Friday, 17 February 2012

Busting the ‘designer radiator’ myth – Discover that heat output and stunning aesthetics are not mutually exclusive!

Customers often visit our showroom or call saying “I know that designer radiators don’t give out as much heat as normal radiators…” or “my plumber says that contemporary radiators look good but they won’t do the job”, so we are quick to dispel the myth. As a radiator expert, it has become clear that there is a common misconception that modern “designer” radiators have a poor heat output and that they are not comparable in performance to standard panel radiators. However, there is clear evidence that this is not the case as there is now a huge range of modern radiators that have fantastic heat outputs as well as good looks.

From a brief history of radiators, we can gain some understanding as to why this myth was formed. It seems to stem from the particularly iconic and striking models that were the first ‘designer radiators’; focus was more towards on aesthetics rather than functionality and, not surprisingly, the myth was born.

However, a shift in focus quickly occurred, with manufacturers realising that modern radiators performance had to match that of its competitors, as customers were demanding performance along with style. Nowadays ‘designer radiator’ heat outputs usually match or even exceed those of their bog-standard counterparts; functionality as well as aesthetics is paramount in the design of ‘feature radiators’.

Radiator designers are hot on ensuring that heat output is always top of the priority list and there are now hundreds of models available that can perform as well as or if not better than their equivalent panel radiators. Factors considered to maximise performance may include, but are not limited to, the following:

· Surface area – Any increase to the surface area will improve heat output. This can be done by adding hidden fins or convectors within or behind the body of a radiator or making tubes or bars hollow or with horseshoe shaped profiles;

· Finish – The finish of a radiator can significantly affect the heat output. For instance, painted radiators offer the maximum heat output. Chrome is a good option for towel rails, as a chromed radiator retains heat and it’s surface stays hot, providing a highly effective finish for drying towels. However, chrome does not radiate as much heat out as other metal finishes so if you like the chrome look, but need a higher heat output, opt for stainless steel in a polished finish.

· Special coatings – Some manufacturers now coat the internal surface of the radiator, improving its ability to ‘radiate’ heat that in turn boosts its heat output.

For an example of the fantastic heat outputs that contemporary radiators can offer consider the Volcano radiator from Feature Radiators that gives over 30% more output than a standard radiator:

Volcano double radiator, 600mm high x 971mm wide, gives 2193 watts or 7483 BTUs.


Standard double panel, 600mm high x 900mm wide, gives 1650 watts or 5630 BTUs.

Or consider the best-selling Decoral aluminium radiator that gives to approximately 55% more output than a similarly sized normal steel corrugated radiator:

Decoral radiator, 770mm high x 1220mm wide gives, 2664 watts or 9090 BTUs.


Standard single radiator, 750mm high x 1200mm wide, gives 1720 watts or 5869 BTUs.

The Decoral also offers some environmental benefits over it’s standard counterpart, as this radiator is made of recycled materials and aluminium offers increased heat up times and low water content.


So how do you ensure that you don’t perpetuate the myth by choosing a beautiful radiator with a poor heat output? Most importantly, speak to a true radiator expert. They can easily ensure that you choose the best radiator to meet your requirements and supply you with a product that performs excellently as well as looking stylish. By opting for a conscientious retailer, you can ensure that the advice provided is accurate and takes into account all aspects of your radiator choice, both practical as well as cosmetic.

For expert advice, speak to Feature Radiators. Their expert team are available Monday to Saturday, so call them on 01274 567789 (10 lines), fax details to 01274 561183, contact them via their website or visit them in their West Yorkshire showroom where they have over 250 radiators on display.