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How to Avoid Rookie Mistakes When Buying A New Radiator

Radiators come in all sorts of shapes and sizes and different radiators are appropriate for different needs. People who aren't aware of these differences can often make errors when buying new radiators.


If you want to avoid this, then read on. Here, we are going to explore some of the most important things to know about buying radiators. Understanding these will help you to avoid making some of those rookie mistakes were talking about in the title.


Use a BTU calculator to work out how much heat you need

You might think that the whole point of a radiator is to keep you warm and protect you from the elements, but it is also important to protect your home from the cold too. Several issues can happen if the house is too cold. For example, you can get a lot of movement, which can cause cracks in the plaster, or you can end up with problems such as damp.


Clearly, it is vital that you find a radiator that produces enough heat for the room. To do this, you need to use a BTU calculator. You can find them online or at your local radiator retailer/ hardware store.


All you need to do is input a few figures, such as the size of the room and whether it has a north-facing wall or double glazing, and it will tell you how much heat the room needs. You then match this figure to the radiator.


For example, if the calculator tells you the room needs 2000 BTU per hour, you buy a radiator that can produce 2000 BTU per hour.  You can also buy multiple radiators for the room, as long as you have the pipework and as long as they add up to the desired heat output. 


Choose the best material for your needs

Radiators come in different material types. For example,  some are made of aluminium, some stainless steel, some cast iron. Most manufacturers, such as MHS radiators, sell their radiators in a variety of different materials, so you can choose between different ones depending on which is most appropriate to you. 


Here are a few things to consider, because each type of material has its own advantages and disadvantages:


  • Aluminium radiators are cheap and easy to mould. They come in a broad range of designs making them great for people you are looking for something a bit unusual. They are very fast to heat up but very fast to cool down too. This makes them most appropriate with a responsive central heating system for homes that use their heating on a more ad hoc basis, rather than setting timers.


  • Stainless steel radiators are more expensive and harder to mould, but they are hardwearing and are very resistant to rust. They are better for homes that are slightly damp or for rooms such as bathrooms and kitchens. There is somewhere in between responsive and timed systems and so are appropriate for both.


  • Cast iron radiators are also fairly expensive and tend to come in a single design, which is the column radiator. You can see examples of these by MHS Radiators. They have a classless elegance and are most appropriate for a timed system because they are excellent at releasing heat in a slow and steady manner, but are relatively slow to warm up initially.


Choosing the right radiator for your home is essential, not only to your comfort but also to the welfare of the home. Follow the advice above and you should avoid any issues.