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Frequently Asked Questions

Below are some of the questions that we are most frequently asked, click on the question to obtain the answer. If you do not find the answer you need then please either phone or email us with your question and we will do our best to give you a comprehensive answer.

 

GENERAL

Why buy from Feature Radiators?

Do you have a brochure?

Do you have a showroom where I can see the radiators?

How do I go about choosing a radiator?

Do your radiators come with a guarantee?

 

ORDERING AND DELIVERY / COLLECTION

How do I order?

Why can't I order online?

When will my radiator arrive if I order today?

Do I need to order anything other than the radiator?

What types of payment do you accept?

Where do you deliver?

Will you deliver overseas?

How much does delivery cost?

How does delivery work?

Can I collect?

How does collection work?

What if I originally wanted to collect but have now changed my mind?

What should I do if I discover visible damage to my radiator when I unwrap and inspect it?

 

CHOICE OF RADIATORS / TOWEL RAILS

Why choose cast iron?

Reproduction or reclaimed cast iron?  Which is best?

Do you sell electric towel radiators?

Do you sell electric radiators?

Do you have summer heating elements / dual fuel options?

What finishes do the radiators come in?

I need a low-level traditional style radiator to fit under a window, what do you suggest?

I need a contemporary radiator to fit under a large window with the sill at 400mm from the floor, what do you suggest?

I need a very narrow radiator of less than 300mm wide in total (including valves) what do you suggest?

Which radiators are the most eco-friendly?

I am allergic to dust, which radiators would be best for me?

I have a limited budget but want stylish radiators.  What do you recommend?

 

VALVES AND ACCESSORIES

What valves do I need to order to go with my radiator?

What are thermostatic valves and what are manual valves and which ones do I need for my radiator?

What is the difference between straight and angled valves?

Do you have cast iron feet and wall stays for reclaimed radiators?

 

GETTING THE RIGHT HEAT OUTPUT

How do I calculate what heat output I need from my radiator(s) to heat my room?

What are Watts / BTUs?

How do I convert from BTUs to Watts?

How do I convert from Watts to BTUs?

How do I calculate what size radiator I need for my conservatory?

What is the best way to heat a conservatory?

Different companies sometimes state different heat outputs for the same radiators, why?

My underfloor heating doesn't give out enough heat, what should I do?

I am putting electric under-floor heating in my bathroom, but will I also need a radiator?

The radiator I want hasn't got enough heat output to keep my room warm, what can I do?

Why do chrome radiators have lower heat outputs?

Will a heated towel rail heat my bathroom?

INSTALLATION

Who should install the radiators?

Where should I position my radiators?

Can I choose whether to hang the radiator horizontally or vertically?

Can I put the pipework in place ahead of receiving the actual radiators?

My installation is already in progress but I have to wait a few weeks for my radiators, what can I do?

Is there anything else I should be aware of during installation?

Any tips for fitting valves?

TECHNICAL

Are your radiators suitable for my existing central heating system?

Can your radiators be used with a combination boiler?

I have a secondary return hot water system, do you have any radiators that would be suitable?

Can your radiators be used with microbore pipework?

Can I swap just one radiator on my system or would I need to change them all?

Can I swap my existing radiators for tall narrow vertical models to save space?

Can I mix radiators made from different metals on the same system?

I want to install aluminium radiators, is there anything particular to aluminium radiators that I need to know?

Do cast iron radiators take longer to warm up than standard radiators?

What should I paint my cast iron radiators with?

Can I have warm towels even when my central heating is turned off?

How do Feature Radiators' electric models work?

What are your electric radiators filled with?

Can I run one of your electric radiators on an economy 7 system?

What are the running costs of electric radiators?

What is the relevance of whether a radiator has side or underside  valve connections?

What do radiator connections BBOE etc stand for?

 

TROUBLESHOOTING AND MAINTENANCE

What is 'balancing'?

What is an air vent / bleed valve?

How do I bleed a radiator?

What do I do if my radiator is leaking?

One of my radiators doesn't get as hot as the others on my system, why is this and what can I do?

My radiator has cold spots, why? What can be done to solve the problem?

My radiator is noisy, why? and what can be done to stop it?

How do I clean my radiator?

 

IF YOU HAVE NOT FOUND THE ANSWER YOU NEED CLICK HERE TO SEND US YOUR QUESTION

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

GENERAL

Do you have a brochure?

Yes.  We have separate brochures and pricelists for each range.

Please let us know which of the following ranges you are interested in, so we can  send you the relevant information:

Contemporary Radiators - Central Heating
Traditional Radiators (e.g. cast iron column radiators) - Central Heating
Towel Radiators - Contemporary and Traditional styles - Central Heating, Dual fuel and Electric
Electric Radiators
Valves and Accessories

 

Do you have a showroom where  I can see the radiators?

Yes. Our showroom, based in the period setting of The Old Post Office on Bingley Main Street in West Yorkshire, houses the most comprehensive collection of radiators and towel rails on display in the UK.  With over 250 different radiators and towel rails on display, and expert advice on hand, our showroom attracts visitors from all corners of the UK.  And they find the trip extremely worthwhile.  Our showroom is conveniently located with excellent train links.  Click here for opening times and directions. 

 

How do I go about choosing a radiator?

Choosing the right radiator for your project will depend on many factors  specific to your situation. The key areas to consider are listed below. Further details of each area can be found within these FAQs, but please feel free to call our sales team who are here to help.

Heat output - what output is needed for your space and how many radiators do you need to achieve this.

Style of radiator - contemporary, classic or traditional.

Finish of radiator - white, colours, stainless steel, chrome, or primer for on site painting (cast iron only).

Radiator fuel type - electric, central heating or dual fuel.

Dimensions of radiator - any limitations due to available wall space?

Availability - how quickly do you need the radiators?

Budget.

 

Do your radiators come with a guarantee?

Yes. All of our radiators come with a manufacturer's guarantee, which will vary in duration from one model to the next eg cast iron carries a 10 year warranty. The manufacturer's guarantee will only be valid if installation and maintenance is carried out in accordance with the manufacturer's instructions. For details of the guarantee for any particular product, please ask.

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ORDERING AND DELIVERY / COLLECTION

  

How do I order?

Orders can be made in person at our showroom in Bingley, by phone on 01274 567789 (6 lines), by fax on 01274 561183 or by email to contact@featureradiators.com

 

Why can't I order online?

We don't sell online for good reason.  Although from our point of view it would be cost effective, we don't think online selling is responsible or appropriate for the radiator market as it is today.  And the regular feedback we get from disgruntled customers of website only operations, backs this up. There are simply too many issues that need to be clarified and explained before you can reach an informed decision. By talking to you, we can ensure that we sell you the right radiators for your project - matching your requirements in terms of heat output, dimensions, design, budget and lead-time.  If your chosen item is out of stock and you're in a rush, then we can suggest good alternatives, saving valuable time. We can also make you aware of other relevant issues such as how the delivery procedure works or information specific to a particular style.  However limited or extensive your knowledge of radiators and central heating systems, we are here to help.

 

When will my radiator arrive if I order today?

We will be able to give you our estimated time for delivery at the time of order, and this will range from 24 hours to around 8 weeks. For a useful guide, please see the estimated delivery time for the relevant product (which is listed on the individual pricelist) by clicking on "view pricelist" icon next to the relevant pricelist on the website.

If you have a tight time schedule and need radiators urgently, then we are happy to direct you to the radiators that we can get to you the soonest.  Please note that we can provide accurate pipe centre measurements for most of our radiators, which means you can go ahead and have your pipework installed (and floor laid) and connect the radiators later.

 

Do I need to order anything other than the radiator?

For central heating radiators, you will need to order valves (our radiators come with wall brackets and air vents but not valves). Our radiators have standard fittings so any standard valves can be used with them.  Valves add the finishing touch to your radiator, and can dramatically alter the overall look.  We believe it is worth paying a little extra for well designed good looking valves that will complement your radiator rather than detract from it - see our valves section for reasonably priced stylish valves.  We are happy to recommend the best valves for your radiator.

 

What types of payment do you accept

Payment can be made by all major credit/debit cards (except American Express), bank transfer, cash or cheque.

 

Where do you deliver?

We deliver to addresses on the UK mainland.

 

Will you deliver overseas?

We do not deliver outside the UK mainland but can deliver your goods to the UK branch of your chosen shipping company, for onward transmission to you.  This is a straight-forward process, and with many overseas customers, we are used to doing this.

Please call/email to discuss this further.

 

How much does delivery cost?

Delivery charges will be confirmed at time of order, and can vary depending on model and location. However as a general rule, we deliver to addresses on the UK mainland for a flat fee of 30 per consignment. There may be a surcharge for deliveries to addresses beyond the usual routes, such as the Highlands of Scotland. In some circumstances, a timed or Saturday delivery service is available, but for an extra charge.

Please note that in many cases, to achieve a uniform delivery charge, we subsidize the cost of delivery. If for some reason you fail to meet the delivery at the pre-arranged time and place, then the costs of re-delivering will not be subsidized by us again, so, may be more than the original delivery charge paid.

 

How does delivery work?

When your order is ready for dispatch, our transport department will contact you to arrange a suitable day for delivery.  Depending on the product and the method of delivery used, they may be able to give you some idea of time although usually deliveries will be anytime from 9am to 5pm. Timed or Saturday deliveries may be available for a surcharge.

The process of delivery varies from one product (e.g. cast iron radiators) to another (e.g. a small towel rail). To avoid any misunderstanding it is important that you read the pink sheet, sent out with your paperwork, so you know exactly how your particular delivery will work.

Access - Deliveries of certain radiators (including cast iron) will be made on a 45 foot truck.  If access could be a problem, please let us have an alternative delivery address, failing that please call to discuss.

Meeting the delivery - Someone will need to be at the delivery address on the pre-arranged delivery day to meet the delivery.  In the unlikely event that your goods do not arrive before 5.30pm on the delivery day, please let us know ASAP.

Radiators will be delivered to the nearest hard standing which is easily accessible and closest to your property.  The driver is not allowed to enter your property for insurance reasons. Accordingly, please arrange for the delivery to be met by persons capable of lifting the goods inside, unless the goods can be left outside in the short term.

When you or your agent sign for the goods please:

mark the goods "unchecked" or similar and delete any reference to the goods "being received in good condition"; and

only sign for the number of parcels you actually receive.

Failure to comply will mean that any later claims for transit damage or missing items will not be considered.

Inspection of goods and reporting - Please unwrap and thoroughly inspect your goods immediately upon receipt. Please bear this obligation in mind when arranging a delivery date. Any visible damage/faults or missing parts must be reported to us within the timeframe specified on your pink sheet (24 hours from delivery for some brushed stainless steel products and 3 days from delivery for other items) to enable us to claim a replacement or the missing parts from our supplier.

  

Can I collect?

Yes, you can collect from our showroom in Bingley, West Yorkshire, or for certain products you can collect from our warehouse in Essex.

 

How does collection work?

We will contact you to let you know when your goods are ready for collection. To avoid any misunderstanding it is important that you read the pink sheet, sent out with your paperwork, so you know all relevant information including when the warehouse is open for collections.

Inspection of goods and reporting - Please unwrap and thoroughly inspect your goods immediately when you come to collect them or once you get them home. (Although we do a four-corner check of all goods, we do not usually unwrap goods before collection, as we have found the majority of customers prefer to receive the goods with the original packaging in tact).  Any visible damage/faults must be reported to us within the 3 days of collection to enable us to claim a replacement from our supplier.

 

What if I change my mind and now want delivery?

Please call to advise as soon as possible.  If we manage to intercept your order before the relevant supplier has delivered your order to us at our showroom, then we will be able to re-arrange delivery direct to site for our standard delivery charge. However, if the goods have already been delivered or are en route to our showroom, then we will need to arrange for delivery to be made by a dedicated man with van or by a commercial fragile carrier.  This is likely to cost more than our standard delivery charge.

 

What should I do if I discover visible damage to my radiator when I unwrap and inspect it?

Contact us immediately to report the damage, retain all the original packaging and do not plumb the radiator in.

As detailed on the pink sheet sent out with your paperwork, goods must be unwrapped and thoroughly inspected immediately upon receipt.  Any visible damage/faults must be reported to us within the timeframe specified on your pink sheet (24 hours from delivery for some brushed stainless steel products and 3 days from delivery for other items) to enable us to claim a replacement from our supplier.

When you call to report the damage, it is helpful if you can provide us with your order reference number and a digital photograph of the damage.

We cannot accept back any radiator, on the grounds of visible damage or a visible fault, if it has been plumbed in.

All of our radiators go through a strict quality control process, part of which involves the radiator being inspected for visible faults/damage by the naked eye from a distance of 2 metres.  The 2 metre test is standard across the industry.

 

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CHOICE OF RADIATORS / TOWEL RAILS

  

Why choose cast iron?

Cast iron was the material of choice for radiators when they were first introduced in the Victorian period.  Cast iron radiators bring authenticity to period properties and add timeless quality to contemporary interiors.  Cast iron is dense and has great mass that enables it to act as a highly efficient heat store - so your radiators stay warm long after the central heating has been turned off.  This unique quality makes cast iron a popular choice amongst heating engineers and architects, particularly for older properties, as this kind of heating tends to retain the warmth in the fabric of the building which in turn counteracts damp and condensation.  Cast iron radiators have a textured finish.  If you are looking for a column style radiator with a perfectly smooth finish then consider the New Classic or Bordo ranges which are made of steel.

 

Reproduction or reclaimed cast iron?  Which is best?

Each type offer different benefits, and which one is best will depend on your circumstances.  Below is a summary of the differences.

Reproduction Radiators:

There are now some superb reproduction cast iron radiators available, which are made the same way as their ancestors, so look just the same.  Some of the advantages that our reproduction radiators have over their reclaimed counter parts are set out below.

Our reproduction cast iron radiators:

-          come with a manufacturer's guarantee;
-          are the easier choice - the radiators arrive on site ready to plumb in;
-          are available in primer (for on site painting or in a painted finish (wide selection of colours to choose from);
-          are built to order so you can specify the right size radiator for your room, in terms of both heat output and dimensions and you can easily obtain matching radiators in the correct sizes for use throughout the house (achieving this using reclaimed radiators would need a lot of good luck and patience).

Reclaimed Radiators:

We no longer sell reclaimed radiators but below are some of the advantages:

can be picked up at fairly low cost from salvage yards, but don't expect the cheap prices of a decade ago, as demand has risen, so have the prices charged by salvage yards and the like.  Also be aware of the extra costs, (money and time) involved in renovating and transporting;

can be found in interesting and unique designs;

have a history (but its worth checking the recent history in particular, make sure reclaimed radiators have come off a working system and be sure they've been stored indoors to avoid frost damage);

do not come with a manufacturer's guarantee, but the seller may be prepared to offer some guarantee if the radiators leak once installed.

Warning - do not powder coat cast iron radiators, reclaimed or reproduction, as the process can damage the seals between radiator sections.

 

Do you sell electric towel radiators?

Yes. Many of our towel radiators are available in models that run solely from electricity.  Look in the towel rail section of this website for towel rails with "electric versions".  Click on the view pricelist icon next to the relevant product for further details.

 

Do you sell electric radiators?

Yes.  Feature Radiators has brought together a collection of the most stylish electric radiators on the market. 

 

Do you have summer heating elements / dual fuel options?

 Yes, see our towel radiators range where a large number of products come as dual fuel options.

What finishes do the radiators come in?

Many of our radiators are available in variety of colours and finishes.  Each price list specifies which finishes are available for the relevant model. Cast iron radiators are also available in primer for on site painting.  We strongly advise against powder coating cast iron radiators, as the process can damage the seals between radiator sections and will invalidate the manufacturer's guarantee.

We are happy to send out colour swatches.  Please note that shade variations may occur from one paint batch to the next.  Where it is imperative that radiators are exactly the same colour, such radiators should be ordered at the same time.

Unless otherwise stated our white radiators usually come in RAL 9010 - warm white.  If the exact shade of white is a determining factor in your order choice, please check with us before ordering.

 

I need a low-level traditional style radiator to fit under a window, what do you suggest?

The starting point is getting the right heat output from your radiator.  Key to heat output is surface area, the greater the radiator's surface area, the higher its heat output for a given temperature.  So, if you have limited height to work with, then the surface area can be made up (and more heat output obtained) by opting for radiator sizes that are wider and/or deeper.  The Etonian, Bordo and New Classic are excellent traditionally styled radiators available in low sizes.  Floor mounted versions start from just 252mm high.

 

I need a contemporary radiator to fit under a large window with the sill at 400mm from the floor, what do you suggest?

The starting point is getting the right heat output from your radiator.  Key to heat output is surface area, the greater the radiator's surface area, the higher its heat output for a given temperature.  So, if you have limited height to work with, then the surface area can be made up (and more heat output obtained) by opting for radiator sizes that are wider and/or deeper. Consider the following options:
Lo-Dec, T-Line Horizontal, New Classic, Outline, Ron, Partito Bench, Flow Form, Convector

 

I need a very narrow radiator of less than 300mm wide in total (including valves) what do you suggest?

The starting point is getting the right heat output from your radiator.  Key to heat output is surface area, the greater the radiator's surface area, the higher its heat output for a given temperature.  So, if you have limited width to work with, then the surface area can be made up (and more heat output obtained) by opting for radiator sizes that are taller.

Most radiators have the valve connections at each side of the radiator, which means the overall width required for the installed radiator plus valves will be increased by around 150mm.  However some radiators now come with underside connections or rear connections, which means the valves will not add to the overall width.  Radiators with underside or rear connections are therefore ideal for narrow spaces, as the valves do not take up any extra space.

For a traditional or classically style radiator - the New Classic which is available with underside connections is a great option.

For a contemporary style radiator - consider the following options:

Style, Trend, Riva, New ClassicDecotherm, Zephyr, Venetian, Outline, New Classic

For a towel warmer - the Ouse 300 and the Ashdown 300 from the Alpine range, and the Classic towel radiator are all great narrow options.

 

Which radiators are the most eco-friendly?

The Decoral, Lo-Dec, Trend and Style radiators, have rapidly become the radiators of choice for many architects, developers and home owners alike due to their high performance capabilities, keen prices and eco-friendly properties.  Made of recycled aluminium, these radiators have a rapid reaction time, heating up three times faster than ordinary steel panel radiators.  The rapid heat, precisely when needed, not only provides a more even temperature and greater comfort, but leads to significant saving in energy and a welcome reduction in annual heating bills. 

 

I am allergic to dust, which radiators would be best for me?

Avoid radiators that work by convection, as these circulate air and accordingly will cause dust to be circulated around the room.  Such movement of dust will aggravate the allergy.  Radiators that work by radiating heat cause less air and dust movement so are a better choice.  Our cast iron radiators and stone radiators are examples of radiators that work by radiation, so are a good solution for those who suffer from dust allergies.  For further information on suitable products, please call.

 

I have a limited budget but want stylish radiators.  What do you recommend?

See below for details of our radiators offered at highly accessible prices without compromise to good design and quality (thanks to exclusive and direct arrangements).  Representing exceptional value for money, it is not surprising that these ranges have proved extremely popular since launch.

Contemporary radiators - for vertical radiators, check out the Style and Trend and for horizontal sizes see the Decoral and Lo-Dec.

Contemporary towel rails - the market is flooded with cheap poor quality ladder rails with ugly brackets.  They are cheap for a reason!  For good quality well-priced rails see our Igloo and Ski ranges.

Traditional radiators - for good quality well priced column radiators check out our Bordo range (made of steel) and the Etonian (for cast iron).

Traditional towel radiators - there are many inferior quality ball jointed rails on the market that are cheaply made, cheaply finished and cheaply priced.  We do not sell these!  For good quality ball jointed towel radiators representing outstanding value for money, see  the Harewood, Hawksworth, Coniston and the Kettlewell.

 

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VALVES AND ACCESSORIES

 

What valves do I need to order to go with my radiator?

You will need one pair of valves for each central heating radiator (electric radiators don't need valves).  We sell valves in pairs - one valve is the temperature control, the other is called a lockshield valve and is used to help "balance" the system.

You will need to decide whether to order manual or thermostatic valves, and whether you need straight or angled valves.  See below for an explanation, but if in doubt, please call us for help.

Our central heating radiators have standard fittings so any standard valves can be used with them, including those from plumber's merchants or DIY stores (but be aware that these can be ugly and obtrusive tending to detract from overall look of the radiator).  The devil's in the detail, so we have put together a collection of good quality stylish valves designed to complement your radiator - see our valves section.  We are happy to recommend the best valves for your radiator.

 

What are thermostatic valves and what are manual valves and which ones do I need for my radiator?

An overview of each type of valve is set out below.  Whether to choose thermostatic or manual valves is up to you (see note below about building regulations).  As a general rule, thermostatic valves tend to be larger than manual valves (as they need to accommodate the thermostatic mechanism) but are more energy efficient.  Manual valves on the other hand, tend to be smaller and more discreet, so are often chosen for their neat minimal look.  See the explanation below to help you decide what's best for you, or ask us, we're here to help.

Thermostatic Radiator Valves (TRVs) come with an in-built temperature sensor.  The thermostatic valve will maintain the room at the temperature you have selected, by automatically adjusting the heat output from the radiator.

This means that you can make the most of any "free" heat the room receives, such as that from the sun or from electrical appliances.  As the valve is controlled automatically, it turns itself up and down, ensuring the radiators perform as efficiently as possible, reducing energy waste.  For this reason, TRVs are the environmentally friendly valve choice as they prevent energy being wasted by overheating a room.

Please be aware that building regulations require TRVs to be used for all new builds except:

-          for one pair of valves on a system which can and should be manual, so they can be left fully open at all times.  This is needed to allow the system to function properly. Usually such manual valves will be put on the radiator/towel rail in a bathroom or entranceway as more constant heating is needed in these areas;

-          in rooms where there is a room thermostat that controls the boiler.

Although not essential, we recommend TRVs for larger radiators (above 1800 watts, or where the radiator is oversized for the room) and for use in kitchens where temperatures tend to go up and down dramatically (due to additional heat from ovens, fridges and other appliances).

Manual valves act simply like taps as they directly control the flow of water into the radiator and consequently how hot the radiator gets, regardless of the surrounding room temperature.  With manual valves, you can turn the heat up or down, but you will need to physically go to the valve to make the adjustment.  Manual valves have no labelled settings - simply turn the valve head until the radiator is giving the amount of heat desired.  The smallest most discreet valves available are manual valves.

If you are still not sure which valves would be best, please ask us.

  

What is the difference between straight and angled valves?

If your radiator has side valve connections it will require angled valves where conventional pipe work is used (in this scenario you will need to allow a further 150mm to the width of the radiator to accommodate the valves). If your radiator has underside valve connections it will require straight valves where the pipe work comes up from the floor; and angled valves where the pipe work comes out of the wall. All of our cast iron radiators have side valve connections (so need angled valves) and most of our towel rails have underside connections. If in doubt, please ask.

 

What valves do I need to order to go with my radiator?

You will need one pair of valves for each central heating radiator (electric radiators don't need valves).  We sell valves in pairs - one valve is the temperature control, the other is called a lockshield valve and is used to help "balance" the system.

You will need to decide whether to order manual or thermostatic valves, and whether you need straight or angled valves.  See above for an explanation, but if in doubt, please call us for help.

Our central heating radiators have standard fittings so any standard valves can be used with them, including those from plumber's merchants or DIY stores (but be aware that these can be ugly and obtrusive tending to detract from overall look of the radiator).  The devil's in the detail, so we have put together a collection of good quality stylish valves designed to complement your radiator - see our valves section.  We are happy to recommend the best valves for your radiator.

 

Do you have cast iron feet and wall stays for reclaimed radiators?

Yes, see the bottom of the valves section of our web site

 

  BACK TO TOP

GETTING THE RIGHT HEAT OUTPUT

 

How do I calculate what heat output I need from my radiator(s) to heat my room?

Your plumber or heating engineer is the best person to do this if they have been or are coming to your property.  Alternatively either we can do this for you, or you can work it out yourself using the simple Heatcalc (below), that is widely used within the industry.

Much more complex methods for calculating the precise heat requirement of a space are adopted by technical experts and architects, taking account of a many different factors and variables in detail. However, in our experience the Heatcalc below provides a good result.

HEATCALC

Find the volume of the room in cubic metres (length x width x height) 

Use of Room
Lounges and dining rooms multiply by 50.
Bedrooms multiply by 40. 
Common areas and kitchens multiply by 30.
Bathrooms multiply by 90.  
Conservatories - see the question and answer below.

Adjustments
For rooms facing north add 15%. 
For french windows add 20%. 
For double glazing deduct 10%.
For very exposed sites, or very cold weather add 10%

For new builds (which have much better insulation) deduct 20%

Total = heat output in watts needed from one or more radiators to heat the room.

Each radiator shown on our website is listed with its heat output shown in watts and British Thermal Units (BTUs).   For this information, click on the "view pricelist" icon, next to the picture of the relevant radiator on this site.  The heat outputs of your chosen radiators are unlikely to be exactly the same as your heat requirement.  So, always go for size radiator with a higher rather than lower heat output and fit thermostatic radiator valves to control the room temperature.

Outputs are shown at operating temperatures of 90/70/20 (delta T60).

 

What are Watts / BTUs?

These are two different units for measuring the heat output of a radiator.  Like feet and metres, they measure the same thing, just on a different scale.

 

How do I convert from BTUs to Watts?

Divide by 3.412.

 

How do I convert from Watts to BTUs?

Multiply by 3.412.

 

How do I calculate what size radiator I need for my conservatory?

As there are many factors affecting heat loss in conservatories, your conservatory provider or heating engineer is best informed to work out how much heat is needed to keep your conservatory warm.  Failing that, we are used to working the approximate heat outputs required for conservatories, based on the information provided by you - e.g. dimensions, materials etc.  Please call and speak with one of our team who will work it out for you.

 

What is the best way to heat a conservatory?

There are several heating options, as set out below, and the best choice will depend on various factors particular to your project. Conservatories have high heating requirements when the sun is not out, due to large expanses of glass, outside walls and high ceilings. Greater heat loss will occur through glass (even specialist glass such as Pilkington glass, or gas filled glass) than through a standard interior or exterior wall).

Central heating radiators - a good option provided you already have a central heating system that can be extended.  We have a wide range of high heat output radiators popular for heating conservatories, where wall space is limited. Such radiators include low-level radiators eg the Lo-Dec , tall and thin radiators eg the Trend, free-standing floor mounted radiators eg the Etonian and radiators that double up as benches.  

Electric radiators - a good and easy heating solution for your conservatory:

- if there isn't already a central heating system in the rest of the house;

- if you don't want to extend the existing central heating system from elsewhere in the house to the conservatory; or

- if you need additional heat in the conservatory.

We have a wide range of electric radiators popular for heating conservatories, where wall space is limited.  Such radiators include low level radiators eg the Flow Form, tall and thin radiators eg the Polar and free-standing floor mounted radiators eg the Bordo.

Under-floor heating - available in electric and central heating formats (wet systems).  Installation of central heating under-floor heating can be expensive and is often only an option if you are still at the design stage of the build.

As with any heating solution, it is key to ensure that the under-floor heating has capacity to adequately heat your conservatory. Conservatories tend to have high ceilings and big expanses of glass relative to their floor area, so under-floor heating often isn't sufficient to heat some conservatories during the colder months (unless some form of supplemental heating is used).

Under-floor heating generally takes longer to heat a room than radiators, and if the conservatory gets too hot it will take many hours to cool down, so its suitability will depend on how you will use your conservatory.

 

Different companies sometimes state different heat outputs for the same radiators, why?

This is because some companies, ourselves included, state heat outputs calculated using the original British rating (Delta 60 (Δt 60C)), whilst others state heat outputs calculated using the newer European rating (Delta 50 (Δt 50C )).  In our experience, most domestic plumbers and heating engineers still calculate heat requirement using the original British Delta 60 rating.  To comply with this and avoid confusion, our heat outputs are also calculated to Delta 60.

To convert Delta 50 to Delta 60 multiply Delta 50 heat output by 1.264
To convert Delta 60 to Delta 50 divide Delta 60 heat output by 1.264

 

My underfloor heating doesn't give out enough heat, what should I do?

Assuming your under-floor heating is functioning properly, the likelihood is that the under-floor heating simply does not have the capacity to heat the required space (this is common where there are high ceilings or large expanses of glass compared to the floor area, or where insulation is poor).

The most straight-forward solution is to add supplemental heating using an electric or central heating radiator. We have a wide range of both types of radiators, offering high heat outputs and available in sizes to accommodate limited wall space.

If you have central heating elsewhere in the property and are prepared to extend it, then central heating radiators work well, alternatively, electric radiators may be the best way forward. Please call to our sales team for help and advice.

 

I am putting electric under-floor heating in my bathroom, but will I also need a radiator?

Yes, if you want to have warm dry towels. If you are concerned that the under-floor heating will not keep your bathroom quite as cosy warm as you would like, then add a towel radiator to give some additional heat.

 

The radiator I want hasn't got enough heat output to keep my room warm, what can I do?

We can usually find something that will meet all your criteria but occasionally the model you really want may be a bit short of heat output. There are ways around this, we suggest adding a small discreet radiator to the room to make up the shortfall.  See our Volcano steel radiator for the best heat output of any radiator we have found, our aluminium radiators (such as our Decoral 10, Lo-Dec or Trend) which, for their size, have great outputs and are very well priced, or the Carat radiator which is so minimal it will fade away into the wall.

 

Why do chrome radiators have lower heat outputs?

The efficiency of the exchange of heat from a radiator to the air will vary depending on the make up of the radiator's surface. Generally speaking, shiny finishes (such as chrome) do not emit heat as efficiently as coloured or matt finishes (emissivity). In addition, chrome plating creates an extra layer of metal that insulates the radiator and further reduces the heat output.  Chrome plated radiators give out approximately 20% less heat than their white or coloured contemporaries.

If you want a shiny "chrome style" radiator, but are struggling to find one with the required heat output, then look at polished stainless steel eg Zephyr or polished aluminium eg Style options.

 

Will a heated towel rail heat my bathroom?

Yes, provided it's the right size for your bathroom.

If you intend to use a towel radiator as the sole source of heating in your bathroom, then be sure to choose a towel radiator that gives out enough heat for your room.  You can calculate the required heat output using our HEATCALC.  Be aware, bathrooms need to be a lot warmer than other rooms in the house, to counter-act the lack of clothing!

Towel radiators fall into two categories: those used solely to warm towels (where a separate radiator is used to heat the bathroom); and those used to warm towels and heat the bathroom.

If your bathroom is compact and well insulated, you shouldn't have a problem in finding a towel radiator that will heat your bathroom and keep your towels warm.  If on the other hand, your bathroom is large and/or poorly insulated, most conventional towel rails will not have the capacity to heat it on their own.  The best solution would be a powerful radiator, with integral hanging rails for your towels.  Many of these towel radiators are included in the towel rail and contemporary sections of this site.

Remember: towel rails don't just have to go in the bathroom, why not go for one in your kitchen as well?

 

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INSTALLATION

 

Who should install the radiators?

Our central heating radiators should be installed by a competent plumber or heating engineer.  Our electric radiators should be installed by a qualified electrician.

 

Where should I position my radiators?

Radiators are usually positioned in the coldest part of the room, often against an outside wall or under a window, where the cold air drops to the floor.  However, you can position them wherever suits your room design.  For example, if you have full length curtains, then the radiators should not be placed under the windows as much of the heat will be shut behind the curtains when they are closed. 

With so many different sized radiators now available (tall and slim, low and long etc), there are likely to be several possible places where you could put your radiators.  For example, in a kitchen where most available wall space has been taken up by units, the best solution may be a tall slim radiator, to fit behind the door or fill a space that you previously considered unusable.  Positioning of radiators may also be used to make a feature, for example, by placing two identical radiators symmetrically, one each side of an entrance or window.

 

Can I choose whether to hang the radiator horizontally or vertically?

Some of our radiators can be hung horizontally or vertically, but the majority are designed for hanging one way only. Our price lists indicate which radiators can be hung horizontally and vertically, but please call us if you want to check the options on any particular style.

 

Can I put the pipework in place ahead of receiving the actual radiators?

Yes, we can provide accurate pipe centre measurements for most of our radiators, which means you can go ahead and have your pipework installed (and floor laid) and connect the radiators later.

 

My installation is already in progress but I have to wait a few weeks for my radiators, what can I do?

We can provide accurate pipe centre measurements for most of our radiators, which will enable you to go ahead and have the pipework installed.  The radiator can be connected later. 

 

Is there anything else I should be aware of during installation?

The most important thing is to follow any instructions supplied to the letter.    Failure to do so could invalidate the manufacturer's guarantee.

Your radiators must be installed in accordance with BS5449, section five commissioning, which is a process your installer should be fully aware of.  This means on completion of installation, the system should be properly flushed and filled to remove debris and minimize the presence of solid particles and chemical residue that may cause corrosion and damage within the system.

Corrosion inhibitor should be used in accordance with the manufacturer's instructions and recommendations and should take into account the particular metals within the system.

 

Any tips for fitting valves?

Wrap at least five turns of PTFE tape around the threaded tails of the valves to help seal the joint between the tail and the radiator at the valve connection point.  Make sure the PTFE tape is embedded into the thread (to secure it in place) before turning. If it is not secure it could run round and round in which case undo the valve and roughen the thread slightly with a hacksaw blade then re-tape the thread.

 

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TECHNICAL

 

Are your radiators suitable for my existing central heating system?

Yes, unless your system is very unusual eg steam rather than water.  All of our central heating radiators are compatible with normal central heating systems and have British Standard fittings. On an existing system you can replace all the radiators or just the ones you want.

 

Can your radiators be used with a combination boiler?

Yes, any kind of central heating boiler can be used with our radiators.

 

I have a secondary return hot water system, do you have any radiators that would be suitable?

Yes. Radiators and towel rails made of inert metals such as stainless steel, brass or copper can be used on such a system.  We now have a great choice of radiators and towel rails that would be suitable.  Please contact us so we can recommend the best products for your system.

In a secondary hot water circuit, the water that runs through the radiators is the same water that comes out of your taps.  So obviously, the water needs to be clean and free from chemicals.  Accordingly radiators made of mild steel, aluminium and cast iron, which need to be used in conjunction with corrosion inhibitor, are not suitable.

 

Can your radiators be used with microbore pipework?

Yes, you will need adapters and your plumber will provide these.  If your entire system uses only microbore, then be aware that because microbore piping is smaller in diameter, radiators positioned at the end of a long run, will take longer to warm up.  The preferred way around this is to use wider pipe for the long runs (22mm or 15mm).

 

Can I swap just one radiator on my system or would I need to change them all?

On an existing system you can replace all the radiators or just the ones you want.

 

Can I swap my existing radiators for tall narrow vertical models to save space?

Yes, no problem, but please note that if you have a central heating expansion tank, the top of the radiator(s) must be at least 1metre below it.  If you have a combination boiler, then this is not an issue.

 

Can I mix radiators made from different metals on the same system?

Yes, no problem. Corrosion inhibitor should be added to a standard central heating system irrespective of what metals the radiators are made of, and failure to do so will invalidate the manufacturer's guarantee. The only circumstance when corrosion inhibitor must not be used is on a secondary hot water system.  On such a system the radiators need to be made only from inert metals (which do not corrode) such as stainless steel, brass and copper.

 

I want to install aluminium radiators, is there anything particular to aluminium radiators that I need to know?

You need to make sure that the corrosion inhibitor used in aluminium friendly.  Most corrosion inhibitors are aluminium friendly and details of which metals any particular inhibitor is suitable for, will be detailed on its container. We recommend Fernox MB-1 or Sentinel X100.  Corrosion inhibitors are available from most plumbers' merchants and DIY stores.

Aluminium radiators are viewed as the eco-friendly radiator option, providing rapid heat when needed, and a welcome reduction in heating bills.  Examples of our aluminium radiators are the Trend, Style, Decoral 10 and Lo-Dec.

 

Do cast iron radiators take longer to warm up than standard radiators?

Yes, but on the plus side they take a lot longer to cool down, staying warm long after the central heating has gone off.  This is due to the density and great mass of cast iron, which serves as a good heat store, providing gentle undulating heating rather than the rapid on/off heat given by radiators made from other materials.

 

What should I paint my cast iron radiators with?

Radiators can be finished with cellulose paint or acrylic car spray paint.  There is no need to use expensive specialist radiator paints - car paint is designed to cope with extremes of temperature and be tough enough to withstand relatively intense wear and tear. 

Cast iron's textured finish is forgiving, so a good paint finish is easily achievable.  We can deliver cast iron radiators in primer direct to your painting company if you wish.   If you are planning on painting the radiators yourself by hand, then we recommend using spray paint as it is difficult to reach into the middle columns using a brush.

Powder coating produces a fabulous finish, BUT... the radiators are not designed to go through the prolonged baking process so there is a very real risk that the seals between sections will be damaged which will lead to leaking radiators.  If you have bought radiators from us, then please be aware that powder coating will invalidate the manufacturer's guarantee. A similar looking end result to powder coating can be achieved using products like "Plasti-coat", a spray paint available from DIY stores.

DO NOT USE WATER BASED PAINTS

 

Can I have warm towels even when my central heating is turned off?

Yes.  Many of our central heating towel radiators are available with optional electric summer heating elements, which ensure warm towels when the central heating is turned off.  Look in the towel rail section of this website for towel rails with "dual fuel versions".  Click on the "view pricelist" icon next to the relevant product for further details.    

 

How do Feature Radiators' electric models work?

All our electric radiators are water-filled.  This means they are designed like a normal central heating radiator but instead of having valves to connect the radiator to a central heating system, the radiator contains an element that is inserted into the radiator and is then connected to the electricity supply. You then have the ability to turn the power on to heat the element, which in turn heats the water which then radiates heat.  You can either have the radiator wired into the wall or just have a 13 amp plug.  All electric radiators should all be installed by a qualified electrician.

Electric radiators are not supplied with adjustable thermostats as standard unless otherwise stated.

 

What are your electric radiators filled with?

All our electric radiators are water-filled.

 

Can I run one of your electric radiators on an economy 7 system?

Yes. However, you will only benefit from cheaper electricity when the radiators are being used during the set Economy 7 hours (usually through the night). Outside of these hours, the electricity consumed will be at the full price. It may be worth asking your supplier about Economy 10, which includes some more sociable usage hours.

 

What are the running costs of electric radiators?

Our electric radiators come in five different power ratings. The output is the power consumed by the heating element in a one hour period otherwise known as a kilowatt hour (kWh). Your electricity supplier will be able to inform you of the cost per kWh.

Please bear in mind that simply multiplying your proposed consumption by the cost of each kWh will result in the absolute maximum cost as, in reality, for the majority of our electric radiators, the heating element will switch off and on as the temperature in the room rises and falls.

 

What is the relevance of whether a radiator has side or underside  valve connections?

The location of the valve connection points:

-          will determine whether you need straight or angled valves; and

-          will determine the total width of wall space needed to accommodate your radiator once installed.

Radiators with side valve connections (bottom opposite ends) need angled valves where conventional pipe work is used.  Add around 150mm to the width of the radiator to give the total width needed to accommodate the radiator once installed.  Many of our radiators (and all of our cast iron radiators) have side valve connections.

Radiators with underside valve connections need straight valves - where the pipe work comes up from the floor; and angled valves - where the pipe work comes out of the wall.  Radiators with underside valve connections are a good choice where only very narrow wall space is available. Most of our towel rails have underside connections.

 

What do radiator connections BBOE etc stand for?

BBOE - Bottom Bottom Opposite Ends (like most standard radiators)
TBOE - Top & Bottom Opposite Ends (many old cast iron radiators were connected this way)
TBSE - Top & Bottom Same Ends (many old cast iron radiators were connected this way)

 

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TROUBLESHOOTING AND MAINTENANCE

What is "balancing"?

Balancing is adjusting the flow of water through each radiator on a system so that   all radiators are running at equal temperatures and take an equal amount of time to reach their operating temperature. Your plumber should "balance" the system after installing your radiators.  Lack of balancing within a system is often the cause of cold spots on radiators, radiators failing to heat up properly, or radiators making noises.  These symptoms are rarely due to manufacturing faults.

 

What is an air vent / bleed valve?

An air vent (also called a bleed valve) is a small valve, which enables air* that has accumulated at the top of a radiator to be let out or "bled" from the radiator using a special air vent key. All our central heating radiators will have an air vent, which will be sent out with the radiator, and should be fitted as part of the installation. Bleed/Vent keys are not included as standard, but can be purchased from a plumber's merchants or a home improvement store - with most of our bleed vents a screwdriver can be used.

* on first filling the system it is air that is vented, the periodic venting of systems is actually releasing hydrogen which is the by product of rusting in the system, if regular bleeding is required this is a strong indication that the system requires draining and refilling incorporating a corrosion inhibitor.

 

How do I bleed a radiator?

How to bleed a radiator (i.e. removing the air)

Does your radiator feel cold at the top and warm at the bottom? If so, it's likely that the problem is being caused by air that has been trapped in your radiator.

Luckily, you should be able to fix the problem yourself by bleeding your radiator.

Bleeding a radiator is a fairly simple, safe and quick process. Basically it just means opening a small valve on your radiator to allow any trapped air to escape. Just follow our simple instructions below.

1. Get your equipment

You will need a:

- Flat headed screwdriver or a bleed key (also known as radiator key/valve key, available from DIY shops)
- dry cloth 
- small bowl/mug

2. Turn off central heating

First turn off your central heating at the main controls. 

3. Find the bleed valve

This is usually on the top corner of one side of the radiator and is identifiable by a square bit in the middle of the round plug.

4. Protect the area

Place a cloth or a small bowl underneath the bleed valve to catch any leaking water. Also, wrap your hand in a cloth to shield your hand as any water that escapes from the radiator may be hot.

5. Bleed the radiator

To bleed your radiator, insert the bleed key into the bleed valve and slowly turn it anticlockwise until you hear the hissing sound of air escaping from the radiator via the bleed valve.

Tip - Usually a quarter or half turn will do the trick, no more than 2 turns as the screw should not be removed completely. 
When the hissing stops and water begins to flow out of the bleed valve you will know that all the air has been purged from the radiator.

6. Re-tighten the bleed valve 

At this point, tighten the bleed valve back to it's original position. Use the cloth to clean up any spills.

7. Turn the heating back on

Don't forget to switch the central heating back on once you've finished bleeding the radiator. 

8. Final check after 2 hours

Check the surface of the radiator to ensure it has a uniform temperature and check there is no water leaking from the bleed valve.

Problem solved!

Watch our video:

 

 

 

 

What do I do if my radiator is leaking?

Firstly, isolate the leaking radiator by closing both valves, open the air vent to release the pressure in the radiator - this will stop, or at least slow down, the leak. Then contact us to report the fault.  We will need to match up your report to the original order so we can work out exactly which radiator you are referring to. It would be helpful if you could provide us with the original order reference number.  Failing that we can search using the name the order was made under.  We will also need to know:

-          if you have ordered more than one radiator, which radiator is it;

-          where the leak is located on the radiator; and

-          when the radiator was installed.

Once we have the relevant information we can determine the cause of the leak (manufacturing fault or a problem caused on installation) and the best way to resolve the problem (e.g. a replacement radiator, sending out a tool to fix the problem in situ etc).  Every scenario is different but we will do our utmost to minimise the inconvenience caused and resolve any problems as effectively as possible.

 

One of my radiators doesn't get as hot as the others on my system, why is this and what can I do?

If one radiator doesn't warm up properly, whilst all others on the system do, it is likely that the water is not flowing properly through it.  Please note it is highly unlikely that the problem is caused by a blockage. The following steps set out below should rectify the problem.

-          Make sure the radiator has been bled properly and no air is trapped in the radiator.

-          Make sure the valve is fully open, to ensure water can flow into the radiator.  Certain radiators need flow diverters, to ensure the water flows in the right direction.  If required, this will be sent out with your radiator but occasionally installers forget to put these in.

-          Check whether your radiators need "balancing" (see above) and if so, balance it accordingly.

IF YOU HAVE PAID A PLUMBER TO INSTALL YOUR RADIATOR(S) THEN UNLESS THERE IS A MANUFACTURING FAULT WITH THE RADIATOR (WHICH IS RARE), THEN ANY NEWLY INSTALLED RADIATORS SHOULD FUNCTION PROPERLY BEFORE YOUR PLUMBER LEAVES.  YOUR PLUMBER SHOULD ALSO ENSURE THAT THE PERFORMANCE OF ANY EXISTING RADIATORS ON THAT SYSTEM HAS NOT DETERIORATED IN ANY WAY AS A RESULT OF THE WORK CARRIED OUT.  THIS RELATES TO BALANCING YOUR SYSTEM WHICH SHOULD BE INCLUDED AS STANDARD AS PART OF THE SERVICE PROVIDED BY YOUR PLUMBER.

 

My radiator has cold spots, why? What can be done to solve the problem?

Cold spots indicate the water is not flowing properly round the radiator.  You should be able to rectify the problem by following the steps below.

-          Make sure the radiator has been bled properly and no air is trapped in the radiator.

-          Make sure the valve is fully open, to ensure water can flow into the radiator.  Certain radiators need flow diverters, to ensure the water flows in the right direction.  If required, this will be sent out with your radiator but occasionally installers forget to put these in.

-          Check whether your radiators need "balancing" (see above) and if so, balance it accordingly.

Please note that it is highly unlikely that the problem is caused by a blockage.

IF YOU HAVE PAID A PLUMBER TO INSTALL YOUR RADIATOR(S) THEN UNLESS THERE IS A MANUFACTURING FAULT WITH THE RADIATOR (WHICH IS RARE), THEN ANY NEWLY INSTALLED RADIATORS SHOULD FUNCTION PROPERLY BEFORE YOUR PLUMBER LEAVES.  YOUR PLUMBER SHOULD ALSO ENSURE THAT THE PERFORMANCE OF ANY EXISTING RADIATORS ON THAT SYSTEM HAS NOT DETERIORATED IN ANY WAY AS A RESULT OF THE WORK CARRIED OUT.  THIS RELATES TO BALANCING YOUR SYSTEM WHICH SHOULD BE INCLUDED AS STANDARD AS PART OF THE SERVICE PROVIDED BY YOUR PLUMBER.

 

My radiator is noisy, why? and what can be done to stop it?

Noise from heating systems is usually due to poor installation and only very occasionally is caused by faulty products. None of our radiators should cause noise. Descriptions of the noise and the likely causes, other than poor insulation, are set out below.

-             Whooshing/whistling water - the pump set too high and/or the radiators are not balanced.

-             Clanking from pipework - there is insufficient space for pipe expansion (copper expands 1mm lengthways per metre), so if pipes are trapped between floorboards and joists then as the pipes expand you may get "clanking" noises.

-             Clanking from radiators - usually a result of:

              o        the pipes not having sufficient space for expansion/movement (the noise is created within the pipes and travels up the pipes to the radiators); or

              o        the radiators being too tightly wedged onto their brackets.

Many noise problems can be avoided if plastic rather than copper pipe is used.  Plastic pipe needs more room to expand than copper pipe, but is flexible so can "snake" between fixings to take up this expansion.  Whilst plastic pipe does have some obvious advantages, we always recommend using copper pipe for the final connection up to the radiator for aesthetic reasons.

 

How do I clean my radiator?

The surface of the radiators should be cleaned using warm water and a small amount of washing up liquid. Abrasive, solvents and spray cleaners - such as those intended for cleaning sanitary ware, tiles and counter tops - should never be used as they can have a damaging effect on the finish of radiators and valves.  If you have a specific mark on a radiator that cannot be removed using washing up liquid, please call us for advice.

 

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Feature Radiators Ltd, The Old Post Office, 134 -140 Main Street, Bingley, BD16 2HL

tel. 01274 567789 fax. 01274 561183

email: contact@featureradiators.com

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