Your go-to guide for choosing the perfect radiators for your home 

You may be surprised to hear this but specifying the right radiators for your home can make all the design difference to the rooms in your home – as well as your heating bills! 

Choosing the right radiators, whether to finish a self-build or complete a renovation project, can often be an expensive afterthought once the majority of your décor has been picked out.  However, taking the time to plan ahead and choose your ideal radiators can often be the key to saving you money on the best radiators to complement your new design scheme.    

Modern radiators are becoming increasingly more inventive in form, style and colour, but it is vital that you do not lose sight of their main purpose: to heat your home.  

Make sure you consider heat output 

One of the first steps in choosing the right radiator system for your home is to calculate the British Thermal Unit requirement of each space.  Either a heating engineer or a gas safe registered plumber will be the best person to work this out for you.  However, you can also take a look at online BTU calculators, which will provide you with an indication of your BTU requirements.  

When it comes to estimating the energy output required for your home, it’s important to consider things like the size of any window openings, the size of each room, as well as the number of external walls. 

What size radiator do I need?  

Most online manufacturers now specify radiators in an assortment of sizes to suit your personal needs.  If you’re still feeling a little lost when it comes to your radiator sizes, then you should remember that the larger the size, the grater the heat output.  If you’re working with extremely tight spaces, then there are a number of handy space-saving alternatives such as skirting heating to consider. 

What material works best for my radiator system? 


Radiators were traditionally manufactured from steel because of its efficiency, flexibility and strength.  It is also possible to produce polished and brushed finishes to create a fantastic finish.  Steel is usually a cheap choice for heating systems because steel is also impervious to water.   

Aluminium radiators 

If you’re looking for a lightweight heating option, this is the perfect fit.  Aluminium radiators ensure your home will be heated quickly and efficiently and typically offers a sleeker, more modern aesthetic than traditional steel options.  Even better, aluminium radiators are also completely recyclable once they reach the end of their life.  This makes it a great option for any eco-conscious buyers.  Online brands like Trade Radiators offer a plethora of aluminium radiator options at phenomenal prices. 

Cast Iron  

Cast iron is also another traditional option, particularly when it comes to column radiators.  Unlike aluminium, a cast iron radiator will take longer to heat up, however, it’s not all bad news.  A cast iron radiator will also hold on to heat far longer after being turned off.  As a heavyweight option, it’s important to ensure your walls/floors are structurally sound before choosing this radiator type. 

Where to install your radiator? 

Just as you would plan for new switches, sockets and kitchen units, knowing where to place your radiators is just as important. 

If you’re currently waist-deep in a renovation project and starting from scratch, then you should take the time to plan the installation of your radiators as you plan both the décor and furniture for each room.  If you opt for a traditional radiator design, these tend to be positioned under windows or on external walls, however, thanks to increasing standard of energy efficiency there is far more flexibility when it comes to where to place the radiators in your home.