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February 2022

The Truth about Radiator Covers

By Radiator Tips No Comments

Radiator covers can be used as decorative purposes and to protect children from burning themselves or breaking the radiator. But other than that, are they really worth it?

The truth is, wooden radiator covers are a disaster for energy efficiency.


A study conducted by John Moores Liverpool University demonstrated that traditional covers can result in a significant, 40% reduction in heat output.


Problems with Traditional Radiator Covers:

Issue #1

Modern radiators circulate warm air with a convection system which requires continuous airflow.

(Modern Radiator Convection System)   

A wooden radiator cover blocks this airflow. As a result, the trapped warm air is continuously re-heated inside the cabinet.


Issue #2

Radiators also radiate heat which is usually the main concern for safety. Many go for traditional radiator covers to shield vulnerable people from the hot surface but wood insulates heat.

The radiated heat is “swallowed” by the wood and you end up spending money on heating you can’t even feel.

Tip: removing this front panel can help heat escaping the cover easier:


Issue #3

Some modern radiators have a built-in thermostat or “smart valves” which automatically turns the radiator off once a desired temperature is reached.

Covering this thermostat will result in the radiator switching off early because the target temperature is reached inside the cabinet. Meanwhile, the room remains cold.

As a result, you will turn your thermostat higher to compensate for the warm radiator cover, using even more energy.



In a nutshell, an uncovered radiator will have a higher heat output even though it may impose a risk for vulnerable people. Radiator covers cause much higher heating bills as the warm air that would otherwise circulate in your room gets trapped inside a wooden box.

Some may try bleeding the radiator or brushing the fins. But ultimately, these methods wouldn’t improve energy efficiency as long as there is a cover over the top and around the radiator.


Energy prices are on the rise, the more space your radiators have the more efficient they are and the warmer your home gets! Energy prices are on the rise, with our tips you can tackle the increase of your heating bills!

To find out more advice on how and which energy provider to use, we suggest who are Great Britain’s independent energy regulator.
If you want to compare your energy prices, check these comparison sites:


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