Why it's important to keep your radiators clean

A lot of us probably take our central heating system for granted. We switch it on, our home gets nice and warm and cosy, we put our feet up and all is well with the world. But did you know that keeping your radiators free from dust and dirt is really important and could save you a good chunk of money on the cost of heating your home?

Leaving dust and dirt in-between the fins of your radiators will mean that it is harder for the heat to escape. This means that your radiator will have to work much harder to heat your room, for a longer period, costing more money and making a bigger dent in your finances. In short, heating your home can become difficult and expensive with dusty and unclean radiators. So, keeping on top of the dust and dirt that accumulates in and around your radiator – and making it part of your daily or weekly cleaning routine – is definitely a good idea. We can’t promise that it will make you an overnight millionaire, but it will ensure your home heats up quicker and lead to a more efficient heating system that WILL save you money and energy in the long run. So, because we’re a helpful bunch at BestHeating, we decided to put together these top tips for keeping on top of those dirty radiators, so they stay glossy, gleaming and in good working order for many a year to come.

Why does my radiator keep getting dusty?

You may not know this, but there is dust in the air all the time, it really is everywhere – and it’s not just dust either. If you have a cat or a dog you can guarantee that there will be hair in the air and, if you’re a smoker, you’ll also have nicotine residue to think about too. All this dust and dirt will clump together and become trapped in your radiator because of the currents of air that circulate warmth around your home. These convection currents see warm air rise and cool air fall. As the air begins to sink it takes dust and dirt with it and as that gets drawn up through the radiator it leaves the debris behind – clogging the fins around the back and across the top of your appliance. It’s this dirt that you need to keep on top of to ensure your radiators are working to their optimum level.

What do you need to clean your radiator?

Right, so are you ready to get those radiators all shiny, clean and looking like new? Great! But before you pull your gloves on and get started be sure that you have these few things to hand and primed for use:

  • Your trusty vacuum cleaner
  • A duster (or maybe two)
  • A bucket filled with warm and soapy water
  • Sponges and cloths
  • An old bath towel or a dust sheet
  • A long thin stick (like a metre ruler or a yardstick)
  • A roll of Sellotape

So, let's clean those radiators!

Simply follow the next few steps and you’ll be basking in the glow of clean and shiny radiators again in no time – it’ll be like you’ve just bought them from our store! First thing’s first, before you start to clean your radiators switch your heating off and make sure all the one you’re cleaning has cooled down. Grab your vacuum cleaner and try your best to get as much of the dust and dirt from in and around your radiator – it could be you have some slim attachments that you could use to get right down in-between all the fins, but don’t worry if not.

If after you vacuum there are still a few bits of dust and dirt that you haven’t managed to shift, this is where the metre ruler/yardstick comes in handy. Place your dust sheet or towel on the floor underneath your radiator and - using a bit of Sellotape to secure it in place - put a duster on the end of the metre ruler and begin to push the remaining dust and dirt out of the fins and from the back of the appliance until it’s all clear. Alternatively, you could try using a hairdryer to blow out any dust that remains. Once you have all the dust out of the way, it’s time to get busy with the soap and water. Grab your bucket and, using a non-abrasive cleaner (something like Stardrops is good) wipe your radiator down with a sponge, trying not to drip water all over the carpet. Once you’ve wiped from top to bottom and side to side take a dry cloth or a towel to wipe off the excess, this will ensure that your radiator won’t stain or rust and ruin your hard work. Be careful not use things like Brillo pads to do this part of the job as that may damage the surface of your radiator and make it look worse than when you began.

Extra things to keep in mind

Vacuuming your radiators regularly will not only keep the dust at bay, but it could help prevent allergies too. Dust and dirt can aggravate conditions such as asthma and a range of other allergies, so making cleaning your radiators part of your normal cleaning routine can keep these conditions at bay and help to protect you and your family. There’s never a bad time to clean your radiators, but summertime is probably the best time to give them a thorough cleaning, as you won’t have your central heating on as much as you might in the winter months. And, if you really want to give your radiators the ultimate deep clean, why not take them off the wall altogether and power wash them with a hose – or perhaps even give them a new lease of life with a fresh lick of paint and match it to your living room colour decor. And there you have it, you should be well on your way to having a bright and brilliant radiator in no time with the help of these tips. For more heating advice, news and a range of how-to guides, please visit BestHeating, or if you fancy changing your radiators altogether, why not visit our store and find a shiny new one that is already clean and ready to heat your home in style? Come and browse our extensive collection of radiators at BestHeating.com – till then, stay safe & happy heating!

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