Frequent staining and constant exposure to high temperatures deteriorate the appearance of heating radiators, and therefore, they need to be periodically replaced. If, when making repairs in an apartment, you do not plan to replace heating radiators, there is a problem of masking them with the help of decorative screens that are firmly entrenched in the interior of living quarters. Used as finishing touches, battery screens, along with traditional decorative elements, play an important role in creating a unified stylistic concept, since they not only focus on the merits or hide flaws, but also expand the functionality of interior details, for the design of which they are used. Despite the wide selection of decorative screens available on the construction market, experienced craftsmen advise against purchasing a finished structure and making a screen for a heating battery with your own hands, which will save a good amount of money and make it taking into account the size of the decorated heater and your individual taste preferences. To facilitate this task, in this article we will look at how to make a do-it-yourself battery screen..
At first glance, it may seem that a radiator covered with a box or a decorative grille will cope worse with its main functional task, which becomes the most common reason for refusing to refine unsightly heating devices. Despite this, the experience of using decorative screens shows that a structure made in accordance with the basic laws of thermal physics not only does not reduce, but also increases the heating efficiency. To make an efficiently functioning screen on the battery with your own hands, consider the basic principle of operation of heating radiators.
The transfer of heat energy from the heater to the room is carried out in two ways:
- Convection, which is based on the mixing of warm and cold air currents;
- Electromagnetic radiation of the infrared spectrum, the power of which increases as the temperature of the radiator increases.
Old-style cast iron radiators work exactly according to this principle, heating the air due to convection processes. As the intensity of heating increases, the ratio of radiant and convection energy changes, as a result of which the transfer of heat begins to be carried out due to infrared radiation.
The operation of modern radiators is based on a similar principle, however, they differ in their ability to respond to environmental conditions and, adjusting to them, redistribute energy in order to maximize its transfer. If some external conditions impede maximum heat transfer, for example, a curtain that impedes air circulation, heat is redistributed towards the front panels, as a result of which heat transfer begins to occur due to infrared radiation. Thanks to this property, the efficiency of modern radiators functioning is significantly increased..
Important! For energy transfer by convection to be as efficient as possible, the front panel of the screen, usually a grille, must be designed so that an air cushion is created between it and the radiator. Otherwise, warm air, which has an obstacle in its path, will partially accumulate inside, which will lead to disruption of heat transfer and heat transfer to the adjacent room. However, for maximum heat transfer, you need to pay attention to a number of details..
In accordance with one of the basic rules of physics, a black body has the ability to absorb and emit electromagnetic waves as much as possible. This rule is also relevant for efficient screens for a battery, since it must absorb infrared radiation from a radiator and, having good thermal conductivity, give off heat to the room. Thus, from the presented example, it can be seen that the inner side of the screen must be painted black, while the outer one can be decorated at your own discretion..
Consider the basic rules for designing a heat-reflecting screen, taking into account the basic laws of physics.
To achieve the maximum thermal effect, the surface behind the battery is covered with a heat-reflecting screen, which should not be black, but shiny, due to which infrared radiation from the back of the radiator will be reflected from the wall and, passing through the radiator again, heat up even more. Using this technique, you will significantly increase the level of heat transfer and, thereby, increase the efficiency of the heating radiator.
Despite this, the metal sheet does not provide the maximum functioning of the system, since it reduces unnecessary heat transfer by only 5-6 times. The most effective solution to this problem will be the installation of a heat-insulating mat made of fibrous material, for example, synthetic winterizer, covered with aluminum on both sides. This design reduces the flow of infrared radiation onto the wall by more than 40 times. Experts recommend choosing a synthetic winterizer, since a 5 mm thick layer of material prevents heat conduction and is a good reflector of infrared radiation.
For other fibrous materials, a 3 cm layer of material will be required to make heat reflecting mats, which can create additional difficulties when placing the mat behind the radiator..
Before proceeding with the manufacture of a screen for a radiator, we will consider the main advantages of this design..
- Using screens for heating radiators, the advantages of which will be discussed below, you get the opportunity to effectively disguise the batteries, creating a holistic interior concept and transforming your home;
- Prevent radiator contamination, making it easier to operate and maintain;
- Correctly designed radiators will provide an even distribution of air masses throughout the room;
- Covering the radiators with a decorative screen, you will protect household members from burns and bruises in the event of a careless collision with heating devices and, thereby, ensure their safety;
- A variety of materials, textures, shapes and colors allows you to choose the right decorative solution that will be the perfect complement to the main interior concept.
There are several main classifications of decorative screens, the first of which implies their division into several groups in accordance with the design features and includes:
- Screens in the form of a closed box are used when it is necessary to completely close the radiator;
- Flat screens are used to mask radiators located in niches;
- Hinged screens for radiators are a structure with a cover and are used to mask unaesthetic cast iron radiators that protrude strongly from under the window sill.
There is another current classification of screens for radiators, which involves the division of models according to the material used. Taking into account this classification, the following varieties are distinguished:
- Screens from MDF lattice;
Let’s consider in more detail the characteristics of each of them..
- Metal screens externally, most often, they are a box, for the manufacture of which a thin sheet of metal was used. Despite their rather laconic and somewhat primitive appearance, they fully cope with their functional task. The modern market offers more expensive screens made of stainless steel, which can be varied by perforation. For the installation of metal screens, you do not need to have specialized skills, since they are simply hung on the radiator;
- Plastic screens, in view of the variety of the model range and democratic pricing policy, they are the most affordable options for all segments of the population. However, experts do not recommend using them in residential premises, since when heated, plastic can release harmful substances;
- Models made of wood most often they are made to order from valuable wood species, taking into account a pre-drawn sketch. Due to their aesthetics and noble appearance, wooden screens are the perfect complement to a variety of interior concepts, including classic, rustic and modern eco-styles. The main disadvantage of wooden screens is the tendency to dry out and deformation caused by changes in temperature and humidity. To protect and prolong the life of wooden screens, only high quality wood is used, which is the reason for the high cost of products. Radiators, complemented by wicker decorative grilles, acquire an aesthetic appearance;
- Screens from MDF gratings outwardly, they practically do not differ from wooden models, but they are much cheaper. Due to the use of modern technologies in the process of their production, MDF screens are a practical and, at the same time, an affordable solution for many. MDF is a material that practically does not differ in quality from wood, which can be used for the production of screens of various shapes, colors and stylistic design;
- Glass screens belong to exclusive models for the production of which tempered (stained) glass is used. Often, such models become an unusual decoration for sophisticated interiors. Glass screens are decorated with patterns that you can choose at your discretion, and need careful use and constant care.
We have already noted that the installation of any type of screen helps to reduce heat transfer, which at best will be 5%. Because of this, remember that effective decorative radiator shields must have as many openings as possible to allow warm air to flow freely..
To increase the heat transfer from the radiator, a screen made of foil material must be installed behind the battery. Thanks to this, the heat will be reflected from it and flow into the heated room..
Important! Experts recommend paying attention to another technique that reduces heat loss. It involves painting the inner panel of the screen in black, so that the screen will absorb the maximum amount of heat from the radiator and give it to the room..
Due to the fact that the radiators must be washed, and at the end of the heating season, the water must be drained, the design of the screen must be easily disassembled and removed. This condition must be strictly observed, since the frequent dismantling of decorative elements creates additional difficulties. In addition, the design must be such as to maintain easy access to the battery valves. If you purchase a ready-made design, pay attention to the screen for the Leroy Merlin radiator, the model of which meets all of the above requirements..
Diy ideas for making screens for radiators
First of all, decide on the type of desired design. If the battery to be decorated is located in a niche, a flat screen is suitable for its design. In such cases, a decorative grille is selected taking into account the size of the niche and simply installed in it..
Most often, the batteries are suspended on a section of the wall under the window, and therefore, it is recommended to give preference to hinged screens for radiators.
Among all the options for manufacturing a screen for a radiator, the most common is the installation of a screen made of MDF or chipboard. To make it, you will need the following materials and tools:
- Chipboard sheets, the color scheme of which is in harmony with the interior of the room;
- Mesh, supplied in sheet form, to be used to mount the bezel and side parts;
- A sheet of metal for the manufacture of a reflective element;
- Nails and wood glue;
- Fasteners represented by staples and screws.
The simplest design of a screen for a radiator is a box in the form of a three-sided box, which is characterized by the presence of a cover on the top and legs on the bottom. To assemble the screen, it is necessary to mark the structure, cut out the parts in accordance with the resulting diagram, connect them and fix them..
- The first step is to measure the width and height of the radiator. It is necessary to add 10 cm to the resulting width, while only 5 cm to the height. Taking these dimensions into account, the front panel of the screen is made. For installation, you can use a steel mesh, which is subsequently supplemented with an MDF profile;
- Next, measure the depth of the radiator and add 2.5 cm to the obtained value. The resulting figure is the width of the side panels of the screen, the height of which corresponds to the height of the front panel;
- The dimensions of the screen cover are measured in the same way, however, its dimensions should be 1-2 cm larger than the dimensions of the side panels.
- After completing all the necessary measurements, you need to start trimming the parts. For the manufacture of the front profile, sheets of chipboard or MDF are used, from which rectangular parts 11 cm wide are cut and, using a hacksaw, an angle of 45 degrees is formed at the points of contact of the parts.
Important! Having cut out the front profile, note that it is necessary to form multidirectional corners on it. Using this scheme, it is necessary to cut out all four parts from which the inner lattice of the decorative element is made. To fix them, use carpentry glue and additionally fix them with carnations..
After you have completed all the previous steps and cut out the required number of parts, you need to assemble the decorative screen.
- To make a facade panel, use a mesh, from which you can easily cut out a part of the desired size using a hacksaw. To decorate the edges, use a chipboard profile, which must be placed around the entire perimeter from the inner sides of the front corners. The side parts are assembled in the same way..
Important! If you plan to use the top of the box as a shelf, choose a solid board for its manufacture, otherwise, give preference to options with holes designed for warm air to escape..
- Make a frame of the future screen using the drawings widely presented on the pages of construction sites. It must be securely fastened, and in the side faces, cut out holes for pipes, the center of the radius of which should be at a distance of 7.5 cm from the height and width of the side bar;
- Before proceeding with the assembly of the screen, a metal reflector screen must be installed at the rear wall, the dimensions of which must correspond to the dimensions of the decorative screen. This prevents heat loss and redirects the infrared radiation from the radiator to the interior of the room..
- There are several options for attaching a decorative radiator to the wall. This can be done by mounting a stable frame, as described in our case, you can also fix the screen on anchor collets. The second method, in view of the need to purchase expensive parts, is quite expensive.
- The grilles can be installed on legs that are attached to the bottom of the product using construction corners. This option has some advantages, as using the adjustable feet, you can adjust the height of the structure..
We have considered a fairly common method of making a screen for a radiator with our own hands, for which only the materials at hand are needed. If you are not sure that the screen you made will cope with its functional purpose, you can purchase ready-made models, for example, screens for the Leroy Merlin radiator, made at the highest level and widely represented in construction and furniture hypermarkets.
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