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How to make sure you choose the right radiator

Gone are the days when choosing a radiator was an easy one. Now, as more and more companies make new, stylish and innovative radiators, the choices that you have grow and grow.

Whilst it can be easy to become swayed by their style and design, the most important thing that you always need to consider when it comes to your radiator is that it needs to be able to efficiently heat your home.

The thing to look out for is the BTU/h rating (British Thermal Units per hour), there are plenty of resources online that you can use to calculate this, but ultimately, the best way to work this out is by asking a Gas Safe Register plumber or heating engineer.

Once you know this information, you can start to look at some of the other factors that you need to consider when it comes to choosing a radiator for your home.

Which material?

The most common choice for your radiator, and the cheapest is steel. However, this doesn't mean that you are limited to just this particular material. You can pick aluminium, which due to the pliable nature can be moulded into a variety of designs. Not only this, but aluminium is lightweight, which means that it is better for mounting on walls, as well as quicker to heat up (and to lose heat unfortunately) too.

Another choice is cast iron, a traditional option. However, they are a heavyweight option that will need a sturdy and strong floor underneath them. They do take time to warm up, but they do also hold onto the heat for longer.

Should you upcycle?

It seems that people everywhere are definitely buying into the idea of upcycling things in their home. Not only does this mean that you are saving something from the scrapheap, but you also could be saving money too. It is possible to recondition a period radiator, although you should be aware that this can take time, effort and money too.

Older radiators can suffer from cold spots, which is nearly always caused by sludge and dirt building up throughout the inside. If this is happening to yours, then you will need to consider power-flushing them, which can be costly.

If you're looking for the 'period' look then it is recommended that you opt for a traditional designed, new radiator for your home. However, if you do buy a salvaged one, then it important that you need to think about the condition before it goes into your home.

Do I need thermostatic radiator valves?

Another thing to think about when it comes to your choice of radiator is whether or not you opt for a TRV. These allow you to manually set the temperature of each radiator in your home, and in turn the heat output too.

TRV's are a great way to bring down your energy bills. Particularly, if you combine them with a central timer and thermostatic control. It is thought that to get the best out of your TRV, you should never use them with radiator covers, or a radiator that is hidden behind long curtains, as this can affect the way that they work.

As you can see, it needn't be difficult to pick out a radiator for your home. All you need to do is think about the space that you have, the amount of heat that you need, and also the design that you like the best. Once you have all these things in mind, you will be one step closer to find the ideal radiator for you.