Are cast iron radiators less effective?

John Conlin / 21 February 2017

Chartered surveyor John Conlin advises a reader on cast iron radiators.


We are having a new central heating system installed and as the house is Victorian, I rather like the idea of using the old pattern cast iron radiators in place of our existing pressed steel panel radiators. 

However, we have been told that the cast iron ones are less efficient. Are they going to add much to our running costs?

Energy wasting habits around the home


The efficiency of a radiator largely depends upon its surface area and the ease of air circulation around it. 

Dependent upon actual patterns, cast iron radiators often have twice the superficial surface area of a panel radiator. 

Also, as cast iron radiators are free standing, they can be positioned to permit full length curtains to be closed behind them. 

Personally, in the appropriate setting, I would always choose a cast iron radiator.

For more tips from John Conlin visit the
Chartered Surveyor Q&A section

Try 3 issues of Saga Magazine for just £3

Subscribe today for just £3 for 3 issues...

The opinions expressed are those of the author and are not held by Saga unless specifically stated.

The material is for general information only and does not constitute investment, tax, legal, medical or other form of advice. You should not rely on this information to make (or refrain from making) any decisions. Always obtain independent, professional advice for your own particular situation.