We know it makes you feel warm and fuzzy inside, but that doesn’t mean you can let your guard down around your radiator.
Having a radiator in the house can sure make the indoors comfortably warm against the piercing Chicago cold. But having a faulty radiator in the house can pose potential risks to your health and safety! This becomes an even greater concern when you have dependents living with you—children, elderly and pets. You don’t just have to protect yourself but also care for the safety of others in the house.
Therefore, it’s important that you identify a problem in your radiator early on before it starts to show signs of trouble. Radiator damages can range from respiratory problems to fire damage. Here are some most common hazards that you need to be wary of.
Insulation Material and Lead Paint
Steam radiators come with steam pipes that transfer heat to the appliance. Because of this function, these pipes are generally very hot and need protective insulation around them. Some companies provide asbestos insulation for steam pipes. This is a plaster-like material that has been known to cause respiratory problems. The National Cancer Institute has also reported that it also poses the risk of lung cancer.
Radiators are often also painted with lead, which is a major health risk. It can chip or dust off and enter the windpipe of people living in the vicinity. This can have damaging effects on the cognitive development and physical growth of particularly young children. It’s best to choose a unit that’s manufactured using safe material or get damaged insulation repaired ASAP.
Many people try to meddle with the air valve while the radiator is running. They try to adjust the temperature in the room by removing the air valve completely. Ideally, the vent should be left completely open while the appliance is turned off, and completely closed when it’s switched on.
Leaving it open while the appliance is operational will release excess steam in the room. This becomes a health hazard because it can dehydrate you and increase your heart rate. If you notice banging sounds from the radiator, it’s possibly a sign of leakage. You need to get the air vent repaired ASAP to control the level of steam being released in the atmosphere.
When a radiator starts malfunctioning, it adds pressure to the thermostat. Thermostat failure also causes the air vent to get stuck inside. This can also result in overheating of the engine, which ultimately affects the whole heating system. This is not only bad for the gas mileage that the system offers but also a safety hazard for the people nearby.
Accidentally touching or bringing furniture in contact with the appliance can cause burns or even erupt in a fire. Wooden furniture or fabrics can catch fire due to overheating. This is why you have to be extra careful with a faulty radiator and get it repaired ASAP.