How much heat do I need for my room? (part one...)
OK, today I want to talk about heat output requirements. This is the one area that causes the most confusion and frustration to end users when selecting radiators. The main problem is that Joe Public ordinarily doesn't have much need to understand how their heating works or what their radiators do for them.
Simply put, radiators on a central heating system are designed for the occupants of the house to avoid the feeling of cold. They're not designed to radiate heat in a blast like an open fire or wood burner. They just tick away, raising the overall temperature of a room in most cases, when specified correctly, to an ambient temperature of 20ºC or more.
With this in mind, when we look at heat calculations, we have a number of resources available to us to choose the correct output radiator. Firstly, there are a huge selection of output calculators online. We have one on our site here.
The problem with using output calculators is that it is simply maths. X+Y=Z. There isn't any interaction with how the room actually feels heat wise, the aspect of the room or how the occupant uses the room or what the occupant prefers, temperature wise. We actually removed our calculator from the menu section of our Radiator Showroom website as people thought the figures it supplied had to be adhered to like the Ten Commandments or something. Whilst we need to remain within a reasonable tolerance, of course, there is some waggle room.
The second consideration is design. If you're here, odds are you're looking for designer radiators, contemporary radiators or traditional radiators. In other words, you're looking for something nice and attractive. When people focus in the radiator output, they can get carried away with Watts or BTU (British Thermal Unit) outputs and select huge radiators that look entirely inappropriate. In most cases, radiators are available in a number of sizes and where large output are needed, often its a good idea to split things up with two or more radiators. Most people are surprised to learn that costs for two radiators is usually very similar to one unit at double the size.