I bought six Buderus panel radiators so far and installed them in our house, see How to Install Radiant Heating System for details.
Pros of Buderus Radiators
The finish is really nice and manufacturing did a fantastic job. The radiator comes with wall brackets so you can hang them on the wall; however, I only chose to that with one radiator, the smallest one I bought (24 x 24 x 4″).
The thermostatic flow valve (see right) is awesome and highly recommended.
I installed almost all radiators under windows and using floor brackets. The advantage is you can hang the curtain behind the radiator at night and keep more heat in (or heat away from the windows). In addition, I placed a reflective insulation foil on the wall and there is a 2-4″ air gap to minimize heat loss through the wall and windows.
Easy installation: I bought the Buderus PEX adapters and used 3/4″ oxygen barrier PEX pipe. The orange Sharkbite pipe worked best because the other pipe I used (Rifeng) had a slightly thicker wall and was difficult to use with Sharkbite fittings; however, it also worked fine, too.
Silent: you hear absolutely nothing at all. If you do, the water is running to fast and you need to adjust the differential bypass valve in your heating system or pump speed.
Quality: Finest quality steel, will never rust or scratch. Will definitely last over 50 years if maintained properly. Heat distribution is fantastic.
Simpler system: because no parts in my system rust (I used brass Sharkbite fittings and stainless steel heat exchangers and pumps) I don’t need to worry too much about water chemistry and incompatible parts.
Cons of Buderus Radiators
Wall brackets a little cheap, not as easy to adjust. In a wood frame house with plaster it may be difficult to hang radiator on the wall as the stud locations may simply not suit.
Feet: three of my radiators are installed using floor mounting brackets. Those honestly do not look very pretty and cost half a fortune, especially the additional plastic covering, for which you need to pay quite a bit extra. In addition, I ordered three sets for identical radiators and received three different kind of floor mounting brackets. Only one set fit perfectly, the other two needed some extra work to make it fit. Apart from the cosmetics of the floor brackets, the cost is simply ridiculous.
Packaging. Be careful when sliding these radiators along pallets. Protruding nails can easily scratch them. I turned the radiator around to hide the scratch. But in general the finish is quite strong so during normal use there shouldn’t be any ‘scratch’ potential at all.
The biggest con has to be cost. In Germany you can get the big 72″ radiator delivered to your door for under 200 euros, here you’re taking $750! In addition you also need various accessories, such as the thermostatic valve to adjust temperature and PEX adapters. Depending on your system you also need bypass valves on each radiator and all of that drives up cost considerably.
The most ridiculous “con” now that we talking about costs is you spend almost $1,000 on each radiator and they don’t include a vent key (square). Sure you can use a screwdriver to vent the radiator and you don’t need to do this often, but in some installations there is no room for screwdriver. So I ordered a key from Germany for 50 cents so now I’m happy…but still confused why on earth we pay so much money here for the radiator and it’s not included…
This radiator product is worth every penny! Despite being overpriced in the U.S. I would buy them again (I bought mine from SupplyHouse.com and from http://www.tanklesswaterheaters.com/buderus-model-n-22-22-by-xx-hydronic-panel-radiator.html. The second company ended up being cheaper as they charge you only once for shipping on the entire order, which may be a lot cheaper when you order many radiators compared to SupplyHouse’s all inclusive pricing).
The quality is phenomenal. I cannot believe people still use cast iron radiators when Buderus has been making these steel radiators for centuries!
It came to my attention that Beacon Morris also produces (likely imports) very similar looking radiators at much lower prices. I am planning to look into those shortly.
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