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Radiator FAQs
What size radiator do I need for my room?

Determining the appropriate size of a radiator for your room involves considering factors such as the type of room, the room's dimensions, the number of windows, and insulation levels.

The most common method is to calculate the room's heat loss in British Thermal Units (BTUs) per hour and then select a radiator that will put out enough heat to satisfy the heat loss. This can be done easily using our online heating calculator and selecting the options that best reflect your scenario. Your selections will generate a BTU value and present you with appropriate radiators that will heat the space. You will then be able to filter down the results to select the most appealing radiator for you.

Which type of radiator is the most energy-efficient?

The energy efficiency of radiators depends on various factors. Here are some common types of radiators and their energy efficiency characteristics:

1. Electric Radiators:
Electric radiators are often considered efficient because they allow for individual room control, preventing the need to heat the entire house. They also provide rapid heat and can be programmed for optimal energy usage.

2. Thermostatic Radiator Valves (TRVs):
TRVs are not radiators themselves but are valves that can be added to radiators. They allow individual control of each radiator's temperature, promoting energy efficiency by adjusting the heat output according to the desired room temperature.

3. Aluminium Radiators:
Aluminium radiators are known for their quick heat transfer properties, resulting in faster warming of the room. They are generally considered efficient in terms of responsiveness and energy use.

4. Modern Panel Radiators:
Modern panel radiators often have features like convection fins and increased surface area, improving heat distribution and efficiency. They are designed to maximise heat output while using less water.

5. Infrared Radiators:
Infrared radiators emit heat in the form of infrared radiation, which warms objects and surfaces directly. They can be considered efficient as they avoid heating the air unnecessarily.

6. Double Panel Radiators:
Radiators with multiple panels increase the surface area for heat emission, making them more efficient at distributing warmth throughout the room.

It's essential to consider the specific needs of your space, insulation levels, and the overall heating system when determining the most energy-efficient radiator for your situation. Additionally, proper insulation, good thermostat control, and regular maintenance contribute significantly to overall energy efficiency. If you need more information, check our advice centre for valuble information or consult a heating engineer.

How do I bleed a radiator, and why is it necessary?

Bleeding a radiator is easier than you may think, and it only requires a few basic tools. We have written a comprehensive guide, 'How to Bleed a Radiator', that will give you all the information you need and show you how to go about it doing it yourself.

In short, the reason to bleed a radiator is to remove trapped air or gas from the heating system. This trapped air acts as an insulator, reducing the efficiency of the radiator and the overall heating system. As a result, you may notice cold spots at the top of the radiator, and the system may take longer to reach the desired temperature. Bleeding your radiator removes this air and ensures effective heat distribution.

Can I paint my radiator, and if so, what type of paint should I use?

Yes, you can paint your radiator to match your decor or simply refresh its appearance or we can do it for you, check our full range of custom colour radiators. However, it's worth noting that it may invalidate its guarantee, and it's also crucial to use the right type of paint to ensure a durable and safe finish.

We have compiled a complete guide on 'How to Paint a Radiator' to show you how to do it. This guide includes how to prepare the radiator before painting and the best type of radiator paint to use. Spoiler alert: it's heat-resistant paints, as these are designed to withstand the temperature fluctuations of the radiator. Whether you are looking to just paint behind a radiator or even get tips on how to remove paint from the radiator, it is all there.

What is the average lifespan of a radiator?

The lifespan of a radiator can vary depending on factors such as its material, design, usage, and maintenance. Generally, radiators are durable components of a heating system and can last for several decades if properly cared for. Here are some estimates for the average lifespan of different types of radiators:

1. Cast iron radiators:
Cast-iron radiators are known for their robust construction and durability. With proper maintenance, including regular bleeding to prevent corrosion, topping up with correct levels of inhibitors, cast iron radiators can last for 50 years or more.

2. Stainless Steel Radiators:
Stainless Steel radiators are also durable but may have a slightly shorter lifespan compared to cast iron. With good care, they can last for 30 to 40 years or more.

3. Aluminium Radiators:
Aluminium radiators are lightweight and corrosion-resistant. They typically have a lifespan of 15 to 25 years.

4. Steel Panel Radiators:
The lifespan of panel radiators can vary based on factors such as the quality of materials and construction. On average, well-maintained panel radiators that we sell can last for 15 to 30 years.

We offer long guarantees on our products, as we know they are built to last. It's important to note, though, that the radiator's lifespan is influenced by factors including the boiler, pipes, and other components. Regular maintenance, such as bleeding the radiators, checking for leaks, and addressing any issues promptly, can significantly extend the lifespan of not only your radiators but the entire heating system.


Do I need to balance my radiators, and how is it done?

Under normal circumstances it would be recomended to balance your radiators once every two years.

Balancing your radiators is an important step in ensuring that your heating system operates efficiently. It involves adjusting the flow of hot water to each radiator so that they all heat up evenly. If you find some rooms in your home warmer than others, this could be an indication that your central heating system is not balanced correctly. When a heating system is unbalanced, it can result in hot and cold spots throughout your home, which can be both uncomfortable, inefficient, and a strain on your boiler.

Fear not; we have a complete guide, 'How to Balance a Radiator', that will show you step by step how to do this, including handy video tutorials and a list of tools you might need.

Are there eco-friendly radiator options available?

 Yes, that is the simple answer, but there are many ways in which a radiator can be an eco-friendly. We define an eco-friendly radiator as being designed with features that prioritise energy efficiency, sustainability, and environmentally conscious practices.

1. Energy Efficiency
Eco-friendly radiators are designed to operate efficiently, converting a high percentage of energy into heat. Panel radiators with double convector fins are very effective at this process.

2. Smart Heating Controls:
Programmable thermostats and timers allow users to set heating schedules, adjust temperatures remotely, and optimise energy usage.

3. Zoning Capabilities:
Electric radiators from DQ Heating allow users to control the heating of individual rooms or zones separately and will even turn off automatically if they detect an open window. This helps avoid unnecessary heating in unoccupied spaces, contributing to energy savings.

4. Use of Sustainable Materials:
Eco-friendly radiators such as the Ruvo are constructed using 100% recycled aluminium, which lowers their environmental impact.

Did you know aluminium radiators are recyclable? Not only are they compatible with low-temperature systems, but by being recyclable, they reduce the environmental impact when they are eventually replaced.

6. Innovative Heating Technologies:
Eco-friendly radiators can also incorporate innovative heating technologies, such as infrared heating. These technologies can contribute to energy savings and more sustainable heating practices.

7. Long Lifespan:
Radiators manufactured from materials such as cast iron are designed for durability and longevity and are inherently more eco-friendly. Products that withstand the test of time reduce the need for frequent replacements, minimising their overall environmental impact.

8. Energy Source Compatibility:
Eco-friendly radiators such as aluminium and panel radiators are compatible with low-temperature systems such as heat pumps. These systems operate at a much lower temperature and, therefore, have a much lower carbon footprint.

Can I install a radiator myself, or do I need a professional?

Installing a radiator involves working with heating systems and pipes, and it's crucial to ensure the installation is safe and complies with building codes. We have lots of information available in our advice centre to help guide you; however, we would always recommend consulting with a professional initially. They can provide guidance, ensure your plans align with local regulations, and offer tips to make the process smoother.

What should I do if my radiator is not heating up properly?

If your radiator isn't heating up properly, there are several troubleshooting steps you can take to identify and address the issue. Here's a step-by-step guide:

1. Check for air in the radiator:
Air trapped in the radiator can prevent proper heating. Bleed the radiator to release any trapped air.

2. Examine the Thermostatic Radiator Valve (TRV):
With older valves, the valve pin can often get stuck, preventing any flow into the radiator. This can be rectified by removing the TRV head and giving the pin a tap with a hammer.

3. Verify the room thermostat.
Ensure that the room thermostat is set to the desired temperature. If the room temperature is set too low, it may prevent the heating system from activating.

4. Check the central heating system pressure.
Low system pressure can affect the performance of radiators. Consult your boiler's manual to check and adjust the pressure if necessary. Most boilers have a pressure gauge that should read within the recommended range.

5. Check for cold spots:
Feel the surface of the radiator for cold spots. If there are cold areas, it may indicate a buildup of sludge or an unbalanced system. 

6. Balancing the Radiator System:
Check if the other radiators in your home are heating up properly. If some radiators are much hotter than others, the system may need balancing. Adjust the lockshield valve on the radiator to balance the heat distribution.

7. Perform a system power flush (if needed):
Over time, sludge and debris can accumulate in the central heating system, affecting radiator performance. Consider having a professional perform a power flush to clean the system.

8. Inspect the boiler.
Ensure that the boiler is functioning correctly. Check for error codes or unusual sounds. If you're unfamiliar with boiler maintenance, it's recommended to consult a professional.

Always remember to turn off the heating system before attempting any maintenance, and if you are unsure, seek professional help from a qualified heating engineer or plumber.


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Making Your Selection

We recommend the following when looking for the perfect radiator:


  • Consider the size of the room, as larger spaces will likely require radiators with a higher heat output or maybe even multiple radiators in some cases. If unsure, try our heating calculator, which will help narrow down your search.

  • If the available wall space is minimal, consider a vertical radiator to maximise this, or even look at the spaces under windows if that is an option.

  • If you're looking for a specific aesthetic, there are various styles and colours available that will match in with your interior.

  • Efficiency is also a key factor, especially when it comes to keeping a handle on heating bills, so look for energy-efficient models that save both energy and money; these are often aluminium, low-water-content radiators.

  • Additionally, explore practical features such as smart heating options or dual-fuel towel radiators for bathrooms, so you can dry towels through the summer without having to turn the heating on.

  • With consideration for the above, you can confidently make a selection that best utilises space, complements your decor, and meets your heating requirements.
Related Video/Articles

Explore our advice center and YouTube channel for an extensive collection of related articles and helpful DIY video content.