The do’s and don’ts of positioning an electric radiator


Gas radiators have to be positioned where the pipework allows them to be positioned. Electric radiators, by contrast, offer much more flexibility. Even so, there are some key points to keep in mind when you are positioning your electric radiators.

Keep radiators for your key spaces

Electric radiators carry a fairly high upfront cost as compared to other forms of heating, including electric heating. They are, however, very economical to run. If you deploy electric radiators in key spaces, you will minimise the length of time it takes to recover your initial investment.

If a space is not used very often, fitting an electric radiator may not be cost-effective. An electric panel heater may be a better option. These are less economical to run but have a lower up-front cost. You could always keep a plug-in electric radiator as a standby option if you bring the space into regular use.

Think about where you need heating

As a rule of thumb, you should try to put your radiator in the coolest part of the space you want to be heated. Even with double glazing, this is often under the window. The exception to this is if the coldest part of the room is by a door.

The problem with placing a radiator by a door is that it can end up heating the space on the other side of the door. This is particularly likely if the area outside the door is generally a lower temperature than the area inside the door. If the door area is particularly cold, this is very likely to be the case.

Realistically, however, there may be times when putting a radiator close to a door is effectively unavoidable. If this happens, you might want to consider putting a curtain in front of the door. This would help to contain the heat as the door opened and closed. You would, however, need to make sure that there was plenty of space between the curtain and radiator.

Make sure there is plenty of clear space

Despite the name, radiators actually do most of their work by convection heating. In practical terms, that means they heat the air. The warmed air then circulates around the room, heating it as it goes. This means that radiators only work effectively if there is plenty of clear space around them so that air can circulate.

Without ample clear space around it, a radiator can quickly become a fire hazard. Even though household textiles usually have some element of fire-proofing, this is far from absolute. In fact, they can often be where fires start. Electronics can also be vulnerable.

Choose the space before the radiator

Ideally, you should work out where you want to position your electric radiator before you buy it. Then choose a radiator that both fits and suits the space you’ve chosen. In many cases, the traditional rectangular white box will be the way to go. These will fit unobtrusively into many homes, particularly modern ones.

These days, however, they are definitely not the only option. To begin with, there are radiators designed to fit into awkward spaces. For example, low-profile radiators can be fitted into walls with slants in them such as many attic conversions. Vertical radiators, by contrast, make the most of the vertical space instead of the horizontal space.

If you have a really awkwardly-shaped room, you might even find it best to have two (or more) smaller radiators. Another option might be to use plug-in radiators. These can be pulled away from the wall to bring heat further into the room more quickly.

Alternatively, you could forget discretion and subtlety and go for a statement radiator instead. Modern radiators can be a design feature you want to look at. In fact, they can even replace art, particularly in small spaces.

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