A home heat map would make for fascinating viewing in most cases. You’d probably be surprised at the areas in which you spend the most time, and which pose the biggest drain on your heating resources. One such space that would likely feature is the hallway.
But it really shouldn’t be such a surprise when you think about it.
You’ll probably enter your home into a hallway area, travel through halls from one room to another, and will go via the hallway to leave the house as well.
Furthermore, it’s the spot where you’re likely to remove your shoes and ditch your coat and handbag or rucksack every day. With that said, it’s also an area that can prove susceptible to the build-up of dust and dirt, so you might also spend plenty of time there cleaning.
Were you to fit a new carpet in every room in the home, and contine with your daily routine as normal, the hallway carpet would surely be the first to wear out and require replacement.
So even if you aren’t consciously aware of it, the hallway is certain to be one of the busiest spaces in the home. That said, it makes sense to make the area as comfortable and enjoyable as it possibly can be.
How the hall looks isn’t the only factor to consider, though. Your home hallways make for a crucial aspect in the performance of your home heating overall. Heating the hallways in an efficient and effective manner can often prove more challenging than you might imagine.
Difficult Hallway Heating
In contrast to many other rooms within the home, hallways will often lead into several different areas.
For instance, it isn’t unusual to have a hallway that includes an entrance to the lounge, kitchen, outhouse, staircase and landing area simultaneously.
In comparison to a bathroom or bedroom, a hallway radiator would essentially have to provide heat for double the volume of space of radiators or towel rooms in alternative rooms.
Your hallway doesn’t have to be particularly big for that general rule to apply, either. For example, you might have a hallway that incorporates a 20-square-foot surface area on the ground level. But if that hall is situated at the foot of the staircase and leads to a landing area on the first floor, you might need to heat a space with a volume nearer to 2120 cubic feet.
Compared to a standard lounge with a similar floor space, standing about 10ft tall, you’d only be heating a volume of air of around 635 cubic feet – lower than a third of the volume of the staircase and hallway space put together.
As such, it is commonplace that a specific part of the hall or landing space will heat up and stay warmer than other areas.
The heat from your hallway radiator will naturally rise to this ‘hot spot’, which can sometimes lead the rest of the room to be cold and unwelcoming.
So you see, the hallway heating conundrum is a difficult one.
Even in the most compact of hall spaces, heat will automatically rise. And it can be a significant amount of space to have to warm up and retain an adequate temperature within. Therefore, it’s vital to make the right hallway heating decision.
Making sure you invest in an appropriately sized radiator is imperative. However, it isn’t about simply upgrading your hall radiator for a fresh component. The process is a bit more involved than that…
Properly Heating the Hallway
Prior to deciding on which sort of heating system is the best fit for your hallway, it’s wise to identify the ways you can enhance the efficiency of the space initially, in terms of how it holds onto heat.
To do so, you should work to curtail draughts where possible, and make your space as air-tight as it can be. The weather stripping of doors and windows is a means for achieving this, along with plugging any gaps that could potentially cause draughts or enable the heat to leave the area.
It might be the case that your existing hallway radiator provides a strong enough heat output to keep the room warm. But without proper insulation, and the presence of gaps beneath doors and surrounding windows, it can be tough to create and maintain a comfortable temperature in the hall.
Furthermore, you might not have considered the role your attic insulation plays in all of this.
Should your staircase lead to a landing and an exposed ceiling at the pinnacle of the stairs, you really need to make attic insulation something of a priority.
In the aftermath of the necessary alterations to the door and window insulation, you might find that you’re still struggling to maintain a consistent level of warmth in your hallway. And if that is the case, it might well be that you require better insulation between the rafters in the attic.
There could be insulation already installed within the attic of course, but it might not be at an adequate level to properly complete the job.
Over the course of recent years, the recommended depth of attic insulation has adjusted. Especially if you own an older property, you need to complete a thorough check to ensure there is enough present.
Should you only be able to identify a meagre inch worth of insulation, it probably dates back some way, and you’d be better served to just remove it.
In truth, any insulation with a thickness of four inches or less is likely to be significantly old, so your best bet is to get shut of it and add some new insulation material instead.
However, you might find it tough to upgrade your insulation materials to the recommended depth, given that it is sold in different measurements nowadays. Namely, 3.9 inches and 6.7 inches respectively.
For a ‘cold attic’ insulation, the recommended depth of insulation materials would be 10.6 inches. Bear in mind that this accounts for a loft area that doesn’t actually form a room. It simply exists as a space above the house.
The 3.9-inch materials would be situated between the joists, with the heftier insulation designed to supplement that layer at right angles, bringing the total depth to the required 10.6 inches.
By installing fresh insulation, or updating your existing materials to bring them up to scratch with current standards, you can save a significant amount of money on long-term energy costs. Just how much you’ll save will depend on several factors, including the size and layout of your home. Additionally, your overall environmental impact can be altered as a result of improved insulation.
Are your BTU Output measurements correct?
It’s a very involved process to commence with the full renovation of an attic’s insulation. Factor in the weather-proofing of doors and windows as well, and even the potential purchase of a draught excluder – surely all these elements combined will result in a comfortably warm hallway space?
Not always actually. So if you have trodden all the steps aforementioned and you still can’t keep your hallway warm, it is probably high time to alter how the space is heated from top to bottom.
As earlier alluded to, your existing hallway radiator might offer a strong enough heat output to warm up the area, if it wasn’t for the staircase and conjoining landing space.
By blocking off the stairs and switching your heating on, the hallway would most likely warm up to a comfortable temperature in rapid fashion. But it’s hardly a viable solution to prevent access to one of the most indispensable areas of the home.
A better alternative option is to upgrade the size and heat output of the radiator, or even opt for multiple radiators if possible.
Use our BTU Calculator to gain an idea of what sort of heating solutions you’ll require to adequately heat the hallway.
For a room layout as described earlier in the article (20ft²) – with the staircase blocked – the BTU output requirement would be around the mark of 1761 BTUs (1515 Watts).
The calculation differs to a great extent though with the stairs unblocked, and the upstairs landing space added to the equation. Around 4000 BTUs is needed to heat such an area, which is probably plenty more than you currently account for.
It’s clear to see how integral it is to work out your hallway’s BTU requirements accurately. It plays one of the biggest roles in ensuring your space is heated to the best effect possible. If your calculations aren’t correct, you run the risk of wasting energy, and running up higher heating bills than necessary. And still, your hallway is unlikely to be the warm and inviting space that you want to create.
So after you’ve identified the right BTU output for your hallway radiator, you can start to think about your available heating options. You can eliminate certain models from your thinking, and begin to gain an idea of which sort of radiators will make for an appropriate hallway addition. In turn, you’ll be well on your way towards improving the aesthetics and functionality of the space.
Choosing between your Hallway Heating Options
A massive variety of hallway heating options exist, and many factors will dictate which type is best suited to your home. The layout of the space, its size and your BTU output measurements, to name a few.
If your hallway is compact and narrow, then a bulky radiator design is unlikely to be the object of your desire. At the opposite end of the spectrum, bigger spaces will necessitate a heftier heat output, so a small installation probably won’t suffice.
Each home and hallway will have its own unique properties that sets the space apart from others. But in general, you’ll find hallway spaces to be tall and narrow. As such, browsing our collection of vertical radiators is a recommended action.
The addition of a lengthy vertical designer radiator can assist in completely transforming the way a space looks and feels immediately.
Something such as the Aurora Anthracite Aluminum Vertical Designer Radiator is a perfect option to bring effortless designer style and immense functionality to a hallway area, for instance.
As well as providing an appearance upgrade, this stunning radiator also delivers almost 7,000 BTUs to make for a toasty warm and inviting space.
You might imagine that such a high heat output isn’t entirely necessary if your hallway takes a long and narrow shape. But the amount of conjoining rooms, and staircases potentially leading to landing areas would seem to indicate that it makes sense to go for a model that can deliver such an impressive level of warmth.
Hot air eventually turns to cold. So if your hallway isn’t properly heated, you’ll lose the heat from the room you were in to the cold hall every time you open the door. This is a means for the temperature to balance itself out.
That notion explains why a warm hallway is so crucial for keeping a consistent level of temperature all through the home. By achieving this, you remove the pressure from your boiler, designer radiators and thermostat operating beyond their normal capacity. In turn, the chances of your experiencing spiraling heating costs are negated.
Is a Hallway Radiator really necessary?
The thought may have crossed your mind to get rid of the radiator in your hallway completely. In doing so, you can maximize space and enjoy adequate room for other fixtures and fittings like bookcases, shelving or phone stands.
Maybe a giant clock or a traditional British-style leather armchair? Of course, these are sure to look superb. But whilst they’ll enhance the appearance of your hallway, they’ll detract from it in terms of practicality, comfort and warmth. In getting rid of a hallway radiator to make room for such items, you’re most likely to end up with bigger energy bills and a hall space that steals heat away from surrounding rooms.
As aforementioned, hot winds up being cold. So if you open the door to your hallway whilst the heating is switched on, you’re essentially wasting the heat entirely. Extra heating costs and a space that won’t stay warm is the inevitable result, no matter what level your heating is turned to.
If a hallway radiator is already installed in your home, try switching it off for a couple of days whilst leaving the doors to the hall open. You’ll quickly realize that all the heat from the nearby rooms will travel to the hallway.
Even with the doors closed, the heat will still transmit to the hall via gaps around and beneath the door. The fact that it will escape by any means necessary is proof enough that a hallway radiator is vital.
Can you consider Underfloor Heating?
Underfloor heating might be another viable option with regards to heating your hallway.
We love to champion the virtues of our excellent radiator range, of course. But if your property is a multiple-storey building, it’s possible that a radiator isn’t ideal, in light of several reasons earlier listed.
Wall-mounted radiators aren’t as advantageous in this scenario when compared with underfloor heating. This is due to a lot of the warm air being carried upstairs as a result of convection.
If your hallway already features a carpet, then a radiator might still be the best choice to keep the area warm.
However, if a wooden floor or ceramic tiling is present, a radiator alone might struggle to create the warm and inviting ambience you crave. This is where electric underfloor heating comes into play.
Electric underfloor heating will transmit a subdued level of heat that will instantly warm the space. And in contrast to convector radiators, it won’t advocate draughts.
A radiant heat will emit from underfloor heating. And it comes from the place where you most require it in a hallway – beneath your feet.
Also, the presence of underfloor heating will enable you to set your thermostat to a lower level. In turn, your energy bills won’t be as high.
Another, admittedly more radical ploy to reduce your heating costs is via the addition of solar panels to the outside of the home. Of course, it will require a significant outlay to switch to a renewable energy source, but your long-term gains can prove significant indeed. This article from Lendedu provides a more in-depth insight into the financing of solar panels, and how they can help you to trim your energy bills over a longer period.
Alternative Hallway Heating Options
There’s another element to consider when looking to heat a hallway and staircase area as well. That being that it might be a wise move to fit a radiator at the top of the stairs in addition to the hall.
By doing so, you’d significantly minimize the level of heat lost from downstairs. Perhaps an electric designer radiator is the best type of model to invest in for such an area.
An electric radiator can provide the required warmth and an instant touch of designer style to the area.
By fitting an electric radiator at the top of the stairs, there’ll be no need to rearrange any plumbing or pipework. All you’ll need is an electric outlet on the landing for the component to be fully operational.
Electric heating is fast to warm up and converts all energy to heat. That means it can transform your space into a warm and inviting area in no time at all. Much faster than a central-heating-powered option would do, in fact.
Hallway heating can pose a functionality problem in some houses, which is another point to consider.
Many people will be wary of how they look when they leave the house. As such, plenty of folk will include a mirror in their hallway to check their appearance before heading out of the door.
Now, certain contemporary radiator designs incorporate mirrors, allowing you to enjoy the best of both worlds.
The Atrani Mineral White Vertical Designer Radiator is one such example.
With a BTU output exceeding 2500, the radiator will keep your space toasty warm whilst adding a designer aura to the area. It can also help you make sure you’re always looking your best as you leave the house!
Shop Hallway Heating Solutions from Hudson Reed USA
As discussed, there’s an immense variety of hallway heating options to consider for your home.
It’s a case of identifying the perfect balance between maximizing space and keeping the area at a comfortably warm temperature.
We offer an excellent selection of designer radiators in all sorts of modern and traditional designs to suit any hall space.
If you would still like some help choosing the right hallway heating solution, you can contact us via our website. Or, if you would prefer, give our friendly team a call on 1-877-778-8460. Happy hallway heating shopping!