What to think about when fitting a radiator?


When we moved in we had a lot of new radiators fitted.  You shouldn’t leave finding the right radiator to chance.  The plumber said it was important to calculate how big/powerful we needed them to be.  As its essential they generate enough heat for the size of the room.  It’s not something I had considered before.  But to be honest I guess its common sense really.  We did find out that a few of our rooms had radiators that couldn’t output enough heat for the demands of the room!   No wonder our house was so cold.

Generally, your bathroom and living room need to be the warmer rooms in the house.  You need to be a comfortable temperature when undressing or sitting still.

Calculating BTU Output

First things first when installing new radiators work out your BTU output.  You will need to calculate the BTU (British Thermal Unit) output for each room.  Don’t worry about estimating figures in your head.  Fortunately, there are lots of helpful online calculators to do the job for you!  Use this radiator size calculator to work out the maths.  I like that you select the room first as different rooms have different heating requirements as I mentioned earlier.

It’s quite a sophisticated calculator because it considers whether the room has double glazing or rear facing windows.  All factors which impact the heating requirements for the room.

Radiator placement

With radiators having come on so much you can be bolder with their placement.  You don’t need them tucked out of sight anymore.  With designer radiators they can become a focal point for the room, a real showstopper!

I wish I had been a bit more ambitious with my choices now.  We have had about 13 new radiators installed in our four years here.  But they are all very practical but rather boring ones!  Yes, they do now generate enough heat which is something I am grateful for!  However, they will never win any awards for design.

Never place furniture in front of your radiator you want the warm air to flow around the room not heat up the back of your sofa!  Likewise don’t have long curtains draping over the radiator you want nothing getting in the way of that glorious heat.

Insulating your radiator

If you are losing a lot of heat through the wall you can consider adding radiator reflectors!  This is even more worthwhile in houses with uninsulated cavity walls.  Our house is very old, so I think its something we should contemplate.

You will notice most of my thoughts relate to how warm the house will then be.  With winter on the way I think its important your radiators are up for the job!

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