With the latest home designs trending towards an open-plan arrangement, there are much bigger spaces to heat. This is where traditionally designed radiators come into their own. Recently, the retro-style school radiators have made a welcome return with the help of interior designers who recognise that timeless style is sometimes the most effective utility.
Before considering the style, size and colour, the first thing to be considered is the size and position of the room to be heated. Radiator efficiency is measured in British Thermal Units (BTUs), and the calculation is based on a number of factors, including the room dimensions, the number and size of windows and what spaces are above and below the room to be heated. Larger rooms are always best served with column radiators, since these have a larger surface areas than panel radiators and therefore they give out more heat. They also stay warmer for longer once timers are switched off, so they will continue heating from the residual warmth, making them even more economical.
Once the correct BTU has been calculated and suitably sized column radiators are chosen, there are a number of ways they can be customised. They can be left in their original cast iron or steel state and polished up, but their versatility means that they can also be painted to match the colour and style of the room.
You may ask, what do column radiators look like in a modern setting? Well, take a look at any interior design catalogue or website and you may be quite surprised at just how sleek and contemporary they look. They come in traditional cast iron but also in a lighter steel, so they are suitable for flats and more modern settings with lighter floors than older buildings.
Whichever type of radiators you choose, make sure they are installed by an engineer who is Gas Safe registered. Gas Safe is the body appointed by the government to oversee gas installations and safety inspections. You can find a local engineer through their website: https://www.gassaferegister.co.uk/find-an-engineer/.
If you are unsure of the BTU value of your home, your supplier will be able to calculate the number and size of radiators you need, but there are several calculator tools online that you can use before you decide to buy.