The decision of whether to install Steel, Aluminium or Cast Iron radiators in a new build or renovation project is often the last consideration and sometimes only addressed properly when the project is nearing an end.
If not considered at the right time, the style and dimensions of a radiator for a room can have a time consuming and costly effect on the installation of other fixtures and fittings, so good planning is definitely the key.
CONSIDER THE HEAT OUTPUT REQUIRED FOR YOUR ROOM
To avoid disappointment and extra cost it is important that you make a proper heat loss calculation on the heat output required for your room and not just try to fill a gap on a wall.
There are a few ways to determine the heat required for your room but the most simple way is to use a heat loss calculator that just requires some basic room dimensions to be entered. The heat output calculation is provided in BTUs (British Thermal Units) or Watts which is standard for the UK industry.
CONSIDER THE CHOICES OF MATERIAL AND STYLE
There are many fantastic looking radiator styles and finishes on the market that are great looking alternatives to the white cheap steel panel radiators being stacked high and sold cheap through the plumber’s merchants across the UK.
Aluminium Radiators: Modern style and the most efficient radiators on the market
Cast Iron Radiators: Traditional style and still efficient through heat retention and convection.
Steel Radiators: Can be modern or traditional depending on the manufactured style. Efficiency will also depend on how the radiator is built.
Radiator Valves: Available in many colour finishes and modern or traditional styles.
QUALITY – CONSIDER THE COUNTRY OF MANUFACTURE
AEL would always recommend that only radiators manufactured to European Standard EN442 are installed in any installation as cheap copies of quality radiators are being sold in the UK.
It is worth asking any radiator distributor to confirm if a radiator is cast in Europe rather than just “built” or “assembled” in the UK as this is the usual explanation provided by distributers who are pushing very cheap and poor quality radiators and valves imported from China and India into the UK.
CONSIDER CHOOSING THE RIGHT VALVES FOR YOUR ROOM
Quality radiator valves will make all the difference to the overall look of your radiators, but choosing the right valve set will also effect the functionality and the heat output of the radiator affecting your energy bills.
Manual valves are adjusted by hand and allow a constant flow of water into the radiator, whereas a Thermostatic radiator valve (TRV) has a built-in thermostat, allowing the valve to open and close to the exact temperature required in your room.
CONSIDER WHEN AND WHERE TO INSTALL YOUR RADIATORS
Plan where you will put your radiators at the same time you plan the location and space for units, sockets, switches and furniture.
- Do not install radiators behind furniture as they will reduce the radiator’s ability to provide sufficient heat for the room.
- Larger rooms would be best served with more than one radiator to evenly distribute heat across the room.
- Radiators that are located under windows look better if they are of similar width to the window frame to give a more balanced look to the room.