About Thermostatic Radiator Valves
Thermostatic radiator valves are used to control the water flow into a single radiator and therefore, the room's temperature. There are several different types of thermostatic valve, but they all need to be fitted to both ends of the radiator and plumbed in to the central heating system. In most cases, the valves will come as a pair either with the radiator or sold separately.
The mounting and connecting points of thermostatic radiator valves are universal in most cases. That means you do not need to source different valves for different manufacturers and they are relatively quick and easy to install. Most of the valves have solid metal fixings (steel, chrome or brass most commonly) and plastic grips for altering the position of the valve and temperature setting. In more design focused valves, these grips can be brushed metal, chrome or steel to match the fixings and give a more sleek look to the radiator.
These valves do not alter the temperature settings of the central heating system. That is set from the boiler thermostat. These valves are localised temperature controls for individual radiators and can help to save energy. Most modern thermostatic radiator valves have temperature sensors to detect the air temperature around them and control the flow of water into the radiator accordingly. Fitting a radiator cover over these valves may impact the performance of the valves as trapped air between the valve and the cover may give a false reading as that air is likely to be hotter than the ambient room temperature.