Buying Radiators Guide

Over the years radiators are a household necessity for heating your home. Not much thought has been given to radiators in terms of their aesthetics, but that’s changed in recent years. At Stelrad, we believe radiators can become a design feature in themselves with there being hundreds of different styles, sizes, and colours to choose from. Designer radiators such as column radiators and coloured radiators are becoming increasingly popular for homeowners who want radiators to fit seamlessly into their interiors. Indeed, nowadays radiators are both heating and design solutions for many homes. Here, we have created a buying radiators guide to help cover some of our top tips and advice for buying new radiators for your home.

A Guide to Buying Radiators – The Basics

Let’s begin our guide to buying radiators with the basics. The first thing you need to do when buying a radiator is to check to see which size radiator you need for your room size and what type of radiators will be best. The key to efficient home heating is to have the right-sized radiators and enough of them to heat your home well. If you don’t get the size right, then you are at risk of over or under heating your home which can drastically impact your wallet.

The heat output of a radiator is measured in BTU. This calculation takes into consideration the size of your room and how many windows it has – this then works out the best size of radiator you need. At Stelrad, we have our radiator size calculator which helps you figure out which radiator is most suitable for you. Radiator sizes also differ depending on the style and variety of radiators you decide to opt for.

Stelrad has the largest range of radiator sizes in the UK, which is why our radiator size calculator is such a useful tool. Whether you decide on one of our standard radiators or decide that one of our modern designer radiators is ideal for you, our radiator size chart will assist in helping you make your ultimate decision when you buy a radiator at Stelrad.

What is a BTU?

BTU stands for British Thermal Unit – it represents how much energy it takes to heat one pound of water by one degree Fahrenheit. Every radiator is assigned a BTU rating – it’s a quick way of knowing the heat output of a radiator.

Finally, there are now lots of extras that you buy to transform your radiator into one that you love.

Radiator Buying Guide – Knowing Where to Install Radiators

Once you understand how much heat you need (number of radiators) to keep your home warm, it’s also important to consider where you will be hanging your radiator. When reading many radiator buying guides, you will come to learn that the type of walls in the room will give you some clues as to the best size and style of radiator you will need.

For example, you may need to consider whether you are going to get a horizontal or a vertical one for the wall space. With a horizontal radiator, these are typically more traditional while the vertical is quite modern. When buying a radiator, horizontal versions are usually seen as being the safe option when it comes to design, and they also are not normally as expensive. Vertical radiators do have their positives though which includes freeing up a lot of space and they can look more decorative in a room compared to buying a horizontal radiator.

It’s also important to consider the quality of the walls – is the wall a solid wall or plasterboard (with hollow space behind)? This will affect your choice of radiator as with the right fixings, larger radiators can be hung from strong solid walls. If you’re hanging a radiator on an external wall, it will be important to insulate that wall to ensure the room retains the heat. Additionally, it’s not advised to install radiators behind big pieces of furniture or curtains as this can affect the heat circulating the room well.

Radiator Buying Guide – Choosing the Right Style of Radiator

Single or Double Panel Radiators?

A single panel radiator is your standard radiator. These are normally quite slim and can easily fit close against the wall compared to double panel radiators. With a double panel radiator, there will be two single panels that are stacked next to each other. As this is a double, it should produce nearly double the amount of heat than a single.

Plumbed or electric?

Where plumbed radiators use the hot water boiler system to heat hot water which circulates your home through pipes. On the other hand, electric radiators are not controlled by the central heating systems but instead within each different room by the mains electricity. Some models are ‘plug and go’ and can be plugged into a conventional plug socket, others will require an electrician to install. There are pros and cons to each, and your choice will depend on the heating system you have at home.

Radiator Buying Guide – Dual Fuel Radiators

A dual fuel radiator is connected to both your central heating system and your electrics with the addition of an electrical heating element and a T-piece. This means that your radiator can be heated either by the central heating system, or electrically via the heating element. There are numerous benefits of investing in a dual radiator.

With unpredictable weather changes throughout the year, dual radiators allow you to heat rooms in your home without having to switch the central heating on. Since they can be turned on and heated without the need for central heating, they can be especially useful for keeping you warm during seasonal weather changes. For example, when we go from Summer to Autumn, it’s too warm to turn all the radiators back on, but you can feel the cold when you step out of the shower – our dual towel rail radiators are perfect for this.

Our range of dual radiators at Stelrad comes in an abundant variety of styles, designs, and colours. You can opt for whiter and more muted tones to keep interiors clean and fresh or choose black (RAL 9005 colour) dual radiators for more monochromatic masterpieces. Feeling creative? Browse our range of coloured radiators to make things more exciting.

Radiator Buying Guide – Style & Design

At Stelrad, there are plenty of designs to choose from. Here are some popular examples:

  • Column Radiators – this style of radiator is a popular choice for creating period-style décor given its traditional style. Our cast iron column radiators are hugely popular.
  • Flat Panelflat panel radiators from Stelrad are the stylish covered radiator option for your home or workplace.
  • Vertical Radiatorsvertical radiators are very modern and are a trendy space-saving solution for upward space.
  • Tubular Radiatorstubular radiators, as the name indicates, are tube-shaped radiators. One of the greatest benefits of a tube radiator is that as well as providing heat, the tube design allows you to hang items out to dry from your radiator, which makes them ideal for many household rooms.
  • Mirrored Radiators – reflective surfaces are often used in interior design to create the perception of space. Therefore, designer mirror radiators are popular for bedrooms, bathrooms, and hallways.
  • Industrial Style Radiators – perfect for more rustic and industrial modern homes

We hope you find our buying radiators guide useful when it comes to choosing brand new radiators for your home. If you have any questions, please contact us direct via email or live chat.