1. WHAT ARE THE CRITERIA?
Do you for example want to fit Edwardian-type cast-iron radiators? Or do you want to fit radiators at the lowest possible cost? Or do the radiators have to conform to some sort of design need – such as being flush with the floor?
It was once considered best practice Radiator installation to position radiators below windows, because they were deemed to be cold spots. However, if your home is double-glazed, the radiators can be positioned to suit design and space needs since the areas surrounding the windows will be just about as warm as the other walls in the house.
Be wary about placing radiators opposite a window – there is a possibility that they will draw cold air from the window and set up a cold airflow that cuts across the room. If possible, try to position the radiators at right angles to the window on one of the side walls.
4. SIZE & NUMBER
The introduction of double-panel and finned radiators means that you can reduce the size and number of radiators in a room to the minimum. This is a good option if your room is long and narrow.
To a great extent, the number and type of radiators relates to the size and the space being heated, so calculate the cubic capacity of the rooms that you want to heat. Find out the floor area by multiplying the width of the room by its length, and then multiply this by its height. For example, for a room 3m wide, 4m long and 2m high, the sum is 3m x 4m = 12sqm x 2m = 24cu m. You will need to heat 24cu m. Use a Mears wheel to calculate the number of radiators required.
6. UNDERFLOOR HEATING
Underfloor heating is expensive to install, but the water in the system doesn’t have to be heated to the same high temperatures as with a radiator installation, so running costs are lower.
7. INSTALLING UNDERFLOOR HEATING
Underfloor heating can be installed in existing houses in several different locations – under concrete slabs, or suspended under wooden floors and/or in ceiling spaces.
8. TRENCH HEATERS
These are just small radiators that are set in trenches so that they are flush with the floor. They are a good option when you have floor-to-ceiling windows, and want to achieve a clean minimal look
9. CONVECTOR HEATERS
Wet central heating convector heaters are an interesting option, and very good if you want instant heating. The heaters are made up of one or more finned pipes, rather like a larger version of a car radiator. In action, the cold air passes through the fins, heats up and rises, with the effect that hot air comes out of the top of the radiator and cold air goes in at the bottom. Some models are fitted with electric fans and dampers that allow you to turn the heatup or down to suit your needs.
10. SKIRTING RADIATORS
These are a good option when you want to achieve an even, all-round background heat in a room that is also heated by an open fire. Skirting radiators are readily available in kit form.