How does a radiator work?

Radiators are one of the most common types of heating in homes today. But despite their name, very little of the heat they produce is provided by radiation, so how do they work to keep your home warm?

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How a radiator actually heats your home

There are three types of the process by which heat is transferred between material, irrespective of the types of material involved. Whether heat transfer is between solids, gases, liquids or a combination of these, the process will be either convection, conduction or radiation.

Given the name, you would assume that a radiator uses radiation to transfer heat into a room, but actually only about one-fifth of the heat produced is generated in this way. The other 80 percent is produced through convection. As the cool air, which is pulled in at the bottom of the radiator, heats up and rises, it causes more cold air to be sucked in and a constant current of convected heat fills the room. Radiators generally include three key components, a bleeder valve, fins and water shut off valve which allows the hot water supply to be switched off for maintenance.

Which type of heating is best for your home?

There is a huge range of types of heating available for your home nowadays. From underfloor to electric and gas to oil. If you’re unsure about which type of heating would work best in your home, Which? magazine provides a range of information to help you evaluate the pros and cons of different systems.

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Radiators though remain a popular choice, but even these come in a myriad of styles. Column radiators are a popular style, but can you get column radiators in different colours? Yes, you can, and they’re available in a wide range of primary and pastel colors as well as metallics, so they can tone in with whatever color scheme or style you have. Aside from the everyday column radiators, there’s also a wide range of contemporary and modern designs available to choose from.

Of course, no matter what type of heating system you have in your home, it’s always worth making sure that it’s regularly serviced and maintained so that it works efficiently. Make sure you choose a plumber who is on the Gas Safe Register if they’re working on your gas boiler.

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