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Radiators - The Facts

Steel, flat, single-panel radiators are the most common type of radiator fitted in homes. These sat quite flat against the wall and gave out radiant heat.

They are generally very large radiators and take up a lot of wall space. They come with crimped or round tops.

Types of Radiators

There are 3 different types of radiator / convector all with different heat outputs.

3 different types of radiator / convector all with different heat outputs

The benefit of convectors is the movement of air under and over the radiator. You get much more even heat spread in the room. You can also size convector radiators smaller than single panel plain radiators, as the convector gives out half as much heat again in some cases.

Double panel double convectors (type 22) are the largest and most powerful radiators you can get in this style. They do give a lot of heat out, but they also take a lot of space up, protruding off the wall.

Radiator need to be sized to the room to allow the heat to be distributed throughout the house evenly.

Size of Radiator for a Room

The size of radiator required for a room depends on 2 factors.

Firstly, the temperature you would like the room to be at - use the table below as a guide

RoomIdeal Temp (°C)
Lounge 21
Dining Room 21
Kitchen 16
Bedrooms 15
Bathroom 23

Secondly, how much heat from the radiators is going to escape from your rooms.

The main consideration to take into account is the heat loss from your room. The calculations for this are quite complex, since they depend upon the size of windows, types of windows, numbers of doors and, in particular, the construction materials used in the building.

By placing objects directly above or in front of radiators, or even radiators behind curtains, you will reduce the effectiveness of your heating. Therefore, positioning of any radiator is a very important factor.

TRVs (Thermostatic Radiator Valves)

A thermostatic radiator valve (TRV) is a self-regulating valve fitted to radiator. They sense the air temperature of the room and, by changing the flow of hot water, regulate the room temperature. They only work on the radiators they are fitted to and have no control over the boiler. Typically made of wax, they expand or contracts with the surrounding temperature

Turning up a TRV will not usually warm up a room unless the radiator is cold, as most are basically designed to switch the heat on or off as the room temperature falls below or rises above a set temperature and are not fully modulating. Some TRVs are prone to sticking at one setting if they're never adjusted. It's not a bad idea to turn them fully on or off a few times a year to reduce the chance of failure.

Fitting TRVs will reduce your heating bills and increase comfort within your home or workplace.

They can be fitted at any time, but all new radiators should be fitted with them. Note: you may have one radiator within the house that does not have a TRV - this is your bypass radiator.

Towel Rails

These are a  modern feature in bathrooms and shower rooms . Some consumers also have them installed in kitchens. They may look nice, but think of them as towel warmers. They do not give much heat out, and care should be taken when choosing them in a new bathroom as they are not designed  to heat up the room. Speak to one of our engineers for advice before picking the right one.

Designer Radiators

A designer radiator is a great way to update your decor with the benefit of a radiator in any room or office space. There are many to choose from, and they come in a great range of shapes, sizes, colours and finishes. But just like towel rails, some don’t have a great heat output. Remember, radiators are there to keep you warm. Speak with one of our engineers who can tell you what output you need for your room.   


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Trevolution Ltd - serving Lancaster, Morecambe and surrounding areas. Providing central heating, power flushing, magnetic filters, boiler servicing and repair, kitchen & bathroom installations, solar energy. Gas Safe registered 527017.