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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 17 replies - 21 through 37 (of 37 total)
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  • #17636

    wasbit
    Participant
    @wasbit
    Forumite Points: 565

    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 ?

    Nope, one should be enough. It’s about circulating the heat rather than being self convecting.

    Mine, bought from Steve’s link, went straight back with a complaint about false advertising. “This fan is low-energy and works only when your radiator is turned on …” is patently untrue as there is no thermostatic controller. That means you have to switch it on after the radiator has warmed up otherwise you are blowing cold air around the room.

    There are dearer ones on Amazon with thermostatic controls but half the reviews say they are useless & the other half say they are brilliant.

    --
    Regards
    wasbit

    Rig 1: Zalman Media Centre Rebuild (i3-540)
    Rig 2: Hp Elitebook 8440P (The Dave Laptop Special)
    The Dave Special & The 43 Special are still giving sterling service with new owners

    Dear Starfleet, hate you, hate the Federation, taking Voyager. - Janeway

    #17644

    Tippon
    Keymaster
    @tippon
    Forumite Points: 2,438

    Ah, ok. I thought they’d need to cover the top of the radiator to get the most out of it. Happy to be wrong if it saves me £100 though ?

    If I was handy, I’d completely box the radiators in with reflective foil on the inside, and one or two of those on top, but the mess I’d make would be so bad that I’d have to get medieval and pull out the tongues of anyone who’d seen it, so they couldn’t tell anyone else ??

    #17649

    The Duke
    Moderator
    @sgb101
    Forumite Points: 3,634

    I did say in my post there was not thermostatic control, and that I was and have added one. But I had all the bits. I used a £5 sonoff in-line smart stitch and linked it to the £5 xiaomi smart thermostat.

    However at no point in the description does it say it has a heat control. I never expected one. It just says it only works when rad hot, I took that as meaning it doesn’t have an electric element. Given the other more expensive one say thermostatic controller. I don’t see any false advertising at all.

    As to covering the whole top, I suppose that would be better, but defo not a necessity. The one I have covers a 3rd of the top and fires out a lot of heat. It’s like turning a hair dryer on.

    The smart mod isn’t needed, it’s just nice. You could just use it by turning it on 5 mins after you put the heating on. And tbh I need to set a parameter in my ‘smart control’ to turn it off after 30 mins, as it gets the room too hot if it’s constantly on the whole time the rad is hot. Easy enough to do just not round to it.

    Now its gotten warmer, we haven’t had the hearing on this week. And’s its not like my house is a new well insulated and sealed home. The windows have been open through the day too. I think a cold snap is incoming at the weekend, so I can fine tune the smart control then.

    I could use a second thermostat (i have a bag full) placed away from the rad to trigger an off/on command to regulate the temp, and the first thermometer that is sruck to the rad  to be the master on off command.

    I just a need cold day to mess with it.

    I have thermometers set up already as I have them set up to monitor the tortoises house. I want through a hat full of makes before settling on the xiaomi set up. Their smart ecosystem is excellent I have their smoke alarm, which is great , and I already had their bulbs, and its easy to ties other oems stuff into it. Via ifttt, tasker, elink, and many more making it very flexible. Also everything is a lot cheaper than other smart ecosystems.

    #17775

    wasbit
    Participant
    @wasbit
    Forumite Points: 565

    I’m going to have a go at making my own. This will initially be manually switched on & off but if it works I’ll see about adding a thermostatic control.
    Raiding the spares box Ive found an old pre Sata 300w PSU, a couple of Zalman 75mm fans & a Molex lead that splits into four fan connectors, 2 x 5v & 2 x 7v. That should slow the fans down & thus the noise. I have already tested that everything works using a paperclip between the green wire on pin 4 & a black on the PSU 20 pin connector.
    The plan is to mount the fans on a length of 25mm angle, probably aluminium, as far apart as the leads allow. With the fans blowing upwards, possibly nothing else will be needed. If not, then I’ll start thinking about how to box the fans in.

    --
    Regards
    wasbit

    Rig 1: Zalman Media Centre Rebuild (i3-540)
    Rig 2: Hp Elitebook 8440P (The Dave Laptop Special)
    The Dave Special & The 43 Special are still giving sterling service with new owners

    Dear Starfleet, hate you, hate the Federation, taking Voyager. - Janeway

    #17792

    Richard
    Participant
    @sawboman
    Forumite Points: 2,303

    If you set something up to blow through the radiator it is worth putting a filter in front of the fan as it is a whole lot easier than trying to clean out the radiators. If you put a sucker fan on top, then a filter below is still easier to clean than a radiator. We had a Labrador and often look after our daughter’s Husky. The Lab used to shed from time to time, but the Husky dumps fir and will still shed on a daily basis. The kitchen radiators had more fir in them than a CSI vacuum evidence collection device.

    #17825

    wasbit
    Participant
    @wasbit
    Forumite Points: 565

    The open fan system didn’t work. Tried with fans horizontal & vertical. You could feel the heat from the radiators but all the fans created was a coolish draught.

    Changed the power supply for an adjustable multi voltage power adaptor because I found some inline DC connectors. At 5v, the fans are barely audible. 6v, they sound like a trapped bee & at 7v they sound like a drone.

    Will try boxing them in tomorrow whilst the beast from the east is still with us.

    --
    Regards
    wasbit

    Rig 1: Zalman Media Centre Rebuild (i3-540)
    Rig 2: Hp Elitebook 8440P (The Dave Laptop Special)
    The Dave Special & The 43 Special are still giving sterling service with new owners

    Dear Starfleet, hate you, hate the Federation, taking Voyager. - Janeway

    #17836

    The Duke
    Moderator
    @sgb101
    Forumite Points: 3,634

    We had a flutter of snow, but it didn’t get cold enough to turn the heating on. Also, I was out from 7 am to 4 pm, so I was going to give it a bash 4 till the footy started. but when I got in no one had put the heating on, and no one was cold.

    If this carries on the temp on off,  project will be shelved till around November. Simply because ill forget about it, until it next turns on.

    #17982

    Marc Berry
    Participant
    @marc-knuckle
    Forumite Points: 214

    sounds like i have started a good little project here.

    so i cant remember if i mentioned the thermostat plug i ordered. it has now arrived and i have set it to only come on at about 20.5 degrees as the temp doesnt drop below that anyway for the most part and on the odd times it does such as through the night the rads arent on anyway so it would be just blowing cold air out. it works well as the rad makes sure it gets to about 21.5 degrees fairly easily without it and it just needs that little nudge to get to the desired 22 degrees and over due to the size of the room.

    #17983

    The Duke
    Moderator
    @sgb101
    Forumite Points: 3,634

    20.5 degrees, my rads are set to go off at 20! Ours come on at 14. Your house must be like an oven.

    #17985

    Richard
    Participant
    @sawboman
    Forumite Points: 2,303

    Steve, your house must either be super insulated or have quite small rooms with doors that are mainly shut and a number of active inhabitants, though I am aware of your wife’s unfortunate issues. Some health issue do have a bigger impact on temperature regulation than others; that could also be a factor as to why those temperatures would be a clear no-no for one person here!

    #18002

    The Duke
    Moderator
    @sgb101
    Forumite Points: 3,634

    I wish my house was insulated, it’s over 100 years old, has no cavities, and the gable end faces out to sea, pointing north. Also, it’s very drafty. Mainy down to the vents that supply airflow to the wooden sub floors.

     

    The wife use to be an always cold person, but since she got ill and on HRT she is now always hot, no matter the temp. I was always an outdoors person, so I don’t really feel the cold, and I overheat quickly. As I’m getting older I do feel the cold more than before.

    The kids have just been brought up in a colder house, so none of them mind. The moan when the heating is on too long in fact.

    For the first 5 years we lived in the house, we had no central heating, we would sleep in thermals and bob hats december and jan, and  have quilts on the couches for tv viewing in the evenings. 7 years from fitting CH  I got round to insulating the loft. only because I was boarding the loft out, so knew that that would be my final chance. Over the last summer, I started to insulate the underside of the roof tiles, to keep a more stable temperature in the attic space.

    It’s made a great storage space now. it is full of racks with storage boxes. But still, it’s not organised properly.

    Our house sits around 16° to 18° in the winter (currently 17 at 22:30). In the summer the rear or the house gets hot, but as the front sits in the shadow of the mountain, never getting sun, so it doesn’t get above 18ish, (its probably 15 is in there now). It’s very nice for when the temps are reaching 25 to 30 outside. it’s like walking into a fridge. It’s great.

    I have an antie that has there heating on 24/7, except for July and August, and for about 6 months of the year has the gas fire burning. The place literally takes your breath away.

    When we had the snow, we tried to put our electric fire on, and it was broken. It haven’t been turned on in about 4 years, so god knows what’s up with it. We decided, not to bother replacing it, as we like the look of the one we have, and never use it. So what would be the point

    We do want a small wood burner in the kitchen. It has a breast etc, we just need the chimney inspecting and we should be good to go. As the two chinmleys are connected (i think, we may end up with a burner in the lounge too.

    #18005

    Dave Rice
    Moderator
    @ricedg
    Forumite Points: 3,373

    Wood burners really pump the heat out, but you need to get the draw right. You can get a fan for the top of them too and the ones I’ve seen do the job they say they will – heat the room up quicker.

    #18011

    The Duke
    Moderator
    @sgb101
    Forumite Points: 3,634

    Yes dave. Our kitchen is the coldest room in out house, plus id like a was to minimise the recyclable rubbish, once the blue bin starts to fill. Especially as 3-week cycle is being trialled in a close by council.

    May even go with an open coal fire in the kitchen and a wood burner in the lounge, but only if we need to do nothing with the lounge half of the chimney, given its mostly an ornament.

    Our lounge is small so would turn into an oven if it had a proper fire fitten, but is cosy. We would probably only light it xmas eve to set the scene. It’s the only day/evening of the year i can guaranty that me and the wife will be in there at the same time. I probably sit in there 5 times a year. I don’t watch tv, and the couch (all sofas) kill my back after 30mins. I much prefer a desk chair. Far more supportive.

    #18019

    Richard
    Participant
    @sawboman
    Forumite Points: 2,303

    The best wood burners can be very effective heaters, though you need to select the wood with care to avoid issues. Older or poorly designed burners do push out a lot of contamination and if the material consumed is not ideal will result in soot build up in the chimney. If you have ever seen a chimney fire when the soot catches fire, you will know you do not want one at home. Paper and cardboard can be compressed to stop them burning too rapidly though plastics are almost always a no go as combustion may be inhibited and they can also produce poisonous fumes.

    In view of the age of the property your chimney might need to be lined as the old mortar is liable to allow fumes to enter the house.

    When we moved in we installed a synthetic coal gas fire, we tested it then used it all of once as I recall. It sucked cold air in through the mandatory vent and sent warm air up the chimney. We now have a chimney balloon, it works far better cutting down on wind noise and the loss of room heat.

    #18021

    The Duke
    Moderator
    @sgb101
    Forumite Points: 3,634

    Yes the chimney defo needs a pro to look over it. I can tackle most jobs, but that isn’t in my wheelhouse.

    It’s one of them ‘on the list’ jobs. We are away for 4 weeks in the summer, i may get someone out while away, to look at the chimney and leave FiL in charge to make any decisions.

    I’m not a big fan of having builders in the house while I’m there. Given i work from home, that’s almost always.  So may get the FiL take care of it while we are away.

    I always feel lazy sat there while others are doing work . bit i am a little strange lol

    #18048

    Richard
    Participant
    @sawboman
    Forumite Points: 2,303

    Steve, I think that they usually just drop in a stainless steel liner and it should only take less than half an hour.

    #18052

    The Duke
    Moderator
    @sgb101
    Forumite Points: 3,634

    That’s good. i thought they dropped in the liner then fill around it with some form of concrete style filler. I don’t know why o think that, i seem to recall seeing something like that on a program many years ago. But maybe they was going somthing else.

Viewing 17 replies - 21 through 37 (of 37 total)

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