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How to choose a radiator for your home?

by JonesKona

Radiators have a major impact on the consumption generated by heating. Therefore, in this article we want to show you how to choose the most efficient radiators. You will be able to pay for them in about 2 or 3 years. Continuing the article, we will discuss the following points:

  • What are the different types of radiators?
  • What types of radiators are there in terms of their temperature?
  • How important is the right choice of radiator?
  • How to choose a radiator for your home?

Questions we should ask ourselves before choosing the right radiator:

  • How much heat do the radiators give off?
  • How are the radiators used correctly?

A very important point is that the higher the power, the lower the consumption. If you have boiler heating, you can save up to 20% on bills by increasing the output of the radiators. If you have electricity, you can choose the discriminatory hourly rate and save up to 40%. You must take into account that the radiators must have accumulators.

Here you can learn more about the different types of radiators and how to choose a radiator for your home.

What are the different types of radiators?

There are mainly two types of radiators, depending on the area of use:

1. Radiators for living quarters with flat pipes 

2. Heated towel rails with mostly round tubes

If we decide to buy a radiator, we can find a wide variety on the market. Thanks to the different types and models. Today there are radiators that are perfectly adapted to the different types of housing and the needs of each user. However, there are a few aspects to consider when choosing. These include the material from which they are made, the design, the installation and the size, among others.

Despite the great variety, there are a few types of radiators that are in great demand. This is what we will focus on in the following article.

Aluminum radiator:

Their main advantage is that they heat up very quickly, which is due to the high heat output of the material. In addition, aluminum is very light and versatile, facilitating design and careful aesthetics.

They are the most used for their reliability and conductive capacity. With this type of radiator, 80% of the heat dissipation occurs through convection, the remaining 20% through the well-known radiation. This makes them a very fast team when it comes to heating the rooms.

Although they are not as resistant as other radiators, for example those made of steel. They are devices that have good resistance to corrosion in all those installations that have been made well.

Cast iron radiators:

They are very robust radiators that take a little longer to reach the desired temperature but hold the heat longer. Until a few years ago, they were the most sold radiators. Gradually, however, they are being replaced by radiators made of other materials, although they are more expensive than other radiators made of other materials.

With this material, 80% of the heat output is generated by radiation and 20% by convection. Cast iron radiators are ideal for larger homes and should be installed away from furniture. They are also usually much larger and more robust, so you should give more thought to their location.

Installation of aluminum radiators should be done on the walls in front of the doors, if possible not near the windows. The location of the same should not be in very surrounded places. For example, furniture or other objects as it would add power to it.

Design radiators:

Until a few years ago, radiators were rather clumsy devices that were perceived as disruptive to the design in many buildings. In fact, a decade ago, they didn't think about their design. Instead, they tried to hide them with furniture, shop windows, etc. But that wasn't ideal for efficient heating. From then on, many companies devoted themselves to building radiators of various designs for different constructions and needs.

Today there are designer radiators that are sometimes true works of art. They can be adapted to the respective environment and give the already existing atmosphere even more expression.

They are usually much more expensive than traditional radiators. In many cases, these are devices that do not have much power. They are usually installed on the walls because of their design. This can be noticeable, and we can find them both vertically and horizontally.

As a rule, these are electric radiators, but there are also those made of water or oil. And for all interior design lovers, it can be a great alternative.

Towel radiator:

Surely you have noticed that most of the radiators that are installed in the bathrooms today are usually vertical and have a completely different design than the radiators in the main rooms.

This type of radiator usually works with water and has a medium to high output. The best thing about this type of radiators, apart from heating the bathroom, is the design with which they are made. The railings are separated and between them you can hang wet towels, suits or other clothes.

However, when used to dry towels, their performance may be somewhat affected. It is therefore advisable to use them at times when the bath is not in use or when it is not necessary to stay in it for long.

Their location may vary, but in general they are usually installed next to the main door, either on the right or left side, and where their visibility can be somewhat hidden.

They are very practical and highly recommended radiators.but only for bathrooms and not for use in other rooms, despite a rather flashy style.

Portable heaters:

Portable heaters are electric heaters in most cases, and have one major advantage, as their name suggests, that they are portable. They are typically small teams in size and typically don't have much power.

These radiators are ideal for rooms where the heating or systems already installed are inadequate, or for rooms where a radiator is completely absent.

What types of radiators are there depending on the temperature?

1. High temperature radiator: These are traditional radiators that will last a lifetime. In order for them to heat the house, the water circulating through them needs to be around 70°C. If turbo fans are installed on these radiators, they can work at 40 °C.

2. Low temperature radiator: Low temperature radiators work solely by convection and require the water circulating through them to only reach 45°C. Since they work at a lower temperature, the energy consumption is lower.

How important is the right choice of radiator?

The right choice of the different radiators that we are going to install at home must first be analyzed by a professional.The radiator plays a very important role in the heating system.

If we choose one or the other system, we must take the measurements of the rooms. That should be assigned for them.

If we don't have an optimal radiator for our type of house or our needs, we will heat poorly and the same will increase in our gas or electricity bills. If the installation is not done well, we recommend a new installation. Despite generating an initial cost, it is a great saving that we can have later.

How to choose a radiator for your home?

Type of heating, water or electric

The water heaters are connected to the boiler by pipes. They are fed with hot water and thus give off the heat. The electric radiators, on the other hand, are equipped with a resistance, a plate or a liquid that heats up as soon as they are connected to the socket.


An important point is the size of the room, because it has a major impact on the size of the radiators. With iron radiators, the more columns they have, the more they heat. With aluminum radiators, performance depends on the elements. The more elements, the greater the heat. When it comes to electric radiators, what matters most is the surface that gives off the heat.

Climate zone

In coastal regions where it is not very cold, electric heating is usually installed, since consumption is small. On the other hand, in areas where the cold is more noticeable, water heaters are usually installed.


When choosing radiators, one must also think about the decoration of the house. There are vertical radiators that offer more space for furniture. Flat radiators leave more space in the room and towel radiators, which as bathroom radiator. It should be mentioned that the system that most respects the aesthetics of the house is underfloor heating installed under the floor. Therefore, it is neither visible nor does it take up space.

Heating system

When choosing the radiators, the heating system used is decisive. If the user wants to install natural gas, he must opt for water heaters that can be high or low temperature.

In the case of aerothermy, it has to be low-temperature radiators or underfloor heating that heat the water to around 40 degrees.


The price of radiators varies depending on the material and technology with which they are equipped. Aluminum radiators are the cheapest because their manufacturing process is the simplest. Closely followed by radiators made of steel or sheet steel.

The opposite is the case with cast iron radiators, the price of which is quite high. Aluminum radiators are the most used in our country, as they have the best quality-price ratio.


Depending on the orientation of the house, it is ideal if a professional takes care of it. For electrical power, calculate 50 W per m2, for example, you need 750 W for an area of 15 m2.


In the case of electric radiators, it is sufficient to simply connect them. When attached to the wall, they need some hooks that are attached with dowels and screws. A power outlet is also required.

The design

There are currently very decorative designs on the market. You can opt for water radiators, iron radiators and even old-fashioned or vertical radiators. The electric radiators with an elegant and discreet stone look are also a good choice. There is a wide choice, it all depends on your taste.

Questions we should ask ourselves before choosing the right radiator:
After what we have seen, we will ask ourselves the following questions:

  • What heat generation system do we have? Low or high temperature? water or electricity?
  • What type of property do we want to heat? Residential building, teaching building, design residential building, administration building, health center...? 
  • Low-medium or high quality? What budget do we have?
  • Will aesthetics or functionality be the priority? - What heating output do I need for each room?
  • Architecture and layout of the rooms? type of gaps?

Once these questions are answered, we will select our radiator according to the criteria explained in this article.

How much heat do the radiators give off?

The amount of heat emitted by radiators depends on the exchange surface and the temperature difference between the surface of the radiator and the environment in which it is located.

The larger the exchange surface and the greater the temperature difference, the more heat it gives off.

For this reason, we always find information in the manufacturers' catalogues.

How are the radiators used correctly?

  •  Before you use them, you need to deflate them. If you remove the air from the pipes, the radiators will warm up completely and consume much less.
  • Put them in the right place. It is advisable to place them under the windows. This way you can counteract the cold coming from the outward facing walls. You can attach reflective panels. They are placed between the radiator and the wall. This allows you to save between 10 and 20% energy.
  • Regulate the temperature. Each degree or more increases consumption by 7-8%. You can set the temperature to 21 degrees during the day and 18 degrees at night. If the house is empty for a few days, you can set the thermostat to 15°.
  • Be careful with the windows. You should air the rooms in a maximum of 5 minutes.

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