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Does painting my radiator effect how well it works?

25 October 2010

If I paint my radiators, will that effect their efficiency?  Will they still be able to heat my house?

ApartmentTherapy.com

Picture from ApartmentTherapy.com

Don’t worry – slapping a fresh coat of paint on your radiators won’t make a huge difference.  The type of paint you use on your radiator will effect it’s effectiveness – specifically, the last coat of paint that you use.  Metallic paint can reduce your radiator’s ability to transfer heat via radiation (a polished metal surface does not radiate well), so non-metallic paint doesn’t interfere.  However, only a third of the heat produced by your radiator happens through radiation – the other 2/3rds is from convection (heating the air around them), so any difference in performance may not be significant.

(Looking for a more technical explanation?  Here it is!)

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