As a leading supplier of premium quality heating solutions in America, we’re often asked about radiators and towel warmers, and how to get the very best out of them. Of course, we’re happy to help in any way we can when you contact us via email, social media or over the phone.
But to save you the hassle of getting in touch about your heating, we’ve put together a list of answers to some of the most frequently asked questions in this article. Your perfect companion for installing, maintaining, upgrading and replacing your radiators or towel warmers…
Where is the best place to Hang a Radiator?
We begin with a controversial poser. One that doesn’t have a definitive right answer one way or the other.
Outside of the obvious no-go’s like the ceiling or two-thirds of the way up a wall, much of the room should be fair game for radiator installation.
The key argument is for a radiator to be positioned close to an area of heat loss. For instance, underneath a window. Then, any cold air that fills the room can combine with the radiator’s warm air and circulate all around the space.
As a counter-point though, some suggest that it is more cost-effective to fit radiators away from colder areas.
Confusion is bound to stem from these contrasting schools of thought.
But an easy solution exists. Just choose where to position your radiator based on your room layout.
There aren’t any strict rules to follow with regards to the location of a radiator, and it doesn’t have to simply stay in the same place forever, especially if you’re investing in a new model. Moving your radiator might lead to a more efficient and effective use of space, maximizing the available room for other fixtures and fittings.
You can create a sense of enhanced space with modern tall vertical radiators or middle connection radiators. The latter style make slimline radiators appear thinner still, as they incorporate H-block valves at the foot of the radiator rather than them sticking out at the sides.
Our Ultimate Guide to Radiators includes further insight into the optimal position to place your radiator.
How will moving a Radiator affect your interior?
For plumbed radiators – versions connected to the main central heating system – it is imperative to remember that they need to be drained before being removed from the wall.
You’ll have to do this to prevent spillages and water damage. There’s information on how to complete the process safely in our guide on how to drain a pressurized heating system.
If you are shifting a radiator from a wallpapered wall, you’ll likely find unsightly holes from the fittings once the radiator has been removed.
Should the radiator be transferring to another wallpapered wall, look to place it on a single central paper strip, as opposed to two pieces or more. This will ensure that only one section needs replacing in the long run, instead of necessitating a full repapering job.
Top Tip: Keep a couple of spare rolls of your preferred wallpaper to one side when wallpapering. These might be your life-savers in case you ever need to remove your radiator again, or damage is caused to the wallpaper in another way.
Flooring is another crucial aspect to consider in moving your radiator to a new spot.
In the case of central heating radiators, you’ll need to lift your floorboards to reach the pipework before adjusting the position of the radiator. This can sometimes be tricky.
Make sure, before ripping your radiator down from the wall, that if it features a thermostatic radiator valve (TRV), it is switched down to zero before removal from the wall.
Failure to do this can potentially lead to a drop in temperature and opening of the valve. In turn, you could flood the flooring and ruin a carpet, rug or nearby furnishings. As you may be aware, radiator water isn’t clear and fresh!
Does your Wall condition matter?
Any wall that a radiator is to be hung on obviously must be comfortably able to hold the appliance’s weight.
With heavier models, such as cast iron radiators, the wall will need to be yet stronger and more structurally sound.
If your wall is worn down and dilapidated, it will require significant reinforcements prior to the addition of a heavy radiator. Common sense will see you determine whether your wall needs work before a radiator can be mounted upon it.
And avoid placing a radiator on any wall that requires plastering before it has been plastered.
Ignoring this advice could lead to increased damage and further deterioration of the wall. Also, loose fittings and fixtures can result, again posing a threat to the condition of your radiator. Terrible heating decorum!
Can a Radiator be hung on a Stud Wall?
If you’ve added an extra space to the home in the form of a new bedroom, an en-suite or other extension, you might have erected stud walls in order to complete the work.
Stud walls are manufactured from plasterboard and supported by a vertical or horizontal frame of metallic or timber, appropriately nicknamed ‘studs’.
With regards to hanging a radiator or towel warmer on a stud wall, you have to make absolutely sure it is being attached to the wooden frame as opposed to the plasterboard. Otherwise, you have a disaster waiting to happen.
You’ll need to identify your studs before hanging any radiator from a stud wall. Thankfully, this is relatively easy to do.
Just tap along the wall surface until you hear a solid sound. It will be easy to tell the difference between the hollow and solid sounds, and when you hear it, you’ll know you’ve found a stud.
And if you don’t have the utmost confidence in your listening skills, you can always revert to a stud finder backup plan. You’ll find stud finders in their physical form at your local hardware store. Or, if you’d prefer, you can download a stud finder app straight onto your phone.
You might be uncertain regarding the strength of your internal walls. If so, it makes sense to seek the advice of a heating specialist before commencing with drastic changes. Also, keep an eye out for the ‘weight’ section in the ‘more information’ tab when browsing our designer radiators. This specification could prove a vital piece of information to pass on to your plumber when discussing your new radiator installation.
How powerful does your Radiator have to be?
Possibly the most frequently asked of all the frequently asked radiator questions we receive.
Thankfully, we have a simple resource to refer to for finding out how powerful your radiator needs to be. Just use our BTU Calculator.
Different rooms will require different temperatures to foster and maintain a comfy, cozy aura. All you need to do is enter some simple details about the room – type of glazing, dimensions etc. Then, you’ll gain a reliable BTU figure to help you make the right choice from our radiator collection.
If you have a significantly large space to heat up, you might require multiple radiators to do so. Alternatively, an especially powerful single radiator. But the simple use of our BTU Calculator will help you to understand exactly how powerful your chosen model will need to be.
What material Radiator should you choose?
Which sort of material you select will ultimately depend on your budget, style preferences and individual heating requirements.
Cast iron, aluminum, stone, glass and many more styles are available, inclusive of mild steel.
The last-named material is compatible with any type of central heating system, but also operates very efficiently, utilizing its conduction properties to provide an excellent heat output.
But that doesn’t necessarily make mild steel the clear and obvious choice of radiator material for your home. If you have environmental leanings for instance, aluminum might be a better option for your radiators and heated towel racks.
There’s more in-depth information in our Buyer’s Guide to Aluminum Radiators, but we can touch upon the benefits of the material briefly here too. Aluminum is the most abundant metal on the planet, and is extremely quick to warm up. Furthermore, it doesn’t corrode over time in contrast to steel, and is the lightest available radiator manufacturing material, making it a perfect choice for internal stud walls.
Aluminum is also recycled readily, making it a better overall prospect for the environment as opposed to steel radiator models.
Should you be blessed with a bigger budget, and have a penchant for classic style, then cast iron radiators must enter the reckoning as a viable purchase.
These traditional models retain their heat longer than any other material. They’ll also create a beautiful aesthetic in any space. But don’t fret if you can’t stretch to an expensive cast iron option. You can replicate the appearance with a steel alternative from our Regent radiator range.
What sort of finish should your Radiator feature?
One thing is for sure. Such are the advancements in modern home heating, you won’t be short of options in choosing a finish for your new radiator. You don’t just have to play it safe with a white radiator.
Blue, green, black, gray and anthracite are just some examples of the most popular finishes incorporated by contemporary designer radiators and towel warmers. As such, there’s bound to be an ideal finish to mesh well and enhance the surroundings of any space.
You can also consider textured finishes for radiators and towel rails if you prefer.
However, when selecting the right finish for your radiator or towel warmer, you can cast aside the heat output, power and overall design of the model for a minute. The key factor should be how the finish will match up with your surrounding decor.
Modern radiator designs offer undoubtedly stylish aesthetics, so carefully consider how the finish you select can upgrade your existing interior. Or, you could choose to build the design of your room around the style and finish of your chosen heating solution.
You can even customize your radiator to match up with all sorts of styles by following the advice listed in our guide on How to Paint a Radiator.
Even in the case of towel warmers, which are usually housed in kitchens, bathrooms or en-suite areas, the trend would seem to be swaying from traditional chrome finishes. More and more customers are tending to look outside the ordinary for their towel rail finish.
But be wary that some materials are better than others for use in a bathroom. Obviously, choosing a radiator or towel rack that could be affected by humidity and moisture would be unwise. So if you aren’t sure which material to select, don’t hesitate to contact us via our website. Or, give us a call on 1-877-778-8460.
Should you invest in Radiator Valves as well?
In short, yes!
Radiator valves exist to control your radiators’ heat output, so each plumbed radiator within your home necessitates a pair of valves.
There’s manual, thermostatic and smart valves, all touched upon in our Buyer’s Guide to Radiator Valves.
The type you opt for will be dependent on your pipework and what sort of appearance you are hoping to achieve.
In all honesty, radiator valves are wholly important from a looks perspective as well as a performance one. They can truly make or break your radiator’s aesthetic overall, so it’s vital to make the right choice.
Opting for radiator valves that complement the radiator look will bring value and style to your space. It will also ramp up the level of authenticity associated with your chosen heating components.
How to tell if your Radiator needs bleeding
Many people struggle with this, but deciphering the signs is actually a simple process once you know how.
Your radiator might require bleeding on occasion due to air displacing water in the system and creating a cold spot on the radiator. This means it won’t work to its full potential.
As well as proving inconvenient, this means the radiator won’t heat the room properly. So in effect, you’d be paying for energy that you aren’t even making use of.
An easy way to tell if a radiator needs bleeding is when the top part feels a lot colder than the bottom part. Our guide on how to bleed a radiator can help you get the job done with minimal fuss.
What should you do if your Radiator leaks?
Similarly to bleeding a radiator, having knowledge of some simple solutions to radiator leaks can be very handy, and save you quire a bit of cash as well.
A leaky radiator problem can constitute a minor inconvenience or a full-scale issue, depending on how much water the appliance is losing.
But no matter if the problem is big or small, it’s never a nice situation to have dirty radiator water finding its way onto your flooring. This guide from our pals at Best Heating will help you get the job done with minimal fuss.
What next for your Home Heating?
Hudson Reed USA are proud to be at the forefront of the latest developments in the heating world, and to stay right on top of all notable industry news.
We’ve got all sorts of impressive new designs in the works and already available on site, from mirror radiators to brightly colored and textured rads to name just a few.
All in all, our extensive heating collection is always expanding, and there’s plenty of exciting developments on the horizon for the future as well.
With technological advancements always circulating the heating arena, be sure to keep an eye out for the latest developments, and the best new modern radiator and towel warmer designs with Hudson Reed USA.