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…
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.
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.