Radiator Recommendations? — Brooklynian

Radiator Recommendations?

edited December 2014 in Brooklyn and Beyond
Hi all, we're looking to add radiators back into our apartment. They were originally removed by the previous owners (too warm) so the hookups are there (single pipe). I'm thinking of avoiding the old huge cast iron ones. Any reccos on slightly more modern less protruding ones and where to get them?

I'd think the big cast iron guys radiate more heat than new low-profile versions. Any help appreciated!


  • The cast iron ones stay warm long after the water has stopped flowing. This doesn't make them heat better or worse, in my experience, but mixing different types in the same zone can cause hot and cold spots within the zone.

  • Thanks eastbloc.  Did you personally have a preference?  Sounds like you like big'ol cast iron?  I like the look of some of the ornate ones, but also like some of the newer very flat/flush against the wall versions.   
  • edited December 2014
    @goldemi1 - Are you asking about a steam or water system?  Single pipe seems to imply steam.  

    Either way, cast iron is the way to go. As @eastbloc noted, it stays warm long after the boiler turns off.  You can get cast iron in many different shapes and sizes.  They should all have a rating on them so if you get the right size for the room (and if steam, use the correct valve), it should do a good job, irrespective of shape, new or old.

    It is worth noting that steam can be temperamental (with knocking, hissing, etc.) so make sure you have a professional with experience in steam systems install the radiators. 
  • edited December 2014
    Single pipe is steam, as southeast said.  You can definitely go with either baseboard or cast iron.  Cast iron does remain warm even after the system is off, but this has downsides in that it tends to "outrun" the thermostat, making the place (potentially) warmer than you set it to.  This is because the cast iron acts as a buffer for the heat, and releases it more slowly than a baseboard setup, so by the time the system turns off, there's a lot of residual heat left in the metal.

    That is assuming you have a thermostat at all.  You said you live in an apartment, and it's unlikely that you have a steam boiler in a utility closet, so you may have a central boiler which you do not individually control.  

    That is, if the pipes are connected to anything functional at all.  What are your neighbors doing?
  • cast iron baseboards are great.
  • check out Build It Green!
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