Every home needs a radiator. Those winter months can be unpleasant, and at their most extreme they can even be dangerous. It is vital that we all have a reliable and effective means of heating our homes, especially if there are children to look after.
Many of us won’t ever find ourselves in the position of needing to buy a new radiator, we simply stick with the ones that are already in a property when we move in. Most of us won’t ever look at another radiator unless there is a serious fault with the ones that we already have.
Because of this, when we do find ourselves needing a new radiator, whether to replace an old one or not, the whole process can seem like a minefield. For those who don’t know where to start in picking out the right radiator, the following guide should hopefully answer most of your most basic questions about the process.
Most of the time, steel, the cheapest choice, is the most popular choice for radiator material, but it is by no means the only one available. Consumers now have an array of options for radiator materials, each with its own advantages and drawbacks. By making use of different materials, manufacturers are able to completely alter the look and feel of a radiator.
Aluminium is another commonly used construction material for radiators and part of the reason is that aluminium is so easy to work with. Cast iron is not as popular as it once was, but it was once as common a material as steel is today. Today, cast iron is mostly used in column style radiators, have a look at Warmrooms for an example of column radiators.
Thermostatic Radiator Valves
Thermostatic radiator valves (TRVs) allow homeowners to manually set the temperature of individual radiators throughout the home. Not only this, but TRVs also regulate heat output and so can automatically reduce the amount of heat output by a radiator when it detects that the temperature is too high. Having TRVs fitted, in addition to a centralised heating system, can potentially save homeowners hundreds of pounds every year and also significantly reduce the amount of greenhouse gases a home is responsible for.
Central, Electric or Dual
There are three main different types of radiator. No matter where in your home you are hoping to have your new radiator, it will fall into one of these three categories.
The first is the central radiator. This is a radiator which is connected to your central heating system and is the typical radiator that you are used to seeing the most. The radiator fills with hot water from the boiler and then radiates the heat throughout the room that it’s in.
An electric radiator is a radiator which converts electrical energy into heat and are typically mounted on the wall and then connected to a mains power outlet.
Meanwhile, dual fuel radiators are hybrid systems which are both of the above types simultaneously. A dual fuel radiator usually comes in the form of a central radiator which incorporates a mains-powered ‘summer heating’ feature.
Choosing a radiator can seem like a convoluted and difficult decision, especially if you’ve never had to make it before, but if you enter in to it with an idea of what you are looking for then you should find the whole process fairly simple and straightforward.