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House radiator fan booster

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This topic contains 37 replies, has 10 voices, and was last updated by The Duke 1 year, 7 months ago.

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  • #17190

    Marc Berry
    Participant
    @marc-knuckle

    Hi guys

    Our radiator in the living room is behind the sofa and there is no choice in this so it’s heat gets trapped. I have read about a fan thingy-me-bob that draws air through the rad and out the top. There are some on Amazon and it gets decent reviews but isn’t cheap.

    So, i wondered if i could build my own with USB pc fans but was concerned with them melting. Also how to power them such as if i need a transformer. Lastly, how best to build the case so it wouldn’t block the rest of the heat by using thick wood and how to create a scoop at the top to come out over the sofa.

    Any thoughts guys?

    Cheers, Marc

     

Viewing 20 replies - 1 through 20 (of 37 total)
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  • #17192

    Richard
    Participant
    @sawboman
    Forumite Points: 2,303

    Folded metal would be the slimmest solution for the case.

    You really need a fan that reached the full width of the radiator with a motor at the end.

    USB fans are very small with a low air movement capacity relative to a room, you would need a good power supply to drive them. After all the faffing about you would have a low effect system for maximum construction agro and probably little cost saving. For the next few days you might do better to pull the curtains if fitted, keeping them well behind the radiator line and possibly just duct the radiator heat up behind the sofa. Try it with cardboard as a quick trial, ensuring a sufficient gap for air to circulate. Do ensure the radiator is properly bled before going too exotic.

    #17194

    PlaneMan
    Moderator
    @planeman
    Forumite Points: 4,504
    #17196

    The Duke
    Moderator
    @sgb101
    Forumite Points: 3,634

    For their price and reviews, and esthetics (allso time and effort) id just buy one. Amazon have some. But if you can wait, wish you’ll probably get one of next to noting, but you’ll wait a month for delivery.

    I’ve said for years ill try one, as our rad is also behind the couch but never have. Apparently, its been chilly in there this week, the fire has been put on. First time in over a year, so it didn’t smell too good, a lot of burning dust smells. I don’t go in there often, so it slips my mind. Also, the kids take after me, (hot blooded), so it was only ever the wife that moaned about it being chilly, but for the last 5 years or more, after a hysterectomy she has been going through “the change”, so is always hot, (welcome to my world). So the moaning stopped about the chilly lounge.

    First i found on Amazon. Radfan Classic Small – Low Power Radiator Fan https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B00V86WEDG/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_apa_eC-LAbEW5H50A0

    Couldn’t find one on wish, but they will ne there, just a matter of figuring the right search term out.

    The stove top one are meant to be a must for those with a stove. Found some from £13 (maybe even $, tho not much diffence atm.) .

    #17198

    JayCeeDee
    Participant
    @jayceedee
    Forumite Points: 2,968

    Have you got radiator foil between the rad and the wall. This makes an incredible difference to the heat that’s put into the room and not lost heating the wall outside.

    More HERE – 3rd picture down.

     

     

    Edit – trying to put a picture in but forum software removes it on posting.:(

     

     

     

    #17201

    The Duke
    Moderator
    @sgb101
    Forumite Points: 3,634

    There is two trains of thought in radiator positioning. Thr usal method is the exterior walls, under windows, i put all mine, well the majority, on the centre core wall. So the wall itself can heat up, like a chimney breast breast does. Seems to work ok. It does mean that the rads don’t get covered by curtains and draw the heat through the window.

    Probably lots of pros and cons to each method.

    #17209

    Marc Berry
    Participant
    @marc-knuckle
    Forumite Points: 214

    Cheers guys

    Yes there is the foil stuff i put behind the rads so not much lost there just the other way into the sofa.

    The reviews on the radfan are mostly good but the lower rates reviews seen to suggest the fans are bodyn and can be ineffective due to being smaller.

    Possible bigger fans would help both those issues but would again need to be powered and i would need a decent apparatus to hold them.

    #17213

    Drezha
    Participant
    @drezha
    Forumite Points: 1,230

    We’ve got one of the Radfans in our front room. From a scientific and evidence based approach, I’m afraid I don’t have much of answer. However, it does push the heat out in to the room and doesn’t allow it behind the curtains (purely from standing in the window and looking out of the window). I’ve compared this against our bedroom (which doesn’t have one) to the front room (which does).

    So from that point of view, it potentially works. I’m still suspect. I mean, the science behind it seems relatively sound, but as you say, the air flow is minimal (though you can feel the air movement).

    I might consider the foil ones if we can fit one relatively easily.

    #17214

    Richard
    Participant
    @sawboman
    Forumite Points: 2,303

    The normal room heaters are not really radiators at all but passively driven convector units that warm air in their vicinity and encourage it to rise thus drawing fresh air beneath them. Is is very important to make sure that all fins are cleared of any dirt, cobwebs, fluff or whatever as that would have a big impact on the flow. I have assumed that the radiators you use are the sort either with two water jackets with fins between them or a single water jacket with fins to the rear. If not then a fan assistant would be pretty well useless. Because of the relatively low temperatures you would not expect to get a blast of heat from a fan anyway, it would have to shift a fair volume of air at a modest temperature. I suspect that you do need to check the bleed status of the radiator, make sure there is no sludge blocking the water flow and ensure that the vanes are clear of any blockage.

    We have two double ‘radiators’ in our lounge and both are behind large high backed sofas. We strive to ensure an airflow gap between the chairs and the heat source and have no problem keeping the room warm, – keeping the door to the room shut makes a huge difference. We also use window blinds to shield the windows to restrict sun damage to the furnishings and to keep heat in, even though the windows are double glazed.

    #17215

    Marc Berry
    Participant
    @marc-knuckle
    Forumite Points: 214

    Yes it is the normal type of double rad and i i have bled them. I balanced them last night and they’re a bit better today but it’s like to try my own fan assembly.

    Are pc fans rated for the temp they can withstand? I can only find info re the temps they aim to reduce whenever i Google that.

    #17217

    Richard
    Participant
    @sawboman
    Forumite Points: 2,303

    Marc, this could be of interest to you http://openecohomes.org/diy-fanned-radiator/ 

    They appear to be someone who has walked that way before.

    #17222

    Bob Williams
    Participant
    @bullstuff2
    Forumite Points: 4,562

    Nothing to add to the already excellent advice given, Marc, but the experience of listening to our landlord’s “expert” making a total prat of himself. 2 years ago next month, our landlord was finally forced to replace our ancient, useless electric Night Storage, Economy 7 heating with Gas C.H. The aforementioned ‘expert’ came round with the engineer from the company who were contracted to fit the systems in our bungalows. The electric heaters had been fitted in the early 60’s and were all in the wrong places, away from windows and on internal walls. Efficient Convection was therefore knackered to begin with, but the expert told the engineer that the new GCH rad’s would be fitted in the same places. He was told that this was not about to happen by the engineer. The conversation is still fresh in my memory.

    Expert‘: “We are paying your company to fit the systems and you should fit according to our directions.”

    Engineer: “That is not going to happen. My company has been carrying out this work for over half a century and we know our business. If you insist upon having the final say about where the radiators are to be fitted, I shall recommend that my company leaves this whole project, citing incompatability and interference as a reason to end the whole contract. I would also like to know from what professional, qualified position you, or any of your colleagues, are able to dictate the way this work is to be carried out.”

    As the landlord is one of the largest Social Housing groups in the country, and has just set up a massive contract with this company, the ‘expert’ had the expression of a man who had just placed both feet firmly in his mouth. He left the house to talk upon his mobile out in his car. Meanwhile, the engineer set about making notes on his tablet about the work to be done, muttering something about Chiefs and indians.

    We got the rads under the windows and the expert was not seen again. I still have bad memories about those heaters: they were totally bereft of heat by 16:00, which made the winter nights a time of trial for us. During the previous heavy, lasting snow and ice of 2010/11, we used additional electric heating just to keep warm. After the GCH came on stream, our energy bills fell like a stone.

    If it’s the Psychic Network why do they need a phone number?

    What’s right is what’s left if you do everything else wrong.

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    #17223

    Tippon
    Keymaster
    @tippon
    Forumite Points: 2,438

    Marc, this could be of interest to you http://openecohomes.org/diy-fanned-radiator/ They appear to be someone who has walked that way before.

    That looks very interesting. I’ve been looking at the radiator ducts, but they’re a bit expensive for something that may not make much difference. I’ve used short blocks of wood for now, and placed them between the settee feet and the wall, stopping the settee from being pushed against the radiator. They haven’t made a huge difference, but enough to make them a part of something else.

    Bit of a coincidence, but I saw this earlier:

    http://www.iflscience.com/technology/new-device-generate-electricity-anywhere-natural-temperature-changes/all/

    and this quote stood out:

    Have you heard of the thermoelectric effect? It’s a neat quirk of physics that allows for the generation of a voltage when a specialized device known as a thermocouple is registering at different temperatures on either side of it.

    I’ve got an old thermocouple here somewhere that was used as a Peltier back when I used to overclock. I’m wondering now how much electricity would be produced if I strapped it to a radiator. Enough to power a fan or two perhaps? Probably not, but if I can find it, I might have a play. Try to power the fan from the radiator.

    #17225

    Marc Berry
    Participant
    @marc-knuckle
    Forumite Points: 214

    Cheers guys

    That diy one looks good.

    Just wondering how i would wire a psu to it.  Do i strip off the connector? Do i also just pull off the fan connector as well?

    Any particular psu that would do the job? I’ve never done that type of thing.

    Cheers guys

    #17318

    The Duke
    Moderator
    @sgb101
    Forumite Points: 3,634

    Don’t bother making one, today i received the one i ordered of eBay (link below). I didnt hole out much hope that it would make any major difference. Wow was i wrong, its instant and the difference is huge. Its like turning on one of those electric fan heaters that eat electricity.

    Its a little louder than id like, but not loud, you cant hear it over the tv or radio, but of reading it may be an issue.

    I cant comment on longevity but I’d recommend this. For £29 its not worth the effort and cost of making one. Also it looks decent to.

    Its been a while since something over delivered on my expectations. Sadly for me, the wife has pin pointed 3 other rads she wants some for.

    I’d also recommend these for rads that arent blocked, heats a room up so much quicker

    I would like it to be controlled by a heat sensor instead of manually, but i have a hand full of sonoff basic inline smart switches, that would make this an almost perfect product, and take 5 mins to mod. Have it trigger from my cheapo £5 xiaomi thermometers i have.

     

    https://rover.ebay.com/rover/0/0/0?mpre=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.ebay.co.uk%2Fulk%2Fitm%2F382275063576

    #17333

    Drezha
    Participant
    @drezha
    Forumite Points: 1,230

    Interesting – we might look in to getting that one then as it’s cheaper than the one we have! We could also do with another one in one of our other rooms so I might well get it.

    #17335

    Richard
    Participant
    @sawboman
    Forumite Points: 2,303

    Steve, I don’t think I have a need for one at the moment but that appears to be a more sensible price for what is really little more than a louvred plastic pipe with a low power fan. You might need to lubricate the motor bearings from time to time, I have to strip our room fans and soak the brass bearing bushes every year or so as they start to stiffen up. As for the fan noise, my wife cannot now sleep without it as she is now so used to the sound. Yours might get noisier if it picks up dust on the blades as it has the radiator to act as a sound board.

    #17337

    The Duke
    Moderator
    @sgb101
    Forumite Points: 3,634

    I was worried about noise/vibration  reverberating through out the radiator system. However this one is held on my powerful magnets (surprisingly strong) especially given they have 3mm rubber pads om them.

    For the price its quite a good bit of kit. Im gonna get a few more. Probably monthly, to spread the cost. All the £29 woo add up. Tbh im sire you could get the exact same product for half the price from china. I may start looking, or set a reminder to.

    #17603

    Marc Berry
    Participant
    @marc-knuckle
    Forumite Points: 214

    hi guys

    so i had already decided to build one myself after the diy one was posted earlier in the thread.  it cost a bit more than that £29 one but not much. i decided that by putting it at the bottom would keep it out of site and that part has worked out well. the only thing at present is that i need to put a piece of curved board at the base behind the rad so the air from the 4 USB pc fans goes up the wall instead of hitting the back.

    i have currently rigged up a bit of board, curved over a set of ladders to create the bend i need and held with straps. i have then soaked in some watered down PVA glue into the board and set it to dry for a day. hopefully then the air will come up better.

    i used two sets of twin fans with a speed controller which i have then daisy chained to each other then connected to a USB hub with mains adapter. i have now connected it through a thermo plug that switches on when the room gets to 19 degrees so the fans go off at night if we forget to turn them off manually.

    #17604

    Marc Berry
    Participant
    @marc-knuckle
    Forumite Points: 214

    Forgot to say, please ignore the old lady carpet and wallpaper. We have been renovating from the top down and haven’t got to the living room yet ?

    #17635

    Tippon
    Keymaster
    @tippon
    Forumite Points: 2,438

    I’ve just done a quick measurement on the living room radiator, and it’s 2M long, so I’d need four of the ready made fans that Steve linked to ?

     

Viewing 20 replies - 1 through 20 (of 37 total)

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