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First Time Radiator Buyers: What You Need To Know

Here, we are going to explore the various things that you need to understand when buying a new radiator. This is intended to act as a beginner's guide for those of you who are buying new radiators for the first time. We will look at some of the basics of radiator purchasing so that you understand what you need to do in order to get it right.



Heat output: getting it right


Clearly, the most important Factor when buying a new radiator is that it provides enough for your room. Different radiators produce different amounts of heat and this is largely dependent on their surface area. This may make you believe that the larger the radiator, the greater the heat output.



This is not necessarily the case because the radiator manufacturers increase surface area without increasing the width and height of the radiator. For example, they might use multiple panels and multiple convector fins, which increase the surface area of the radiator without increasing the amount of wall space it will take up.


All radiators in the UK will have a rating known as a British thermal unit per hour rating, or BTU rating.  This is the number that you want to look for when choosing your new radiator. The first step in the process is to access the BTU calculator, which you can find online at most websites that sell radiators. 


The calculator will walk you through the various things you need to do, such as measure the size of the room, indicate whether it has double or single glazing, and whether it has a North-facing wall. You will enter all these details and then the calculator will return a BTU rating telling you how many BTUs you require in that particular room.


Once you have the BTU rating, you can then look for radiators that match that level of BTU heat output. With heat output, it doesn't matter about the brand of radiator e.g. weather it's Hudson Reed radiators, or just a bog standard radiator, the amount of heat produced is determined by the radiators BTU rating and not buy it brand name or size per se.



Designer radiators: are they worth it?


In the past, people used to stick to the traditional rectangular radiators, but with the arrival of designer radiators, such as Hudson Reed radiators, it's much more common for people to buy designer radiators. They are more expensive than standard radiators, but they can add a lot of character to a room.


You need to be careful when buying designer radiators that you buy a high quality Brand and that the radiator can produce enough heat for the room. Check out the reviews and see how other people rate the Brand and the model of radiator before you make your purchase. When research properly, a designer radiator can often add a lot more to a room than a traditional radiator, so from that perspective they can very well be worth it.


We hope you have found this article useful. If you would like further help and advice about buying new radiators, please visit.

Why Vertical Radiators Make the Perfect Choice for Your Living Room

When it comes to radiators, most people agree that vertical radiators look better than horizontal radiators too. We're not sure why this is the case: they can be identical but simply a different orientation, and the vertical one will still look better. 


Unfortunately, vertical radiators can sometimes be more problematic than horizontal radiators and this is because bar former tend to distribute heat less evenly.


However, before you rush out and buy horizontal radiators, consider some of the advantage that the vertical radiators have over the horizontal radiators because in many instances, vertical radiators can make the better choice of radiator for your living room. Here's why:



Energy Efficiency and Radiator Orientation


The main reason that people say that horizontal radiators are better is that they are more efficient in the way that they distribute heat around the room than the vertical radiators are. Without going too much into the science, this is simply because hot air rises and there is less space above the vertical radiators in the horizontal radiator, meaning a lot of the heat reaches the top of the room, but doesn't distribute throughout the room.


In terms of the efficiency of the radiator, as long as they both have the same BTU, they will cost the same to run and could use the same amount of heat. It's simply about heat distribution where one wins over the other.


However, this isn't to say that vertical radiators don't have their place, they certainly do.  The trick to improving heat efficiency with vertical radiators is to choose column radiators. This maximizes the amount of surface area of the radiator, which means that it then produces more heat for the same amount of energy usage.  If you want to install a vertical radiator, try to choose one that has columns.


Vertical Radiators and Small Spaces


The biggest advantage of vertical radiators is that they are much easier to place in smaller spaces. In living rooms, we tend to be a little cramped in the UK. Our houses are on the small side.  Because we might not be able to fit a horizontal space, a vertical radiator will work much better. This is because the vertical radiators can be more powerful. They can produce a greater amount of thermal energy in a smaller space because of their orientation.


If surface area is directly related to heat output, and if the only horizontal radiator that can fit in a space is small, it might not be able to produce enough heat. However, with vertical radiators, you can fit a larger unit in a smaller space because height is often not an issue in saving space - it's usually about the footprint the radiator has on the floor and a vertical radiator has a smaller footprint. 


Vertical Radiators and Appearance


Finally, vertical radiators tend to look better than horizontal radiators - especially if you choose column radiatorsThey simply have a better appearance - we're not sure why, but you can see for yourself by following the link at the bottom of the page 


Are you interested in buying a new radiator? If you are, please visit 


Why Aluminium Is Such A Great Choice Of Radiator

If you're reading this article, it's probably because you're thinking of buying a new radiator for your home and you've noticed that many of the radiators on the market and made of aluminium, but that they're also choices for alternative materials, such as cast iron and stainless steel. 


This may have led to some confusion about which type of material is better than the other and consequently you want to find out more about the reason why aluminium is so popular when it comes to making radiators.  Today, we are going to explore this topic in depth. 



Under most circumstances, aluminium is generally the best choice of material because it has so many positive features that make it ideal for use as a radiator.


Heat output


The heat output of aluminium radiators is just right- it’s the Goldilocks material of radiators.  This is because its heat output is slow and steady. It doesn't heat up so fast that you lose the rapidly and it doesn't retain the heat within the radiators so that it is harder for the heat to escape.  It has a sweet spot where it distributes heat after steady and even rate and pace.


Cast iron is fairly good at emitting heat.  However, because it is thicker, it can take a long time for the heat leave the radiator that makes them much less efficient and aluminium. Stainless steel has the opposite problem in that it loses heat too quickly. You might wonder why people bother with stainless steel radiators at all, but it's because once painted or if used as a towel radiator, but provides enough insulation to ensure that the heat leaves at a steady pace, rather than leaving too quickly.




With radiators, efficiency refers to how much heat a radiator will produce when using a standard unit of measurement, which in the case of radiators is a watt.  Because of the way that aluminium distributes heat, it is also much more efficient than either of the other two types of radiator in most cases.


There are exceptions, for example with towel radiators, stainless steel radiators much better than aluminium radiators because of the way they distribute heat. However, in a normal room, aluminium radiators generally work the best in terms of efficiency.


Cast iron is also highly efficient, but they generally work better with central heating systems that have a timed mechanism, rather than an ad-hoc mechanism, the latter refers to a responsive system where you turn it on and off according to how you feel in the moment rather than relying on a timed thermostat.




You might not be aware that weight is quite important when it comes to radiator. There are two issues here. First, lightweight radiators are easier to install because it's easier to carry and manoeuvre into place. Second, radiators attached to the wall, and the heavier they are the more pressure they place on the wall so the life of the radiator, the better it is for structural integrity of your home.


We hope that you have found this article useful. If you are interested in buying a new radiator, please visit



What Are the Advantages of Installing a Towel Rail in the Bathroom?

Towel rails are a common addition to many bathrooms in the UK, and yet there are homes throughout the country that do not have this feature. Today, we are going to look at the reasons why it’s important to have a place to dry your towels in your bathroom.


If you're umming and ahing about whether you fit such a radiator, then you will find this article useful because we are going to explore the various advantages of installing a towel rail in your bathroom.



Is There a Reason Why People Don’t Install Towel Rails in Their Bathrooms?

Some of you might assume that it’s simply down to laziness, but some people have reasons for not installing towel radiators in their bathrooms (and they’re usually wrong!). Here are some of the things that people tell us when we ask them why they do not  have a towel rail in their bathrooms:


  1. They do not have central heating in that room, and so have assumed that they are stuck with the electric radiators (e.g. the Economy 7 type units).


  1. They already have a radiator and think that it would be prohibitively expensive to replace.


  1. Their bathroom is a wet room and this makes them assume that towels would be a silly idea because they’d get wet (which they may do if the radiator isn’t placed strategically).


The reasons listed above may make sense, but they are wrong because they are based on false premises. For example, you can buy electric towel rails, so the fact that they do not have central heating in that room is moot. Whilst the money issue is a factor, it’s actually much cheaper than people assume to change the radiator – including the cost of the radiator, it should cost less than £300. Finally, with wet rooms, you simply need to place the radiator as far away from the showerhead as possible – this is usually possible in most wet rooms, although there may be one or two exceptions.


What Are the Advantages of Towel Rails in the Bathroom?

OK, so we’ve explored some of the myths surrounding radiators in the bathroom, but let’s now turn our minds to the advantages of installing towel radiators in the bathroom. There are several:


  1. Towel rails help to reduce mould and mildew in the home. Because you have a place to dry your towels quickly, this can help to minimise the amount of moisture in the air in your home. In turn, this will help to minimise the risks of mould and mildew. This doesn't simply affect the bathroom, but the entire house – especially if you're one of those families who hand their towels over doors and banisters.


  1. As well as minimising the amount of mould and mildew in the home, they also minimise the amount of mildew in the towels. This means that your towels will not need washing as frequently as they would if you were to leave them to dry naturally.


  1. They keep your towels nice and warm. There’s nothing better than getting out of a cold shower into a nice warm towel. Bliss.

Is There Ever an Appropriate Time to Buy Vertical Radiators?

The common sense understanding of radiators says that you should not buy vertical radiators, as they are less efficient than their horizontal counterparts are. Fortunately, this information is outdated – that’s great news because vertical radiators are the most stylish type and it would be a shame to stick to horizontal radiators all the time.


However, whilst vertical radiators do have their place, the conditions for buying them are relatively slim. If you want a radiator that is efficient and that heats the space, then a vertical radiator can sometimes fit the bill, but not necessarily in every scenario.



You need to know when it’s ok to buy tall radiators and when you should opt instead for horizontal radiators. This is the topic of the rest of the blog. Below, we are going to explore the circumstances when it’s OK to buy vertical radiators.


OK, so when it is OK to buy vertical radiators? The following list will help you to understand whether a vertical radiator is right for you, or not.


  1. Vertical Radiators Work Well in Small Spaces That Require a Lot of Heat

In small spaces that require a lot of heat, a horizontal radiator just won’t cut it. It will not be able to provide enough heat for the space. This is because you will be limited in the size of horizontal radiator that you can buy.


For example, if you only have a 50cm horizontal gap, then at best, you will be able to install a 50cm x 40cm horizontal radiator. This may produce 1000btu at most. On the other hand, in the same space, you can usually install a vertical radiator that has a surface area of at least 50xm x 80cm, and can therefore produce more btu, at least 2000btu, which is double that of the horizontal radiator.


Small spaces that require a lot of heat include rooms such as bathrooms, kitchens, and utility rooms. Vertical radiators work wonderfully well in such spaces. Small spaces may also include large rooms that have very little wall space, such as a busy living room or bedroom.


  1. Rooms On the Ground Floor (Or First Floor in Taller Homes)

The problem with tall radiators isn’t so much that they don’t produce enough heat (they will produce an equal amount of heat to a horizontal radiator all things being equal and the two being the same size), but that they distribute it in a less efficient way.


Heat rises, so naturally, the taller the radiator, the more you will lose heat through the ceiling. This is a problem if the roof is above the room, because you are effectively just heating your loft space. However, in downstairs rooms, or rooms that have another floor above them, they can actually work well because that “lost” heat simply warms the room above. It will also warm the same room, but not to the same degree as a horizontal radiator.


Top Tips for Choosing Attractive Radiators for Your Home

Radiators are one of the most overlooked items of interior design. That’s silly, because they take up such a large proportion of any given room – we could certainly be using them much more to our own advantage. We all spend a good amount of time decorating our space, so why do so many people choose to ignore the radiators?


We’re not sure, but if you're reading this article, then you're surely looking to change this type of thinking. Well, good job, because we have many great tips to help you make the right choices when it comes to your radiators. Radiators should be praised for the wonderful thing they can be: an extra level of style to any room.


When it comes to radiators, you can easily match them to your interior décor, you just need to know what you're doing. This is where we can help. Below, you are going to find some helpful tips for choosing new radiators to suit your room.


Matching the Radiator to Your Interior Décor

One of the key problems people have when it comes to buying stylish radiators is that they do not match the style of the radiator to the style of the room. The radiator may look amazing in the showroom, or in your friend’s living room (wherever you were inspired), but if you want it to look good in your home, then you need to match it to your style.


For example, if you have a country cottage, you're home probably suits cast iron column radiators. If you choose the flashy designer radiators, whilst they may look good as a standalone item, within the rest of your décor, they may appear odd.


The best tip for choosing attractive radiators for your home is to make sure that you match the style of the radiator to the style of the room.


Correct Positioning

Next, you have to make sure that you position the radiator correctly. It needs to have the right location or it can appear out of place. For example, sticking a designer radiator under a bay window can look odd, but sticking a cast iron column radiator underneath, or a chunky but short panel radiator, can look great. The latter two suit the space but the former type does not. With flashy designer radiators, they should be acting more as an artistic display and should have pride of place on one of your walls.



The final thing to note here is that if you're buying stylish radiators, you don’t want to hide them away behind furniture or in unloved corners. The whole point of buying this type of radiator is that they look good in the space – don’t hide them away.


The Choice of Finish and Material

Finally, you should think carefully about the finish and the material of the radiator. Matt finishes tend to look better amongst traditional styles, such as The English Country look. Shiny finishes work better in executive spaces, such as a lovely executive home.

What Are the Most Important Things to Look for When Buying a New Radiator?

Radiators have changed significantly in recent times. If you're buying new radiators, and you haven’t done so for a while, you might need to learn a little bit more about what’s on offer. Today, we are going to talk you through the various features you should be considering when buying a new radiator – it’s not all about the money! At least, not the short-term costs…



The Panels

In the past, radiators UK used to have a single panel. That’s literally all a radiator was: one panel of metal that contained hot water.


The surface area of a radiator directly affects the amount of heat that it can produce. The manufacturers of modern radiators realised that if they could increase the surface area of a radiator, they could produce more heat. At the same time, they didn’t want to increase its size in a way that was impractical.


Their solution was to double the amount of panels. This takes up more space in one sense (i.e. it makes the radiator thicker), but the space it uses isn’t useable space anyway (you shouldn’t place things in front of a radiator). They knew that by doubling the panels they could increase the amount of heat produced and minimise the amount of extra space it would take up.


Nowadays, they’ve gone a step further: you can buy triple panel radiators! These are 3x more efficient than the old-style, single-panel, radiators are.


If you're looking for the most efficient radiators, then go for one with a triple panel.


Convector Fins

As well as increasing the number of panels, the radiator manufacturers realised that they could incorporate fins between the panels, which would increase the surface area even more. Convector fins help to double the amount of heat that a radiator can produce for the same amount of energy.


The best radiators are those that have triple panels and double convector fins. They pump out more than 5x as much heat for the same cost as a single panel radiator.


TRVs: Thermostatic Radiator Valves

These are a special type of valve that effectively acts as a thermostat for an individual radiator – hence their name. They maintain the radiator at the heat that you set by turning the valve to the required setting (i.e. however hot or cold you want your space to be). The valve then works automatically: opening when the radiator cools down too far and closing when the radiator heats up too much.


They are very clever, and yet so incredibly simple. They use wax that melts or solidifies depending on the temperature of the radiator, and this the turns the valve on and off. It means that you don’t have to do anything – the radiator sorts itself out, by turning itself on and off. This is definitely a money saving technology, and one that you should always choose for your new radiators.


Designer Radiators Cost You Less In The Long Run

Perhaps you are not familiar with the awful and cumbersome radiators that first came on the market a long time ago. They were not very efficient and sometimes too hot or too cold. In our grandparents’ time the heat could also not be adjusted and they often clunked.  They needed endless bleeding to keep the heat even in them.


However, if you still have these monsters in your home and you are fed up looking at them, perhaps you should have them replaced with Designer Radiators. You have no idea how these can transform a dull looking room.



These rads especially have revolutionised how our modern bathroom looks today. If you should revamp your bathroom rather than adding a conventional ladder type on which to hang towels, why don’t you go for a more creative design?


After the living spaces, a bathroom is the most often visited room in the home for obvious reasons. If you remodel this space, you will instantly feel more relaxed when you take a long bath or shower. Because we are so busy earning a crust these days there is nothing more relaxing than to shut yourself away in a calm room after a day’s work.


Why should you opt for a designer model? If your budget is generous the answer is why not. Although they are more costly than mass produced heaters, they are still affordable. Nowadays, because people are increasingly choosing the more futuristic styles, prices have come down because production costs have come down.


You are doing yourself a favour choosing more up to date models as the old bulky ones were not especially energy efficient. Any modern radiator will instantly lower running costs and the initial outlay will pay for itself in a relatively short time because of it.


Some radiators like the aluminium ones use less water than others in its range which lowers costs even further. Moreover they are also very responsive and will heat a space up in no time.

There Are Endless Possibilities Choosing A Contemporary Design

If your home is looking lacklustre and dull, there is nothing better than to give it a makeover. You may be on a budget and perhaps you could only go as far as changing the colour scheme.



One way for sure you can change your décor is to have some contemporary radiators fitted in places where they can be seen and admired. Many of these are a feature in any room rather than a piece of furniture that merely heats the home.


If you should choose a designer model you will notice that you have endless choices available to you because there are many styles, colours and designs available.


There are of course traditional designs with a modern twist, but there are also modern styles with a contemporary look to them that will enhance the look of your room.


Since any radiator whether modern or traditional give you efficient heat, you will still need to work out the heat you need to keep the interior comfortable. For this you will have to work out the BTUs needed. You can either do this yourself or have it worked out by your plumber.


Vertical radiators are often preferred these days as they will give you the same heat when you have limited wall space. They heat large areas, but they take up far less room.  Even the flat panel varieties have been revamped and they save floor space too by sitting close to a wall.  They are ideal for modern more compact homes where space is at a premium.


If you are not a lover of contemporary design there are plenty of really stunning traditional designs available such as, for instance, a column radiator. They are a far cry from the bulky heaters that were produced so many years ago.


You need to know that the more columns they have, the more heat they will chuck out and they are an ideal choice for period homes where vintage is key as far as décor is concerned.

There Are Endless Possibilities Choosing A Contemporary Design

If your home is looking lacklustre and dull, there is nothing better than to give it a makeover. You may be on a budget and perhaps you could only go as far as changing the colour scheme.



One way for sure you can change your décor is to have some contemporary radiators fitted in places where they can be seen and admired. Many of these are a feature in any room rather than a piece of furniture that merely heats the home.


If you should choose a designer model you will notice that you have endless choices available to you because there are many styles, colours and designs available.


There are of course traditional designs with a modern twist, but there are also modern styles with a contemporary look to them that will enhance the look of your room.


Since any radiator whether modern or traditional give you efficient heat, you will still need to work out the heat you need to keep the interior comfortable. For this you will have to work out the BTUs needed. You can either do this yourself or have it worked out by your plumber.


Vertical radiators are often preferred these days as they will give you the same heat when you have limited wall space. They heat large areas, but they take up far less room.  Even the flat panel varieties have been revamped and they save floor space too by sitting close to a wall.  They are ideal for modern more compact homes where space is at a premium.


If you are not a lover of contemporary design there are plenty of really stunning traditional designs available such as, for instance, a column radiator. They are a far cry from the bulky heaters that were produced so many years ago.


You need to know that the more columns they have, the more heat they will chuck out and they are an ideal choice for period homes where vintage is key as far as décor is concerned.

Vertical Heaters: Do They Have Their Place?

Because of rising energy bills, more and more of us are starting to pay close attention to our energy bills, and especially our heating bills. We are now more concerned than ever to be as efficient as possible with our energy requirements. One thing that has manifested out of this is the general idea that vertical heaters should be avoided at all costs. But is this true? This is the topic of the article and we will address the issues throughout.


The first thing we want to clarify is that vertical radiators are not the bad option that they are made out to be. They can be a bad choice, but this is not always the case. You should avoid using them under certain circumstances, but in other situations, they are actually the best choice. Let’s explore this in more depth now…


In terms of heat output, they can produce as much heat as any other radiator of the same size and BTU rating. The difference between a vertical and horizontal radiator in this regard is the way that they distribute heat around the room. Horizontal radiators are more efficient at distributing heat in an even and broad manner. They heat up more of the room across a horizontal axis. This means that they are better at heating larger rooms.


However, there are two issues to address here:


  1. Vertical radiators might not spread heat as efficiently in a larger room, but in a smaller room, they tend to perform better because they produce more heat for the same amount of space. The horizontal radiators can sometimes be too big to fit in small spaces, and this means choosing a smaller radiator. In turn, the smaller radiator produces less heat, and so it is less efficient than the vertical heater, which can produce as much heat as a larger horizontal radiator can produce in the same space.



  1. Some vertical heaters have convection fins that point the heat towards the floor and out in a fanning pattern. This means that they can cover a much broader area with their heat than the same radiator without convector fins would be able to do. This in turn means that modern vertical heaters, with convector fins, can almost match horizontal radiators in terms of heat distribution. They aren’t quite as good, but they are much better than they used to be and they are almost on a par with the horizontal radiators.



Vertical heaters are also better in some places than horizontal radiators are. For example, if you want to place your radiators on a north facing wall and that wall has a French door or French windows, then it can be better to place two vertical heaters on either side of the door or window, rather than having a single horizontal radiator somewhere on that wall. The two radiators will be more efficient than the single radiator will be.


Finally, vertical heaters have the key advantage that they look better than horizontal heaters. The manufactures design them with fun and classic shapes that make them appear much more elegant than other types of radiator appear.


We hope that you have found this article useful and that you now understand that while vertical heaters aren’t necessarily a good option, under certain circumstances, they are actually the best choice. As such, you should never write them off as impractical or inefficient.

How to Improve the Heating in Your Home without Turning up the Heat

We’ve had an unusually cold winter this year, and many of us have received rather hefty energy bills. In fact, they were so large that the UK government has issued vouchers for some households to compensate them for the additional spend.


Wouldn’t it be great if there were things that you could do to improve the heating in your home without having to turn it up, and without having to spend the extra cash? Well there is, and we are going to teach you the various tricks that the professionals use to keep their homes nice and toasty on the cheap.


Now, you might be asking why we are writing this article now, at the end of winter. Good question. It’s simply because some of the tips below are more cost effective if you do them now. They are usually tasks that people do in winter, and so the retailers increase their prices because they know there’s a lot of demand. In spring, the prices come down, so the perfect time to do these home improvements is now.


Tip 1: Block Out Those Nasty Drafts

The first thing you need to do is secure the home against drafts. There are many places where the drafts come in, but must notably it happens around windows and doors.


The first thing to do is to seal any gaps. For example, if you have a drafty letterbox, then install a back bin behind it. Not only will this catch your letters and stop them falling on the floor, but it will also stop drafts from coming in. Second, you can use putty and poly filler to seal gaps in doors, doorframes, and window frames.


Make sure that you also install ventilation outlets. You need some air in the house or it will develop problems such as condensation. You can then choose when to open the vents and so control when that cold air gets in.


Tip 2: Insulate the Roof

So, the recent snow may have shown you how well insulated your roof is. If the snow melted quickly, it means that your roof isn’t very well insulated and you need to do something about it. The government runs a number of schemes that allows you to insulate your roof free of charge. See if you are eligible. If not, it’s relatively cheap to do yourself, should cost around £300 at the most, and will save you money in the long term.



Tip 3: Make Sure Your Radiators Are Efficient

It might be worth doing an efficiency check on the radiators, or even changing them over. Now, when it comes to efficiency there are a few things to consider. Colour doesn't make much difference; anthracite radiators produce a similar amount of heat to white radiators. The only issue is reflective radiators (e.g. chrome). They are only efficient for use with towels. In terms of other aspects, triple panel and double convector finned radiators are the best on the market right now.

Black And Mirrored Heat

Nearly every home in the UK has a central heating system. But most of us just take it for granted until the boiler malfunctions.


Few people are able to tell how old their heating system is. And boiler along with the radiators may be well over ten years of age.


Your annual servicing engineer is likely to be able to guess with some accuracy the age of your system. If it’s more than ten years old, the boiler at least should be changed.

The newer the boiler the greater the efficiency. And the new combi-boilers are extremely compact, meaning they can be hidden away in a small cupboard.


Because we take an old system for granted, it’s very unlikely that you will have idled away a couple of hours looking at the new generation of radiators available online.



If you do take this trouble, then it will come as a surprise to see how attractive the latest models are. Some of the best-looking ones are the anthracite horizontal radiators. Most of us with old systems will automatically associate radiators as white painted steel panels.


But anthracite is just one of the many other materials used today. Anthracite is the hardest form of coal. It has a lustre that makes it hint of deep blue. These radiators make a statement in a newly decorated room.


The contrast between the radiator and background wall covering can be dramatic. If you want to make that even more attractive, then there are some horizontal anthracite radiators that have a middle section of a mirror.


Killing two jobs with one is not unusual with many new radiators. There are other large radiators that look just like a full-length wall mirror.


These can look great in a bedroom. And they are always a clever trick to give the illusion that the entrance hall in a home is much longer than it really is.


Another room where a mirrored radiator is well worth considering, is the bathroom. As the mirror is also the radiator, there is never any presence of steam or condensation.

Heat In Every Shape And Size

Taking central heating for granted, we barely spare a glance at the average wall radiator. This is because they are all the same boring white painted steel panels. Or are they?


In more recent years, radiator manufacturers have been coming up with some superb designs. It’s like somebody woke up and realized that a radiator could be any shape imaginable.


As long as the surface area is large enough to heat the room, the radiator not only could be a more interesting shape but could also be made of a material other than pressed steel.


The result is that other than steel it is now possible to buy aluminium, anthracite, mirror and wood radiators.


There is a growing demand for the attractive tall horizontal radiators. This is thought to help distribute heat better than the more conventional oblong radiators we are mostly familiar with.



Tall horizontal column radiators radiate the heat at several heights. When fitted from foot to head height the advantages of a better heat distribution are obvious.


They also take up a narrower wall space and this is important where space is limited. For example, these radiators are an excellent choice to place in a narrow alcove.


In days of old, all radiators were made from steel panels and delivered to the home painted white, or occasionally in cream. These very neutral finishes were designed to blend into the white or magnolia walls of rooms in many homes.


When people wanted to paint the wall another colour, they would often paint the radiator the same colour.


But the finish of todays’ beautiful radiators means we are happy for them to contrast against any wall covering. Nobody is likely to be daft enough to paint over a polished steel or chrome finished radiator.


And they certainly would never cover one of the stunning anthracite radiators currently available.


If you enter the word radiator into your computer search engine, you’ll be as surprised as I was to see the vast range of attractive new designs.

Vertical Radiators: When Are They the Perfect Choice?

When it comes to vertical radiators, there’s plenty of confusing and conflicting information out there and very few people know when it’s appropriate to use them and when it isn’t. Experts will recommend that people avoid them altogether, while other experts will say there’s no difference between horizontal and vertical radiators.


The truth sits somewhere in the middle. Yes, there are times when vertical radiators are inappropriate. However, this does not mean that they are always a bad choice. Sometimes, they are an excellent choice.




If there’s one key advantage to vertical column radiators compared to horizontal radiators, it’s that they look much better. There’s just something stylish about the orientation. Perhaps it’s because we’re not used to them, and the human brain seeks novelty.


Perhaps it’s simply that vertical things are more attractive than horizontal things – this seems unlikely, and it isn’t something that’s generally talked about.


Still, for whatever reason, if you're looking for a stylish radiator, then you cannot go wrong with vertical radiators. In terms of interior decor, there’s no better choice in radiator than vertical radiators…of course, that’s only part of the issue.


Heat Output

Some people believe that heat output is much less with a vertical radiator than with a horizontal radiator. This is technically incorrect. As long as both radiators have the same BTU rating (this is the measuring of heat output in the UK), they will produce exactly the same amount of heat.


The problem is that both types of radiator distribute heat differently. A horizontal radiator will distribute heat much more evenly through the room. Heat rises, so the heat comes out over a greater horizontal angle and rises through the room, dispersing the heat at a much wider angle than the vertical radiators do.


While vertical radiators will put out the same amount of heat, it will not distribute in as even a manner as the horizontal radiators distribute the heat. This means that the room doesn’t warm up as evenly as with a horizontal radiator and it can have cooler patches. In other words, vertical radiators are not as good at heating the space as horizontal radiators are.


Small Spaces

OK, so given the last two paragraphs, you'd be forgiven for thinking that the only reason to ever install a vertical radiator is for aesthetic purposes, and never because you want the radiator to work as a radiator and actually provide you with heat.


Fortunately, that’s incorrect. There are times when vertical column radiators are the only option for a room, and that’s when the room is strapped for space. In a small room, a horizontal radiator will not be able to provide the room with enough heat because the surface area of the radiator is simply too small – surface area has a direct link to the amount of heat a radiator is able to produce.


In small rooms, you might have no option but to use a vertical radiator. This includes bathrooms, kitchens, and utility rooms more often than not.


What Are the Advantages of Central Heating Compared to Electric Radiators?

Many people claim that central heating provides superior heating to electric heating; but are they correct? We are going to explore this claim below. As always, the truth of the matter depends on the circumstances and needs of the room.


The Cost

The primary concern with the difference between central heating and electric heating is cost. Here are a few things to note:


  1. Central heating can be very expensive if you need to install a new system. If the property does not have central heating, then it will cost around £10K to have it installed.


That’s a lot of money, and you're only likely to breakeven on the cost compared to electricity after a decent amount of time has passed – something like 20-years, but with electricity becoming ever cheaper, it could be closer to 50-years, and maybe even never if the cost of electricity drops below gas prices.


This is probably going to happen in the coming decades as renewable energy becomes ever cheaper.


However, if you're installing it in a house that you wish to sell, the presence of central heating can actually increase the value of the property. In this case, you could even make money by installing central heating, as it will increase the property value. You need to have a valuator assess the property to find out exactly how much you might make/save.



  1. If the central heating has already been installed, then there’s no doubt about it: central heating radiators are cheaper to run than electric radiators…for now. As mentioned above, as renewable energy becomes cheaper to make, the cost of electricity will come down, and it may even drop below gas prices, making central heating more expensive than electric heating.


The Risks

Both central heating and electric radiators have an inherent risk, but which is riskier?


  1. Electric radiators have a fire hazard risk. If they are not well maintained, they can catch alight and cause fire. Dust can get into the unit and act as tinder. This is clearly extremely dangerous, and from this perspective, something that most of you will want to avoid.


  1. Central heating radiators pose a risk too. Fortunately, it is not a risk to the person. Instead, the risk is that a pipe may burst and this can cause damage to your house. This can be incredibly expensive, but it is much less of a danger than the electric radiators are. Furthermore, burst pipes tend to be covered by insurance policies. It’s inconvenient, but easily fixed. Electric fires are covered by insurance too, but they can’t reimburse you on a life.


However, we want to stress very hard that the risks of either of the above happening are extremely slim. Very few fires are caused by electric radiators nowadays and burst pipes are rare too. It’s simply that you need to be aware of the very small risks so that you can make an informed decision.