Your All in One Guide to Radiators


We all have them in our homes, but do any of us ever stop to consider how they work? Or better yet, how they could be made to be more practical or aesthetically pleasing?

Not all radiators are made the same so read on to find out how your central heating system could better serve you.

What is a Radiator?

A radiator is any device that produces heat by acting as a heat exchange unit, transferring heat from one medium to another.

In domestic use, they take the form of a metal container, usually wall mounted and featuring pipework that leads back to a gas fired boiler system. It is this pipework which provides hot water to each radiator, allowing them to heat the space in which they are located.

Their design has evolved since their invention but the basic principles remain the same; to supply heat through the use of hot water and convection.

The Types Available

There are many types of radiator available on the market, usually varying by their size and efficiency.

  • Steel pressed flat single panel – The first type of radiator in existence. Generally very large in size, they are only able to provide heat via radiation. They are still available today, supplied by two well known manufacturers and feature either a crimped or rounded top.
  • Convector radiators – The steel pressed radiator eventually evolved into the convector system. Convector radiators can be distinguished via the fins featured on the rear which assist in the movement of air underneath and over the radiator, allowing for much greater heat spread. The benefit there is the ability of smaller units being able to provide the same heating capacity.
  • Compact radiators – The compact radiator is what you may already have in your home. Typically much smaller, they feature grilles at both the top and sides of the unit which hide the convection fins that are inside. With a much lower profile, the compact radiator is usually more popular than other types.
  • Towel rails – Much more common than they once were, the towel rail brings a touch of sophistication to any bathroom. The principles of heat production remain the same but the benefit of a towel rail is that towels can be hung over them to assist in drying. The secondary benefit of a towel rail is the reduction of moisture present within the bathroom which can prevent damp.
  • Designer radiators – Similar to other forms of radiator, the designer radiator is known as such because of the ability to choose from elaborate designs. Size, shape and colour can be customised so if you want to add some of your personality to your home, the designer radiator is for you.

Who knew that the process of choosing a radiator could be so involved? If you’ve just purchased a house without central heating or you wish to upgrade your existing system, get in touch with a specialist for advice. The Designer Radiator Company is one of several providing radiators across the UK. Remember to shop around so you receive value for money – some companies even provide next day delivery.

Whatever design you decide on, radiators are still the most common and cost efficient way of heating your home.


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