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Convector, Single and Double Panel Radiators Explained

There’s more to radiator shopping than just choosing the prettiest design, and if your brain is getting fried by all this talk of single panel, double panel and convector radiators; you might be in need of a little help!

Understanding the difference between single and double panel convector radiators is important, and knowing the practicalities and functionality of your radiator before you dive into the aesthetics will ensure you get something that doesn’t just look good in your home, it does its job too! This’ll help save you money, and ensure your not regularly overheating or under heating your room.

Here’s all you need to know about convector, single and double panel radiators.

Double vs Single: The Simple Part

Double panel radiators are the same as single panel radiators, but they have two panels instead of one. This may seem fairly self explanatory, but things do get a little more complicated later on. Double panel radiators have a higher heat output which makes them ideal for heating larger rooms and spaces, or rooms that tend to get very cold. Single panel radiators have a lower heat output so more suited to smaller rooms like a hallway, bathroom or bedroom. They are also usually more compact in size which makes them perfect for those smaller nooks and crannies.

Many of our radiators are available as either single or double panel, meaning all you have to do is select a style you like! Take a look at our double panel or single panel radiators.

What is a Convector Radiator?

Following it so far? This is where things start to get a little more complicated. Convector radiators are essentially just standard radiators - you’ve probably got a few in your home already! These are the most common type of radiators, and are comprised of one or two panels of grooved steel and ‘convector fins’ between or at the back of the panels. These convector fins increase the surface area of the panels to make your radiator more efficient.

Still with us? There’s 3 main types of convector radiators, but if you’re itching to dive in straight away then you can check out our full range of convector radiators here.

Type 11 - Single Panel Convector Radiator

The first type of convector radiator is known as Type 11. We know, we know, it doesn’t really make sense - but bear with us. Type 11 convector radiators are known as single panel convector radiators. These feature a single panel (usually made from steel) and have a single set of convector fins attached to the back.

While the convector fins do add to the efficiency, single panel convector radiators are best for hallways, small bedrooms and bathrooms - essentially somewhere that doesn’t take a huge amount of energy to heat!

The Reina Panflat Type 11 Single Panel horizontal radiator is a perfect example of stylish simplicity, and one of our favourite single panel convector radiators. This minimalist radiator fits any type of interior, but it’s in the performance where it really shines. This is efficient, cost effective and durable, and it comes in a huge range of sizes. Prices start at just £86.99.

Type 22 - Double Panel Double Convector Radiator

Next we’ve got Type 22, or a double panel double convector radiator. Yes, it’s a bit of a mouthful. These have 2 layers of convector fins which are sandwiched between two single panels. The extra set of fins increases the surface area even more, meaning you’ll have a much greater heat output.

A double panel double convector radiator is best suited to large and medium size rooms that need a greater heat output to warm the room properly. Large kitchens, living rooms or open plan areas often benefit the most from this type of radiator. The Reina Panflat is also available as a Type 22 double panel double convector radiator - perfect if you’re after some serious heat power! Like the single panel version, this comes in a range of sizes, with prices starting at £134.99.

Type 21 - Double Panel Convector Radiator

The final type of convector radiator is Type 21, or a double panel convector radiator. A double panel convector radiator is basically just Type 11 with an added panel on the back to enclose a single set of convector fins. This gives it a greater heat output than a Type 11, but less than a Type 22. This makes double panel convector radiators perfect for smaller rooms or hallways.

And it’s back to the trusty Reina Panflat. This is also available as a Type 21 double panel convector radiator. This comes with a 5 year guarantee and is available in a range of sizes, starting from £197.95.

So How Does a Convector Radiator Work?

So you’re familiar with the difference between single and double convector radiators, but how does a convector radiator actually work? While this piece of knowledge isn’t exactly essential, learning is fun and if there’s one thing we’d like you to have gained from reading this blog post, it’s a little radiator knowledge.

Convection currents are responsible for circulating hot air around a room. The fins on a convector radiator therefore increase the size of the radiator and offer more surface area for the air to come into contact with. This means that more heating happens, and it happens faster. Type 22 radiators with double the amount of fins are best for larger rooms, as there’s more surface area for the air to work with.

So What’s the Point in a Single Panel Radiator?

If you’ve been weighing up getting a double or single panel radiator, and have come to the conclusion that more heat equals better, rendering single panel radiators totally pointless, then keep reading. Single panel radiators are actually extremely useful, despite their lower heat output than double panel radiators.

Single panel radiators are perfect (and we mean seriously perfect) for smaller rooms. Single panel radiators can be bought in an array of stunning styles and designs, and can heat rooms with less space beautifully. While a cold bathroom is a no-no, if you’re planning on purchasing a double panel double convector radiator for that teeny tiny ensuite, we’d recommend having a rethink! Single panel radiators are ideal for smaller rooms that don’t use a huge amount of energy to heat. They also don’t project too far from the wall, making them perfect for narrow rooms.

What if I’m not Sure?

We’ve tried our best to explain the difference between single panel and double panel radiators, as well as the meaning of convector radiators, but unfortunately we’re not magicians. If you’re still feeling a little bemused, we’d recommend giving our wonderful customer service team a call. Whether you’re struggling with radiator shopping as a whole or have any questions about the type of radiator you need for your space, please don’t hesitate to contact us.

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