Why it's not worth sacrificing energy efficiency for aesthetics

Radiators are no longer the ugly white elephants sitting on a wall with the sole function of kicking out heat. Neither are heated towel rails the mundane, functional and possibly rusty unsightly apparatus sat lurking in the bathrooms. Design of heat emitters has become big business over the last 15 years and a stylish rad or rail has become an essential part of any self-respecting interior designer’s plans. Plumbers and heating installers are very often the people who homeowners look to for central heating advice, so, while it’s great to be able to offer a range of style options, the installer must also ensure that they are giving good advice regarding the functionality and suitability of central heating components within a particular home. Renewable energy sources have grown in popularity and many heating manufacturers have designed rads that are more efficient than ever by making them operate with lower water content and lower system temperatures, which can particularly be seen in modern panel radiators. Designer towel rails are also very efficient, whether it be ladder-style warmers or detailed curved rails. They are manufactured in such a way that the whole surface area of the towel rail is able to emit heat, even when they have towels hanging on them. Several years ago, in order to meet the European Union’s EN442 requirements, the CE Mark was introduced. The CE Mark offers a guarantee of heat output and a benchmarked standard of quality that installers and homeowners can rely upon to be sure they are getting a top notch product that puts out the amount of heat it says it does. Any respected installer should be recommending heat emitters that carry a CE Mark and preferably come with a comprehensive guarantee for added customer confidence. Once an understanding of radiator energy efficiency and what size radiator or towel rail is required for the room, it’s safe to do the much more exciting part of choosing the style of the heat emitter that is required. Chrome, black and anthracite have become increasingly popular colours as tastes have moved away from traditional white, but it’s now possible to get a radiator in almost any RAL colour you desire, making the sky the limit when it comes to customising your interior design plan. Bland white convector radiators may be a thing of the past, but it is important for heating installers to make sure they are advising customers on heat efficient products as well as style. It’s easy for householders to get carried away with the aesthetics of a rad or rail, so the installers needs to be their to ensure they get a bit of down to earth, practical advice. With the increasing amount of different products hitting the market, this assistance will be increasingly needed. Article by Benjamin Clarke
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