Are cast iron radiators efficient?

Cast iron radiators are one of the most popular radiator models found in our homes today. This type of radiator has been around for a very long time and has proved its worth, holding its own against all the modern heating solutions available today! These radiators have high levels of inertia, which means they continue to provide heat even once they’re turned off. Mostly, cast iron radiators are connected up to your home heating system, receiving hot water from your boiler. They efficiently distribute heat in the room where they’re installed, helping you save on your gas and electric bills. Their traditional appearance makes them the ideal choice for a period property, and their high performance also contributes to their widespread popularity.

How does a cast iron radiator work?

Cast iron radiators are often white or grey in colour and are made - of course - of cast iron. The material itself is what gives these radiators their high levels of inertia and makes them so energy efficient. They provide soft, pleasant heat for your home and stay warm for longer than many other types of heater. Cast iron radiators are often connected up to your domestic central heating system, if they’re hot water-based models. With this type of radiator, the hot water is heated by your boiler, fuelled by oil, wood, solar power, and so on. The hot water - which is heated to levels of about 40 to 50 degrees centigrade - circulates through the radiators. This raises the temperature in the radiator to 70 to 90 degrees centigrade.

Cast iron radiators offer excellent inertia levels, meaning they accumulate a great amount of heat while they’re turned on and heating your home. Then, when they’re turned off, they continue to emit the heat that they have stored up. This means that they can continue to heat the room after they’ve been turned off. This is great for saving on your gas and electric bills and it’s also key for energy efficiency, which helps to protect the environment. Heat from cast iron radiators is constant and pleasant, and lasts longer than that produced by many other types of heater. So, cast iron radiators are ideal from an economic and ecological point of view!

Cast iron inertia radiators

Cast iron inertia radiators are more modern, technologically advanced versions of conventional cast iron radiators. Unlike hot water cast iron radiators, inertia cast iron radiators are electric and not linked up to your home's heating system. These products have a core heating section that is made of cast iron (a solid inertia element) or is formed of a liquid (a fluid inertia element). Inertia cast iron radiators with fluid inertia elements are actually even better at retaining high levels of heat while they’re turned on.

This means that this type of radiator can provide better levels of energy efficiency and help you lower your energy bills.

What are the advantages and disadvantages of cast iron radiators?

Cast iron radiators have many plus points, but also some key drawbacks. The vital points to consider range from style and design through to price and high or low inertia levels. Make sure to read through the list below to get a good overview of all these aspects!

There are many advantages to using cast iron radiators…

  • Cast iron is a high quality material
  • It has natural thermal properties
  • Cast iron radiators have proven their worth and been popular for many years
  • Cast iron radiators have an attractive, old-fashioned look that makes them ideal for a period property, and usually come in white or grey
  • These types of radiators have high levels of inertia, making them more energy efficient
  • Cast iron radiators provide gentle, constant heat
  • There’s low risk of rusting with this type of radiator
  • Cast iron radiators have a very long useful life, so you can use them for many years before they need replacing
  • You can change your boiler without needing to replace your cast iron radiators (a great option for renovation!)
  • Low temperature cast iron radiators reduce energy consumption while emitting pleasant heat
  • You can install a thermostat on your cast iron radiators to use less energy and lower your bills

…and only a few disadvantages

  • They may take longer to warm up, depending on the size and performance level of the model you are using (reaching the ideal temperature can take a while)
  • Some hot water cast iron radiators carry a high price, especially the largest, most elegant ones
  • Cast iron radiators take up quite a bit of space so may not be ideal for smaller homes
  • You may see some rusting over time, depending on the model and the material used to manufacture it

Easy to install on a cast iron radiator, the Netatmo Smart Thermostat lets you programme your radiators quickly and easily! Straight from your smartphone or tablet, you can adjust the output levels of your cast iron radiators based on defined time slots. With remote control, you can save even more on your energy bills and make your cast iron radiators more efficient!

How much do hot water cast iron radiators cost?

It’s tricky to put an exact price on hot water cast iron radiators - it really depends on the design, style, size, number of elements, high or low performance and efficiency, and so on. More basic systems will come in at a lower price, but the more efficient models will carry a higher price tag. Plus, there are collector's models that are highly prized for their design - those are significantly more costly although they will look great in your house. You’ll also need to factor in the cost of installing your cast iron radiators and connecting them to your heating system. Get a handyman to pay you a visit, or give it a go yourself if you're feeling confident about all those valves!

In terms of looks and price, cast iron radiators are a great option for adding heat to our homes. Cast iron hasn’t gone out of fashion yet - we’re sure it’s a material that’s here to stay. Play, they’re easy to connect to your central heating system. Although today, modern products such as steel hot water radiators are giving them a run for their money, cast iron radiators are still unquestionably stylish and are especially well suited to period homes.