Content supplied by Designer Radiators Direct

On paper choosing a radiator for your home should be easy. It’s just a radiator; after all, every home has one. This is the common line of thinking which has led many people to be thoroughly underwhelmed by their choice of radiators. A dream home means having a heating system which compliments your living spaces both aesthetically and functionally. Your radiator should look great whilst keeping the right balance of warmth. That’s the problem with designer radiators, once you scratch beneath the seemingly simple surface; you’re faced with a range of questions which only you as a home owner can answer. Below are a few tips which will help you make the right choice when purchasing a new radiator.

Material options

When investing in a radiator you’ll want to find the right balance of energy economy and powerful heating to suit your room. There are a wide variety of materials you can choose from, all of which have their pros and cons. Below you can find a few of the materials from which you can make a radiator.

Cast Iron

The traditional material used to make a radiator, the cast iron is strong and sturdy. This long lasting and durable option is more brittle and heavy than other options and takes a while to heat up.


Aluminium radiators are one of the most popular modern radiators. This is due to its easy installation and quick heat up time. However, quick heat up time mean a quick cool down time, making the aluminium radiator useful in smaller rooms but not powerful enough for larger ones.


One of the trendiest options out there, anthracite radiators really stand out due to their striking deep black. Their black colour also helps to radiate heat but is a rather unsubtle model. This is for those looking to make a statement with their radiator, not something which blends into the surroundings.

Make sure your radiator is the right size

Whether it’ a bathroom or a kitchen radiator, there’s nothing worse than one that doesn’t quite fit in with your décor. That can be because the heating unit in your home looks too small or is slightly too big for its surroundings so make sure you’ve assessed the size of the radiator compared to the environment it’ll be living in. On top of this, smaller radiators are cheaper to buy and run, so if your room is heated well enough with a smaller model then you could see real savings on your heating bills.

Check refurbishment costs before going antique

Some period properties look best with traditional and vintage radiators. These could be original cast iron models or more elaborate modern designs which act as throwbacks to classics. Sometimes these could be cheaper due to their age but could rack up costs on refurbishment. Nevertheless, many older radiators have been redeveloped to work alongside modern heating systems and could both look great and work perfectly if they’ve been kept up to date. With older cast iron models, pressure tests are worth the hassle. These tests help to suss out areas where leaks could start to form.

Master your homes BTU

Unsure about how much energy you need to use to heat your property? Use an online BTU calculator to measure the output necessary for the room youre heating and then compare this with the output of your chosen radiator. BTU is useful to make sure that homes are efficient in their heating, using the power of the radiator and measurements of the room size to find that magic number for your heating output. This helps you make your home even more environmentally friendly and ensures your satisfaction with your radiator.

Get on top of your home insulation

Before you invest in your new radiator, it is always a good idea to keep your insulation in check. Without this, a radiator will be a waste of money. Are your windows double glazed and is their fibreglass insulation in your walls? Your property may be an older one and therefore lacking in insulation; keeping these properties heat tight will help your radiator when it comes to effectively heating your home.

What to look for with underfloor heating

A new trend in home heating is the use of underfloor heaters. These cosy and space efficient room warmers are best used under terracotta, hard flooring or wood tiles and take a while to heat up. Due to this, it’s a good idea to invest in smooth running timers and heat controls, so you don’t end up waiting around for ages for your home to get warmer. With UFH it’s vital to know when your home needs heating so that you can keep it efficient and cosy in equal measure. Also keep in mind the efficiency of UFH’s is significantly decreased by placing carpet over it, and any insulation under the floor has to be breathable.

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