Cleaning Radiators Covid-19

Cleaning Radiators Covid-19

Since the outbreak of Covid 19 In March of this year we have been having to spend much more time in our homes since the lockdown began.  We could now be facing a second wave as we enter into the 6 month Winter period, with the presence of Covid 19 on the rise!

The affects of Covid 19 has previously highlighted the risk and devastating impact poor indoor air quality can have on our health, lives and long term well being when inhaled in poorly ventilated indoor environments!

As our School Children, College/University students and staff are now returning to their full-time education, they are now being immediately faced with unforeseen challenges!

This situation again has highlighted the risks, ease, and rapid spread of Covid-19 cases, due to exposure and inhalation within poor ventilated indoor environments, that can affect everyone of all ages with or without underlying health issues!

As this coincides with the annual increase of NHS Emergency respiratory infections that require hospital treatment, such as influenza, Asthma, Allergies and Colds that have similar symptoms to Covid 19.

This makes it difficult for us to identify seasonal infections from Covid 19 that have similar symptoms in their early stages without a medical opinion or test.

 For Example

Using past asthma hospital emergency admissions data from 2006 – 2014. (NHS Digital and Asthma UK 2017)

  Emergency Hospital Admissions from 2006 to 2014 (NHS Digital, 2014)


.Asthma hospital admissions by month between April 2012 and March 2016 (Asthma UK 2017)












































Table showing emergency hospital admissions from 2013 to 2014 (Data taken from Asthma UK, 2017)


Graph showing the emergency hospital admissions for asthma in 2013 (Data taken from Asthma UK, 2017)


Graph showing the emergency hospital admissions for asthma in 2014 (Data taken from Asthma UK, 2017)

 As you can see from the data this shows there are two peak months, one being September and the second being December annually.  The month of September has no definitive explanation, but the most common assumption suggests that the return to education could be a possibility of an increased risk factor.

Likewise, the month of December’s peak has no definitive explanation, maybe we need to assume that Christmas may be a factor because of extended family gatherings indoors over the Christmas period.

Pre Covid 19 the majority of us readily assumed that the 6-month Autumn/Winter period would be the time of year that we may catch or suffer from a Virus e.g. Flu, influenza or respiratory infection as a result of wet, damp and cold outdoor weather. (environment)

 As the colder days and nights are now drawing in for us, this is when we start turning on our Central Heating to create a cosy home that is the preferred method of heating with the majority of homes circa. 190 million radiators which are installed across the UK.


To create a cosy home, we tend to close our windows and turn up the heating as the weather turns colder, we also then use our radiators to dry our laundry.  For most of us with central heating, this may be the beginning of a series of unseen events that can change your indoor home environment which can have adverse- affects for vulnerable occupants.

Drying clothes indoors on a radiator or clothes airers can create up to a third of condensation in our homes that encourages allergens such as mould spores to develop that can trigger asthma and other lung problems.  The household dustmite can flourish in humid warm indoor environments that may also trigger asthma.

See Blog: Can You Be Allergic To Central Heating 


 Another factor that we overlook can be the accumulation and particles of dust that may host allergens, chemical traces and Volatile Organic Components (VOC’s) etc.. that can become circulated and suspended in the toxic air that we breathe indoors.

As we now bring our radiators into use following the summer period, we rarely ever consider a potential health hazard being created via our radiators associated with poor indoor air quality issues when in use during the winter months.

See Blog: The Importance Of Cleaning Your Radiators

So what’s Changed?

As a large amount of steel panel radiators that are now in use were designed and installed purely to create back of the room heat for rooms with open fires, that also had single glazed windows in older draughty homes with little or no insulation and draught proofing.

 From the graph below this shows the percentage of households with Central Heating systems in the (UK) from 1970 to 2018.

 From 1970 to 2018, the percentage of household with a central heating system was a growing trend. In 1970, 30% households had a central heating system. Until 2018, there was nearly 94% households using central heating systems


Did you know?

The cost for respiratory diseases is £11.1 billion every year in the UK.

The reason that indoor air can affect human respiratory system is because indoor air includes dust mite, fungi, and pet dander.

One of the respiratory problems that can be caused by unclean indoor air is Asthma. The main reason to cause asthma is immune response of the air way. After microorganisms in the dust being breathed in, they can cause immune response of respiratory system that can narrow the smooth muscle of air way to cause breathing difficulties.

 As older properties are now being refurbished and new builds are installing radiator heating systems as a preferred choice plus insulation and draught proofing, our new and refurbished homes have become warmer but have poorer ventilation.

New Build homes have become smaller with no open fireplaces, resulting in less ventilation, this means the majority of present-day properties have poorer indoor air quality.

 We have are currently using heat emitters (Radiators) that have not been designed and installed to allow for cleaning and decorating behind in our current properties.

Over time radiators that are not deep cleaned or removed to decorate will accumulate reservoirs of dust that hosts an array of consumer product chemicals, toxins and allergens used in our homes, these are termed as VOC’s (Volatile Organic Components).

We are already aware that we should be regularly cleaning surfaces we regularly touch to prevent spread of infection, as current evidence suggests that Covid 19 survives on metal, glass, or plastic surfaces for days.

It is also important surfaces that we do not see or are unable to reach in some instances need to be periodically cleaned to remove dust/particles that can be circulated or suspended in the air we breathe indoors.

By increasing exposure as could your central heating radiators that have become a main source of air flow within enclosed environments.


 We recommend at least one deep clean of your radiators annually before switching on your central heating system, to prevent the spread of any accumulated dust particles back into your atmosphere.

It is also advisable to have at least a window open when using your radiator to assist clean air exchange levels in the home, also to assist in minimal exposure levels by reducing your thermostat at a lower acceptable level to reduce air flow created by heat from your emitters (radiators) in air tight homes.

See Blog: How To Clean Radiators

The Rotarad solution to allow instant full access behind steel panel radiators for cleaning and decorating, is by installing the affordable retrofit conversion kit for existing and new installations, to eliminate the need to remove the radiator to address these issues.

By being able to access your radiators for periodic deep cleaning to remove the dust this could make a significant contribution to improving your health and wellbeing as now are currently being used in the health care sector.

You should be aware when cleaning your homes to remember your radiators, as they are an important influence on air quality around the home.

See Blog: Accessible Clean Radiators Climate Change


It is now evident that clean air is vital for our long term health and wellbeing indoors as well as outdoors.

We should not have to go outdoors to breath fresh/cleaner air, we should also be able to breathe clean fresher air indoors.

Over several decades the fabric of our homes and buildings has improved but the indoor air quality has deteriorated over the same period of time.


The time has come that we need to recognise our heating systems have become a vital part of the indoor environment that can have a an influence on our long term health and wellbeing.









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