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Advice required re: Tall/Vertical Radiators

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Advice required re: Tall/Vertical Radiators

5 replies 2.6K views
andthethreebearsandthethreebears Forumite
341 posts
I guess I should have paid more attention in physics class...

So here's the stupid question:
Do radiators just heat from the top, or does the heat of the whole panel transfer to the room?

The reason I'm asking is that I love the look of tall, vertical radiators.
With the top of the panel at 1800 or 2000 tall is all the warmth going to go into the ceiling or will we feel the benefits of the larger size? (as opposed to one the same with, but only 600 or 1000 tall?)

Does anyone have tall skinny radiators, and if you do, would you get them again?

Thanks in advance for your help!


  • ChunksChunks Forumite
    705 posts

    Radiators work by convection - cool air around the radiator rises as it heats up. This draws in cooler air from below which heats up and so on. Eventually as the temperature in the room rises, the air being drawn in to the cycle as it were, will be warmer than when the cycle started. Rads come in all shapes now but they are/should be rated in BTUs - this is the amount of heat the 'produce'. Look for that value. Based on the size of the room, you should be able to establish how many BTUs you need for a given volume of space using a link like this for example:

    Incidentally, I believe that the temperature of the air at ceiling level will always be warmer than ground level but the shape of the rad shouldn't cause a material difference.

    Good luck.

  • If you want tall radiators it is best to get them piped up bottom / top opposite ends so that the flow of hot water is through the whole of the radiator and does just short circuit through the bottom of the radiator without heating the whole of the rad up. This is less of an issue with longer standard radiators where there is enough length for the heat to emit from all the panel.

    If you go onto a manufacturers website such as Myson, Stelrad or Jaga (very nice rads on Jaga) and they will give you information for the output for various different shapes and size of rads which might give you more of an idea of things.
  • Thanks, really useful info.
    It's going to replace an old 600x500 radiator in the kitchen so I was hoping it could just fit onto the pipes that are already there? One at the top and one at the bOttom sounds like a lot of pipe on show!
    The style I've seen (and seems to be most reasonable) is a flat panel offering 988watts (single panel) or 1618watts (double convector) one is too low and one too high according to that calculator!

    I'm so glad there are places like this I can come to without having to phone up our fitter and sound like a fool!
  • kremmenkremmen Forumite
    733 posts
    Part of the Furniture 500 Posts Name Dropper Combo Breaker

    Just keep in ming that some gas service/insurance cover policies don't cover towel rail types.

    When I had a problem eith my bathroom radiator BGas asked wht type it was. Its normal and they came out but engineer also said towel rail wouldn,t be covered.

  • ChunksChunks Forumite
    705 posts
    Hello again AttB - getting a tall skinny rad to fit the existing plumbing will be a big ask. By definition, the width between the flow and return you have now will mean 'skinny' is out - more like tall and fat (overweight perhaps) :).

    You might get away with a smaller rad if the difference between what you 'need' and what you are looking at isn't great. I replaced a rad in my kitchen and like a fool bought the wrong size (smaller). Did it feel colder than before - no.

    If hiding the existing pipe work isn't an option (allowing a rerun of pipe work) then something contemporary, which matches the existing pipe work, might be doable accepting it's not per your original brief.

    Happy hunting

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