How to Make Your Cast Iron Radiator Last Even Longer

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Cast iron radiators have a vintage appeal, but that doesn’t mean they have to be old fashioned. Modern cast iron radiators fuse antique design with contemporary material and functionality that provides for even distribution of heat. In fact, they are the preferred radiator of choice by millions of homeowners because of their reliability and durability.

To make your cast iron radiator last even longer, follow these simple tips:

Buy the Right Size

Cast iron radiators can be custom made to fit any size specifications. When selecting your radiator, The Cast Iron Radiator Factory will ask for your room measurements, determine heat loss zones (such as windows, doors, hallways etc.), and then calculate your optimal BTU (British Thermal Unit). Cast Iron Radiators can emit various levels of BTUs depending on their size, so there’s no need to buy a cookie-cutter radiator for a space that only needs a small unit. By getting the right size for what you need, you can save on heating bill costs, and also lengthen the lifespan of your radiator by preventing excessive use.

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Wall Stays

While some cast iron radiators are freestanding and use “feet” to secure and balance the unit, it’s a good idea to anchor all radiators to the wall using wall stays. Wall stays essentially work as brackets, with one end drilled into a wall, and the other attached to the radiator using a short rod to connect the two. They are available in luxury materials and fancy finishes to complement the vintage aesthetic of the radiator itself, so you don’t have to worry about these being an eyesore. For households with children, wall stays are a particularly good idea to prevent the radiator from being overturned.

Add a Shelf

It’s advisable to keep the space around your radiator free of furniture and clutter, so that warm air can move freely and heat up the entirety of the room. If the room is small and space is valuable, adding a shelf on top of the radiator can make for an attractive design, and it has the added benefit of acting as an insulator. A shelf or covering prevents the hot air from rising all the way to the top of the room, as there’s no reason to heat the ceiling. Instead, warm air hovers at the perfect height for it to have more of an impact on a room’s overall temperature. By simply adding a shelf overtop of your cast iron radiator, you can reduce its output by almost 20%.


Inspect the Hardware

Because cast iron radiators are so solid and sturdy, there’s very little that can cause them harm. One of the only threats to their functionality is faulty valves, which can wear over time. By regularly inspecting the valves, you can catch damage early on and promptly repair or replace these parts before they lead to long-term problems.

Check for Rust

Though cast iron rarely rusts, there is a chance for some corrosion on the outside of the radiator. However, there’s no need to call for a plumber or to replace your unit. This is an easy fix that can be solved by some refinishing or a coat of paint.

In general, cast iron radiators are made to stand the test of time. There’s a reason they were used for centuries, and are still in demand today by modern homeowners. By being attentive and pro-active about their maintenance and care, you can make your cast iron radiator last even longer.

All images from Lovely apartment with Scandinavian Flair