radiators for Timeless Style

Article by Carl Liver

Towards the end of the nineteenth century the vast majority of people heated their homes with a coal or log fire. We have a highly romanticised view of coal and log fires, but no matter how evocative the flames are, a real fire is dirty and dusty. Radiators began growing in popularity towards the end of Queen Victoria’s reign as the upper and middle classes splashed on the new fangled radiator. At the time the radiator was hugely expensive so poorer people made do with the old coal or log fire. Oh how times change as these days the ‘bog standard’ radiator is considered bland and soulless where as the open fire is desirable. It’s not all bad news for the radiator though as old fashioned cast iron radiators are also highly sought after as they too evoke the ambiance of times gone by.

In the early days of radiator heating, steam was used before hot water. Steam had the advantage of flowing through pipes under its own pressure whilst water needed pumping round the system. Steam however requires much higher temperatures than a hot water system and heat loss throughout the pipework made the steam system less efficient than its hot water alternative. Steam was however very efficient when it came to heating tall buildings such as New York’s skyscrapers as the steam would naturally rise upwards under its own steam (pardon the pun) to heat radiators all the way to the top floor.

With the early radiator being something which was only found in wealthy homes due to their initial cost, many designs were beautifully ornate to help them sit comfortably within their setting. Less ‘fussy’ styles could be found in public buildings such as railway waiting rooms, public libraries, schools and council chambers. Both the plain and more extravagant cast iron radiators are highly sought after today as people find their aesthetic pleasing. One would love to believe that the attraction of these relics is due to the efficiency of them as heating devices, but with the advent of underfloor heating and other technologies, a cast iron radiator just cannot compete efficiency wise. The only reason for fitting a cast iron radiator in this day and age is to retain the design elements of times gone by, and in this respect, cast iron radiators tick all of the boxes.

Since we stopped using cast iron around the late 1940’s, instead manufacturing radiators out of the cheaper and more resilient stainless steel, a lot of the charm of the radiator was lost. Thankfully there’s still plenty of nice old ones available to give your home the look and feel it deserves.

For a great look at some top range Radiators, make sure to visit us! While you’re there have a look at some Cast Iron Radiators.

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