Everything You Need to Know Before Buying a Radiator

Everything You Need to Know Before Buying a Radiator
 
 
 
 

A radiator is an essential part of many households. This equipment helps to regulate the temperature of your home, making sure that you stay comfortable regardless of the weather outside. The thing is, there are different types of radiators in the market, making it quite a challenge to purchase one. Lucky for you, in our post today, we cover the basics of everything you need to know before buying a radiator.

Do Your ResearchDo Your Research

Research is key when considering buying a new radiator. Some logistics and technical issues will influence the type and size of the radiator. Here are some of the things you need to consider:

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Size of the Radiator

Needless to say, the size of the radiator you choose determines the amount of heat to be produced. A radiator that’s too small won't produce sufficient heat for the entire room. So, the first thing to do is calculate the ideal heat output for the room. Heat Output is measured in British Thermal Units (BTU). This is a calculation of the energy needed to heat 1lb of water at 3.8-4.4 degrees Celsius (39-40 degrees F). Usually, there are BTU calculators to help you measure the ideal heat output of your room. With that information in mind, you’ll be able to narrow down your choices and buy the right radiator that’s both effective and suitable for your room. When choosing the size of the radiator, it's also important to take the available space into account. If you can't do this by yourself, we recommend getting in touch with a qualified heating engineer for advice.

Materials Used

Radiators are made from different materials ranging from steel, aluminum, and cast iron. The price of the radiator will be influenced by the material you choose. Let's explore the materials in a little detail: • Steel: Stainless steel is one of the most popular materials used in radiators. It is reliable and has a range of benefits. First, since it's an alloy, it's corrosion-resistant, making it perfect for areas like the bathroom and kitchen, which are constantly subjected to heat and water. On top of that, steel is a low-maintenance material.

  • Cast Iron: Cast iron radiators have been around since the first radiator was made. The material is reliable but can take a while to heat. On the other hand, once the material is heated, it can retain heat much longer, making its heat output durable and strong. Radiators made of cast iron distribute heat more evenly since they are made from evenly spaced columns that have air flowing between them – a feature that also makes it easy to clean them. Another disadvantage of cast iron radiators is their weight, which can make installation tough.
  • Aluminum: Aluminum has become a popular material in the making of radiators for both manufacturers and consumers for various reasons. For starters, it's cheap to manufacture, hence cutting costs. It's also light, making installation easy. Aluminum is not only durable and corrosion-resistant but also biodegradable, making it environmentally friendly.
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Image: Shutterstock

Radiator Styles

Horizontal – This style of the radiator is probably the most common in the market. It is ideal for broader heat dispersal, hence perfect for larger spaces and rooms with high ceilings where the heat can rise gradually through convection. This eliminates pockets of cold air in the room. The major drawback of a horizontal radiator is that you need to be careful not to cover it with the furniture as this will affect heat radiation. Vertical – The popularity of vertical radiators has slowly been increasing over the past few years. For one, a vertical radiator can be used to create a focal point in the room and augment the design of the room. They make a good choice for rooms where space is limited like the kitchen and bathroom. Towel – towel radiators are ideal for bathrooms given their small size. Plus, they allow you to dry out your towels. Heated towel radiators can also be used in the kitchen and hallways due to their practicality and functionality. Electric – apart from being highly efficient, electric radiators are low maintenance and come with extra features like heat-zoning, digital controls, and thermostats. They are highly flexible and allow you to heat different rooms at different times.

Choosing the Right Valve Type

Radiator valves are essential components that ensure the temperature within the radiator is controlled. You can choose between manual and thermostatic valves. Manual valves are mainly used to turn the radiator on and off. The thermostat is usually positioned elsewhere, away from the radiator. Thermostatic radiator valves, on the other hand, are more versatile and help in maintaining the temperature that you want on each individual radiator. You’ll need to choose the right valve, depending on where your pipes are coming from, (that is the wall or the floor). That’s why it's necessary to involve a qualified technician to help you out.

Positioning

Last, but not least, it where to install the radiator. Factors like available wall space may influence the positioning of the radiator. The first thing to consider is the size of the room. You need to assess how much wall space you have available. If you have limited wall space, you can opt for a vertical radiator. This is a great option as opposed to, say, a horizontal radiator that will be installed behind a sofa or bed, which will be a waste of energy. The best location to position a radiator is below a window. As cold air comes in through the uninsulated window, warm air from the radiator rises and is carried by the draft, pushing warm air instead of cold air into your room.

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