Amid all the self-isolation much of us are currently under, I’m sure you’re like me and have found yourself tinkering around the house. You might have rearranged your clothes, painted a room or given the kitchen a deep clean.
One area I found myself getting way too invested in was my radiators. With everyone stuck indoors, and the weather still not so great for this time of year, the heating has been on more than usual. This has found me checking the radiators with a precision I’ve never done before to make sure they’re working to perfection.
And wouldn’t you know it, a radiator in one of the kid’s bedrooms isn’t working correctly. Luckily I got a new radiator bought (more on that below) while managing to take the old one away and installing the radiator after getting a crash course tutorial through YouTube.
While looking for a radiator online, and partly due to there being nothing much else to do at home, I found myself taking the somewhat menial job of buying a new radiator quite seriously. In this case, because I was buying one for a kid’s bedroom and wanted a simple radiator that would sit under the windowsill, I found myself doing a lot to get the right radiator.
If you’re currently stuck at home and have realised now is the time to buy a new radiator, here are some tips I’d like to share on how to buy the right radiator for any room.
Know your limits
This is the most important thing to remember when picking a radiator; consider the limits of the space you have. Most of the radiators in your house will be different sizes, and each will need to have a defined space around them to fit in perfectly.
For example, you want to measure from the floor to the top of an existing radiator to get the right height, taking into account the height pipes are from the floor and if there is any skirting that might stop a radiator from sitting perfectly.
You’ll also want to know what the wall projection will be. Most radiator stores online will only list the width and height of a radiator, while you’ll want to know the projection too, so it fits in when installed at the end of a bed or behind a couch.
Know your heat requirements
Every room in your house will have a different heating requirement to get it feeling just right. To work it out, search online for heating calculators.
You’ll need to know the dimensions of the room, so get the tape measure out and jot it all down before popping the figures in. You should get a number anywhere between 100 & 2,000 which will be that room’s BTU (which stands for British Thermal Unit). You can then buy radiators by their BTU number and find the perfect one for any room- very handy indeed.
Know that radiators don’t have to be expensive
Radiators are expensive, right? Not if you know where to look online. For example, Trade Radiators have a range of designer radiators from brands like Delonghi and Paladin that don’t come with a designer price tag.
Know how to carry out maintenance
In some cases, a troublesome radiator could be from an issue that you’d usually call a plumber to come and look at. This could be your chance to learn a new skill. Whatever the problem is, have a little look around on YouTube, and you’ll find dozens of channels by professionals who hand out free advice on how to deal with everything from a leaky radiator to one that won’t heat up. I’m not suggesting you’ll become an expert plumber after watching a few clips, but you’ll soon know you’re way around a radiator.
Know what materials are all about
When shopping for a radiator, you might not have a clue what the difference between an aluminium, cast iron or steel radiator is.
The truth is, not much really. Most radiators will all work the same and heat in the same way. Aluminium is slightly better at conducting in bigger rooms that need it, but aluminium radiators can be more expensive. The majority of radiators you’ll find in your home will be made from steel, which is the cheapest material and offers the most bang for your buck.
Looking for more home styling advice?
Make sure you check out the latest posts in our home & garden section, where we look at every room and provide practical advice on those little DIY projects you’ve been putting off.