The Best Energy Efficient Radiators | Radiator 1

7 June 2022
The Best Energy Efficient Radiators | Radiator 1
Radiator efficiency rating on phone appRadiator efficiency rating on phone app

The huge increases in the cost of heating our homes has become a real concern to many of us across the UK in recent times. It seems that the main energy companies are getting richer while the average person is forced to spend more and more on gas and electricity.

We get a little respite during the summer months as there's less need to put on the central heating, but as summer turns into autumn, we inevitably get to the point where we need to switch on the heating in order to maintain a comfortable standard of living.

For this reason, it's important that our radiators are as efficient as possible and are capable of heating our homes without the fear of wasting heat and our valuable financial resources.

What makes a radiator efficient?

There are a number of design factors that can make one type of radiator more efficient than another and we look at the most common of these below.


The metal that a radiator is manufactured from can make a considerable difference to how efficient they are. Most radiators are manufactured from mild steel, which is a good all-rounder when it comes to radiator materials. Mild steel is a solid conductor of heat, it's fairly easy to bend into shape and it's not especially expensive, making these types of radiators very affordable for householders.

However, the best conductor of heat is aluminium and, while more expensive to purchase, you'll find that your room gets up to temperature more quickly when aluminium radiators are installed. This means less energy is wasted and you're likely to see lower heating bills as a result.

Here at Trade Radiators, we offer a lovely range of aluminium radiators.


If you are really trying to eek out the most energy efficiencies you possibly can from your radiators then the colour you choose should be a serious consideration.

There's a huge amount of choice in today's radiator marketplace and you're able to choose virtually any colour you like. Black and anthracite-grey radiators have become really popular as many want to make a design statement with their rads and ensure they match up with their overall design plan. This is completely understandable and we continue to encourage people to think about what works best for them in terms of style, functionality and affordability when making a choice.

However, radiators have traditionally been white for good reason. White is great at reflecting light and heat back into the room, so you are likely to make some small efficiency gains installing a white radiator compared with a black and anthracite on of the same dimensions. The differences are small, so give the situation some serious thought before deciding how important the colour of your radiator is to you.


The shape of a radiator can impact how efficiently it heats your home. For example, a standard convector radiator will emit more heat than a heated towel rail of similar dimensions. This is due to the fat that the standard radiator has more surface area from which to emit heat than the towel rail. As general rule to keep in mind is that the greater the surface area, the greater the amount of heat will be emitted.

In terms of radiator orientation, you might find that a horizontal rad is slightly more efficient than a vertical one. This is due to the greater width drawing up more cold air for convection. However, this is not as always as straightforward as it first appears. You might have limited wall space, so installing a larger vertical radiator will likely outweigh this small difference in efficiency. Definitely food for thought and you should always use our Heating Calculator to get an exact idea of what heat outputs you need for each room in your home.

Boiler and maintenance

A really important point that is nothing to do with radiator design is the quality of your boiler. You can have the most efficient radiators in the world but if your boiler is old or poorly maintained then this will undermine all the good work of the efficient radiators.

Modern combination (combi) boilers are the most energy efficient, though even if it's not possible to have one installed, you should get you existing boiler serviced every 12 months to make sure it's running correctly. A heating engineer can service your boiler and identify any potential issues to ensure your heating system is working as efficiently as possible. Think about this issue as similar to getting a car serviced on a regular basis.

The most efficient radiators

Below are the types of radiators we think our the most efficient in our catalogue and we recommend them to anyone thinking of installing new rads at home.

Aluminium radiators

An aluminium radiator

When you need a radiator which can help heat a room in no time at all, Trade Radiator’s current selection of aluminium radiators will do just the trick. Aluminium is an excellent conductor of heat which means that less energy is used in bringing the material up to temperature when compared with other radiator metals.

Recent research has suggested that households can save as much as 15% in terms of energy saving when compared to rads manufactured using other metals. That kind of energy saving leads to a large reduction in heating bills over the course of a year.

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