Radiator Shelves and SpeedComfort
Although radiators are vital to keeping a warm home in the UK, one of the greatest issues with them is that they don’t actually do a very good job of it a lot of the time. There are several suggested solutions to this; fitting radiator reflector foils, installing radiator fans and perhaps the most low-tech suggestion and common myth, putting a plank of wood above the radiator, otherwise known as a radiator shelf.
Radiator shelves are just that – shelves that sit above a radiator. They may be attached to the wall or fit on brackets that slot behind the radiator. They supposedly help improve the efficiency of a radiator by passively deflecting heat from the radiator out into the room. As 80% of heat emitted from a radiator is convected up towards the ceiling, it does seem sensible to block this from happening and shift this heat in your direction. But can a simple shelf really have this power?
Some reports have found radiator shelves can save a minimal £5-10 a year on heating bills. However, radiator manufacturers claim that radiator shelves actually reduce the heat output of the radiator by around 5%, making them even less efficient. This drop in heat output may even account for the £5-10 a year that could be knocked off your heating bill.
Effectively, the radiator shelf introduces turbulence to the warm air plume, slowing it down and reducing the heat output of the radiator.
If you are still keen to install a radiator shelf for the aesthetic then think about investing in a SpeedComfort to fit to the radiator in question as it will keep the air moving effectively around your radiator and spreading the warmth throughout your room.