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Why Cast Iron Makes For Great Radiators (Even in 2020)

There’s not much to be said for how good a decently built cast iron radiator looks in a room other than it looks amazing.

Radiators are usually the last thing we think about when decorating a space, but not giving it any forethought and choosing whatever’s available (i.e. a plain white column radiator) is usually a poor choice if it ends up sticking out like a sore thumb.

And while cast iron is often overlooked, if you know where to hunt out a good bargain and understand that there’s some nifty technology under the cover, getting a cast iron radiator isn’t such a bad idea at all. Don’t believe me?

Well, let me dispel some of the myths surrounding this type of radiator and why you might want to consider cast iron the next time you’re buying a radiator.

Myth: They only ever look old

When most people think of cast iron radiators, they imagine these big hunkering radiators with ornate designs and patterns on the side of the radiator, but that’s only a small portion of what’s available out there.

You can have cast iron radiators with no panels and surprisingly sleek designs that look more like ultra-modern flat panel radiators than anything else.  Remember, cast iron refers to the material the radiator is made from and not just the style you’d expect to see.

Myth: They’re too expensive

Cast iron is always seen as expensive as people believe it takes a lot more craft compared to a simple panel radiator. While some may be more expensive when you scale up in size, if you know where to look, you can snag a ripe deal on a new cast iron radiator.

Take Trade Radiators for example, which has many small to medium-sized cast iron radiators around the £100 mark. Cast iron radiators also tend to go up in price depending on how many sections you have, so if you can opt for smaller radiators by length, you’ll save more.

Myth: They all look the same

Traditionally, cast iron radiators will be painted silver, bronze, and other metallic shades to make the radiator look bare, i.e. as if it is straight off the factory floor. That doesn’t mean you can’ get inventive when choosing a radiator. Find a reputable store, and you’ll be able to get cast iron radiators painted all colors of the rainbow. You’d be surprised just how popular pink cast iron radiators are these days.

My only warning though for picking a color is to spend a little extra and get it done professionally. You could have a go at doing it yourself with a decent primer and metallic paint, but you run the risk of paint splitting or bubbling from trapped air (trapped air + heat is a nightmare for paint).

Myth: They only work on traditional heating

With so many new homes opting for heating alternatives, be that going fully electric or having pellet burners instead of a gas or oil hook-up, you might think that cast iron radiators are soon to be left by the wayside.

Well, you might be surprised to learn that this isn’t the case at all with the recent developments in radiator technology, which is a real thing, enabling us to have electric-only cast iron radiators. Yes, you can now get cast iron radiators which only need to be plugged in to get going. Electric radiators are completely independent, with a heating element and thermodynamic fluid inside which reacts as the element heats.

Not only is this a nifty piece of tech, but it helps you to have cast iron radiators in areas around the home that were previously off-limits. 

Want to make every room at home feel toasty?

Thanks for reading. If you’re in the middle of improving heat efficiency in different rooms, please check out this article on Efficient Ways To Heat Up Any Place In The House.

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    Why Cast Iron Makes …

    by Anthony Johnson Time to read this article: 9 min
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