Radiators behind sofas: is it dangerous?

Posted in: Energy and Heating
A white column radiator behind a sofa, with a lady sat on it working on a laptop

It's not dangerous for a radiator to sit on the wall behind a sofa. In fact, it's a very common place for a radiator to live due to restrictions caused by availability of wall and floor space.

However, while it may not be dangerous, a radiator behind a couch is not always the most efficient use of your central heating. In this article, we'll look at why and look at some other solutions.

Blocking heat

When we talk about radiators behind sofas, we're usually referring to horizontal radiators. In small rooms, it's common for there to be limited choice as to where you can put a sofa. Often it's against the same wall as the room's largest horizontal radiator.

The problem in terms of heat efficiency is that the back of the couch gets nice and warm but it blocks heat from circulating in the rest of the room.

Ideally, you don't want a sofa of other furniture blocking a radiator a t all, but if this is not possible then pull the sofa a few inches away from the rad. This will help the warm air to circulate without simply toasting the back of the sofa.

The best place for a radiator

A chair in front of a radiator under a window

Under the window is traditionally the best place for a horizontal radiator.

Originally this was back in the days of inefficient, single-glazed windows. The thinking was that as the cold air was let in through the window, it would react with the hot air from the radiator and push the warm air into the room.

Though modern windows are much more efficient and allow for more flexibility on radiator placement, under the window is still the favoured place to install a rad. It's an area often free of furniture so makes an ideal place to install one.

Utilise vertical radiators

White Nevo Vertical Radiator in a small bathroom

A fantastic way to avoid radiators from having to hide behind a sofa is to think vertically rather than horizontally.

Vertical radiators make the most of upward space, which is great when space is limited. They open up areas where horizontal rads simply wouldn't fit, like narrow walls or either side of windows.

Not only do vertical rads get heat into narrow spaces, they also allow you to have more flexibility with where you put your furniture. Not having to worry about blocking in heat can allow you the freedom to put your sofa wherever you want!

View Our Living Room Radiator Range

RELATED ARTICLES

• What should you never put near a radiator?

• The best radiator position in a room

• The benefits of choosing a vertical radiator

2 February 2021