Hot water and Steam Boiler heating systems use radiators and convectors to distribute heat. The radiators/convectors are typically installed along exterior walls. Radiators emit energy in all directions, including towards the rear/exterior wall. The older the system, the higher the heat loss from behind the radiators. Newer radiators and convectors are more likely to be enclosed in some sort of cabinet that attempts to direct passive air flow back into the room and away from the wall. Adding a reflective barrier behind the radiator will reflect more heat energy towards the room and away from the wall.
The savings potential depends on how well the wall is insulated and whether or not there is any kind of cabinet or reflector in place now.
How it Works
A thin, highly reflective panel is placed between the wall and the radiator. In the case of Novitherm, the panel is made of formed clear PVC plastic with an aluminized coating.
From the Novitherm web site:
The molded shape of the Heat Reflector traps air between the Heat Reflector and the wall surface. This creates a thermal barrier which reduces conductive heat loss to the exterior wall. The saw tooth profile of the Heat Reflector, increases air turbulence and circulation which improves room comfort.
With the Heat Reflectors installed, the core of your heating unit is hotter and returns the water inside the system to the boiler at a higher temperature. This allows you to reduce the overall boiler water temperature to achieve the same or improved comfort levels. The reduction of the boiler water temperature reduces the amount of fuel required to re-heat the water, and you will save money. (Novitherm web site 7-2006)
NOVITHERM CANADA INC.
158 Suffolk Avenue
CANADA L6K 2L6
Telephone: 800-871-0079, 905-815-0977
Go to their web site at www.novitherm.com
Source: Text Bob Fegan 12/2008; Novitherm web site and presentation to the ESC 6-2006