Radiator buying guide

Whilst warmer weather is upon us, fears for rising gas prices continue to plague homeowners. With an expected energy bill increase of 32% this October, now might be a good time to think about replacing your radiators.

It’s not just the efficiency of a radiator you should consider, but how it looks. From modern stylish radiators to traditional cast iron ones, picking the right radiator can instantly transform the look and feel of a room.

In our radiator buying guide, we’ll take you through what you should consider before purchasing a new one.

What’s BTU and why is it important?

All radiators are assigned a British Thermal Unit (BTU). This demonstrates how much energy is required to heat 1 pound of water by 1 degree Fahrenheit. Ultimately, the higher the BTU, the hotter the radiator will be.

Different radiators provide different BTU outputs. Vertical column radiators produce more heat than a slim panel radiator, making them better suited to larger rooms or rooms that need to be warmer like living rooms and bathrooms.

If you’re unsure which BTU rating you need, it’s best to choose a radiator with a slightly higher output to make sure the room is warm enough.

What’s the best place to install a radiator?

When looking at places to install your new radiators, you should spend time considering the layout of the room. The type of wall you plan on hanging the radiator will give you an indication of radiator dimensions, whilst the wall material will inform what fittings are needed.

Large radiators will need to be hung from strong, solid walls, whereas modern designer radiators tend to be lighter and can be hung from stud walls, as long as they’re hung from the stud and not the hollow plasterboard.

Ideally, you should install your radiators away from big pieces of furniture to ensure air can circulate around the room.

And don’t forget if you’re placing a radiator on an external wall to place a heat reflector behind it to prevent the heat from escaping.

Bathrooms, living rooms and kitchens usually need to be in the low 20s to feel comfortable, whilst bedrooms can be a few degrees cooler.

Should I choose plumbed or electric radiators?

Your house will either use plumbed radiators connected to the central heating system, or electric radiators.

Ideally, you’ll replace radiators like for like, although there may be instances where it might be prudent to switch radiator types.

For example, if you’re one of the 1 million people who splashed out on a shed-come-office an electric radiator can be easier to install.

Which style radiator is best?

Central heating radiators

Central heating radiators are the most popular choice for homeowners thanks to their high heat output and heating efficiency. Available in a number of sizes, they’re great for bedrooms, hallways and living rooms, although they’re not the most visually appealing, a radiator cover can help hide them, without impacting their heating credentials.

Column and cast-iron radiators

If you live in a period property, installing a radiator that fits in with other period features like ornate cornicing and wood panelling can instantly create a more traditional feel to any room.

Whilst they may have a distinctive vintage look, their thoroughly modern engineering ensures interiors remain cosy.

Designer radiators

From space-saving designs to bold colours that blend seamlessly with their surroundings, if you’re looking for stylish radiators, then look no further than a designer radiator.

These contemporary pieces are works of art, and far from being an eye-sore, you’ll want to make them the centre of attention.

Vertical and space saving radiators

If you’re short on space, vertical radiators are an excellent alternative to traditional radiators, whilst space saving radiators are designed to even wrap around corners. Thanks to their sleek and simple design they take up less space, leaving more room for furnishings.

Blue vertical radiator. Stylish interior with colour blocking.

The Radiator Company Ancona Radiator, colour coordinated to Benjamin Moore Aegean Teal.

Towel radiators

Stylish bathroom radiators that double up as towel rails are the only accessory your bathroom needs. Proving form and function go hand in hand, towel radiators are available in an assortment of heights and widths.

Get a quote for radiator installation

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