Radiator covers can be a great way of protecting your child or pets from burning their skin. Plus, the ability to hide their often unpleasant aesthetic can be tempting to many homeowners. But the cost can make purchasing them questionable for some.
Radiator covers can cost between $50 to $500, depending on the material, size, and style. Custom models require notably more, and after adding installation charges, they can go well over a thousand dollars. However, unless your house is free of kids or pets, you should invest in radiator covers.
Several factors contribute to the price difference between various radiator covers, including their shape & size, build quality, finish, brand, and after-sale services. The rest of this guide will discuss them one by one and will help you estimate the actual cost for your purchase.
Which Factors Determine the Cost of Radiator Covers?
Radiators are essential for maintaining the warmth around your house. But they do differ in size, shape, and type. The most commonly found radiator systems include the following:
- Steam Radiator
- Hot Water Radiator
- Convector Radiator
Other than these, the price of a radiator cover will be subject to the material used for the exterior as well as the styles and additional features. The following sections highlight them in great detail.
Factor #1: Radiator Covers Cost Depend on Shape & Size
The shape & size of an enclosure largely influences its price. Below are some radiator shapes that can be commonly found in modern households.
- Single Panel Radiators
- Double Panel Radiators
- Column Radiators
- Horizontal Radiators
- Vertical Radiators
- Flat Panel Radiators
The size of your radiator cover will depend on its shape. These measurement instructions from Fichman will help you measure the dimension of your radiator. You can estimate the cost for your radiator enclosure based on its dimensions using the following table.
These prices are for radiator covers that are up to 40″ tall and 11″ deep. Moreover, they only account for your standard stock enclosures, not custom ones.
Factor #2: Choice of Material Affects the Cost of Radiator Covers
Radiator enclosures can be built using several materials, and each has its merits and drawbacks. For example, you can order some MDF sheets and craft an enclosure yourself. Typical MDF covers costs somewhere between $50 to $100.
Metal covers, on the other hand, costs significantly more than ready-made MDF radiator covers. A sound quality metal enclosure can cost between $200 to $300. However, the most costly material for radiator covers is wood. They often cost at least double the amount of a stock metal cover.
Although wood covers tend to decrease radiator’s energy efficiency, they’re particularly suitable for home decor. You can be expected to pay well over $400 and upwards for a high-quality wooden enclosure.
Factor #3: Radiator Covers Cost Do Depend on Customization
Like all custom products, radiator covers tend to cost more as you personalize the style and finish. People mainly tend to customize two aspects of radiator covers- the corner finish and the grill style.
Adding a rounded or mitered corner to the radiator covers helps keeping pets and the elderly safe from physical injuries. Grill styles, on the other hand, are personal preference. They bring substance to the home interior and safeguard kids from potentially harmful childish curiosities.
Depending on your corner finish and grill styles, the radiator cover’s actual cost can increase by $50 to $100. It is also subject to manufacturer and material selection.
Factor #4: Installation Environment Impacts the Cost of Radiator Covers
The installation environment can be a contributing factor to the price of radiator enclosures. You can get away with installing a cheaper cover in areas where traffic is low and adequately regulated.
However, if you are installing the enclosure in a crowded environment like hospital corridors or mental health establishments, you’ll need to invest in a high-end product. And, like all excellent products, top-notch radiator covers cost significantly more.
Factor #5: Feature-Rich Radiator Covers Cost More
Many homeowners like to have additional features for their enclosures. For example, if your home has children with special needs, you may want to invest in a radiator cover that comes with anti-ligature grills. It will ensure that the children can’t slide their fingers or toys through the enclosure screen.
Moreover, covers that are easy to clean also tend to cost more. The UK NHS recommends people to clean both the inside and outside of their radiator cover at least once a week. And, easy to use covers usually cost more.
Some radiator covers also come in an anti-microbial finish to prevent the accumulation of germs. The manufacturer will charge you a premium if you want covers with similar features.
Factor #6: Installation Costs Can Increase the Overall Cost of Enclosures
If you end up buying a reasonably cheap cover, chances are you will need to assemble that yourself. This can be daunting to many, especially those who are not handy with tools. Plus, you don’t want to end up with a broken enclosure for your radiator, do you?
That’s why bringing in a professional for the installation is a great idea. However, these professionals do cost money. So, you will need to account for the installation charges before making the purchase.
Certified professionals tend to charge around $300 on average. However, the actual cost will depend on your radiator type and cover design. Thus, installation charges can be a significant factor behind your radiator cover’s exact price.
Factor #7: Radiator Covers Can Increase Energy Consumption
Although many retailers claim their radiator covers can increase energy efficiency, it’s not true. Radiator covers decrease the energy output of your heating system.
So, expect to pay more in energy bills if you buy a radiator cover. The actual increase in bills depends on where you live.
Do Radiator Covers Worth the Cost?
Since radiator covers can cost significant money, many homeowners wonder if they need covers for their heating system. The answer to this question depends on certain factors.
Does Your Home Have Children and Pets?
Investing in a good-quality radiator cover can be vital if you have little kids or pets in your home. They can save you from unexpected visits to the emergency room.
An earlier CDC study found that in cases where children less than ten years had burns involving radiators, 79% of the units were missing an enclosure. Radiator covers will also protect the elderly population from scalding or burns.
Are the Radiators Messing Up Your Home Decoration?
A common problem with old-school radiators is that they don’t blend well with modern home decorations. This can be problematic for people who prefer vibrant interiors.
Buying a bespoke radiator cover can help you eliminate this issue and also add some style elements. Moreover, if you buy some fancy covers for your radiator, you may use them as furniture.
Do Dust or Cobwebs Accumulate on Your Radiator?
Cleaning a radiator is challenging and sensitive work. They attract too much dust and cobwebs, which may lead to health issues down the line. A carefully built radiator cover with emphasis on easy cleaning will take care of this problem for you.
The radiator covers cost depends on several factors, including the size, design, features, and installation costs. You can get a stock enclosure made from MDF for around $50-$100. High-quality MDF products can cost between $150-$350. Metal radiator covers, on the other hand, costs $200 to $300.
Radiator covers made from wood are usually the most expensive. They can demand at least twice the number of metal enclosures. Moreover, the size will be another key deciding factor behind the cost. Finally, you will also need to consider the installation charges and the increase in energy bills.