Whether your goal is to update the look of a room, or quell the sound of bubbling water in winter, making or buying a radiator cover can be a fun, weekend project with long-term benefits. Consider these five:
1. Reclaim lost space
Radiators are a good source of heat, but they also take up valuable square footage. Especially for urban dwellers, space can come at a premium. By purchasing a radiator cover, you can reclaim the flat surface on top to display books, picture frames or hardy plants.
2. Child-proof an area
Children can get burned, sometimes severely, when touching, falling or playing around a hot radiator. Some people surround them with safety gates. Like fences, these may be scaled by kids and pets.
Radiator covers can help make sure no one gets hurt. Also, if a radiator begins to malfunction and starts spewing steam or hot water, a cover can help contain the problem until you are able to take additional safety measures.
3. Reduce noise
Covers can help diminish those unpleasant hisses, pops and gurgles characteristic of the classic radiator. One counterpoint to noise reduction is less heat output. According to InspectAPedia, a free online encyclopedia dedicated to building and inspection, "Because adding a radiator cover slows the movement of heat out of the radiator and into the room, the rate of heat loss out through the building's exterior wall is likely to be increased -- also increasing your heating bills."
InspectAPedia's Guide to Heating Radiator Covers suggests adding insulation or a heat reflector behind a covered radiator, as one way to prevent heat loss.
4. Beautify a room
Over time, cast iron radiators can begin to look less attractive. While refinishing is often an option, purchasing a radiator cover can be a simple, low-cost way to spruce up a living space and increase safety. From metal to DIY, designs are available that can help heating elements blend into a home's decor.
5. Use radiator covers as furniture
In addition to shelves for books, plants or curios, covers designed to fit long, low radiators can double as television stands, benches or study areas.
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