How to choose the right radiator?

Choosing a good radiator was definitely an easier process just several years ago. Back then those devices had only one, primary function: heating a room. This feature has not lost its importance, however there is also another equally crucial factor: aesthetics. Due to technological development heaters have changed significantly. Now you can find a radiator perfectly tailored to your needs.

Table of contents

  1. Choosing a radiator by the material
  2. How is a radiator built?
  3. Functions of a radiator
  4. What is the power of your heater?



Choosing a radiator by the material

Material the device is made of is a very significant matter when choosing the right radiator. There are three categories of products.

They are:

  • Cast iron radiator - it used to be one of the most popular models available, although nowadays it is quite a rare choice. This type is commonly found in old, unrenovated buildings. As everything, radiators made of this material have their strengths and weaknesses.

    Cast iron heaters are highly resistant to corrosion. They can last even a couple of dozens years, even with poor quality water. Iron cast is a sturdy material - the walls in this type of radiators are thicker than others. They keep the temperature significantly longer. The exceptional sturdiness is also a disadvantage, as the heaters take more time to warm up.

  • Aluminium radiator - they are becoming quite popular. The main advantage of a radiator of this type is its light weight. Thanks to this feature it can be used in any type of space. It warms up very quickly. Aluminium radiators do not keep the warmth as long as their iron cast counterparts. They lose heat as fast as they gain it.
  • Steel radiator - the most commonly chosen type. Its popularity results from the wide variety of available models, which can be suited for any type of interior design.

    Steel radiators have some disadvantages as well. They are vulnerable to low quality water, which makes them less durable. Radiator of this type might corrode after a few years of using.

How is a radiator built?

A radiator heats the room by conveying the warmth from water or other medium flowing inside of it. The air circulating around it gets heated, spreading the warmth across the room. While the material is important, when choosing a radiator consider also its construction. Manufacturers offer a lot of various options, which allows a customer tailor a heater to their needs. With regards to the construction type, there are models such as:

  • Column radiators - they might be made of each of the mentioned above materials. They consist of elements connected to each other - columns. That’s where the name - column radiator - comes from.
  • Panel radiators - the most commonly used type, especially by owners of small houses and apartments. They use little water and warm up quick. Panel radiators have different power outputs - they depend on the surface of a radiator.
  • Towel radiators - they are typically used in bathrooms. Their construction is quite distinctive, they consist of horizontal pipes that resemble a ladder. Their main purpose is drying towels.
  • Designer radiators - they are usually installed in such places as living room, bedroom and hall. They have many designs and colours. They are not only functional, but also aesthetically pleasing.
  • Forced-air vents - commonly used as an additional method of heating in a building. They are typically installed by balcony or patio doors or by large windows. Their biggest advantage is the space-saving construction. Forced-air vents are usually hidden in floors and therefore they do not take any space.



Functions of a radiator

Function and intended use of a radiator are very important aspects. They should be kept in mind when choosing the right product. You should consider whether a particular model should function as the main element of your heating installation, or just as an addition to it.

Important You should also plan the spot at which you are going to install it. For bathrooms it is best to choose a towel radiator. A very modern solution - infrared radiator is a perfect product for a patio or a winter garden. Keep in mind that a poorly suited heater might generate heating problems.

What is the power of your heater?

Radiator power is one of the most important issues when you decide to install the device in your apartment. If the power is too low, the room will be poorly heated and cold. Too high power is also not recommended - it might generate high expenses and the room overheating.

Such parameter should be calculated by a specialist. In their calculations they should include aspects such as the heat boiler, the building’s properties and insulation.

Choosing the right radiator is important for a thermal comfort in a building. Therefore except from aesthetics, one should pay attention to all the mentioned issues. This way one can match their needs with functional elements of heating installation, providing themselves comfort for years.

How does a radiator work?

A radiator warms up the air surrounding it with the heat drawn from the water or other medium flowing inside of it. It’s quite different from convectors, that circulate air through its heating element, making it warm.

How long do radiators last?

Radiators can last very long - the oldest models installed 30 years ago still work in many apartments. For best efficiency, however, radiators should be replaced after 15 years from installation.

How much do radiators cost?

Prices of various models differ by their features, sizes and types. When buying a new radiator, keep in mind that you also have to pay for its installation.

Where to buy radiators?

You can buy a radiator in any household hardware shop or in a radiator shop. You can also search online shops, as they often have lower prices.

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