Four simple steps to help you choose the best radiator

Keeping our homes warm is important to everyone and there are various things we can do to make our homes more energy efficient. A vital part of that is putting in the right radiators, and while that might seem like a big financial outlay, having the wrong radiators could eventually prove more costly.
1. Which room?

Just as you use different rooms in your home for different things, there are radiators available to tailor to specifics. In living or dining rooms, where you might be entertaining, more focus might be given to aesthetics with a designer radiator, rather than perhaps kitchens and bathrooms, where there is a more functional role to play. In smaller rooms, space is at a premium, so look into column radiators that have a much smaller footprint.

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  1. How hard will it work?

Radiators are measured on their heat output in British Thermal Units – BTU. The size of the room a radiator will be expected to heat, and how many radiators will go into that room, should be considered when choosing which units to buy, as the BTU grade will affect efficiency. A small radiator in a big room will have to work much harder to keep the space warm. Speak to your plumber for advice on choosing the right size.

Read the advice on This Is Money for some tips on how to go about choosing the right plumber.

3. Which metal?

Just as there are different styles and designs, there are different materials used for making radiators and there are good reasons to choose any of them. Cast iron is great for traditional or period homes, and it holds its heat for a long time, even after it’s turned off.

Steel is extremely durable and heats quickly, either stainless steel, or mild steel for those with a smaller budget. Either is a great low-maintenance option.

At the other end of the budget scale is aluminium. Although a significant initial investment, aluminium is a super-conductor, so it heats and cools quickly, and it can be precise with temperature. Aluminium column radiators are a great option for high traffic areas.

4. What’s your style?

Ultimately, your own personal taste will help you narrow down the field and make the final decision from the huge selection on the market.


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