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Where To Position A Radiator: Should Radiators Be Under Windows?

Choosing where to position your radiators in your home can be a difficult decision to make. There are a multitude of factors to consider including window placement, aesthetics and heat output. That's why we've created this handy guide to show you the best place for your radiators.

Why Are Radiators Under Windows?

In the past, windows were poorly insulated, so placing a radiator under the window would help to counteract the cold air coming inside through them. In modern homes, radiators are often still placed under windows as this is an area where furniture can't be placed, so would otherwise be empty.

Do You Still Need to Position a Radiator Under a Window?

If you live in an older home which has singled glazed windows, the best place to position your radiator is still under a window. This is because the heat that rises from the radiator will mix with the cold air coming in through the window. This cold air then helps the heat from the radiator move around the room, keeping the room warmer than if the radiator was placed somewhere else. 

This is mainly only true where the windows are older and let in a lot of cold air. This system of heating is also inefficient and unless you have any planning regulations that prevent changing windows, we'd recommend installing newer, better insulating windows.


Placing a Radiator in The Coldest Area

The traditional place to position your radiator is the coldest part of the room. Whether that's beneath your window or against the wall. This is due to conduction, with incoming cold air causing more effective heat conduction and pushing the hot air from your radiator into the middle of the room. However, times have changed and insulation design has improved leaps and bounds, so in many homes there aren't specific 'cold spots'.

Position Of Pipes

In many older properties, the pipework for radiators will be found under windows, as this is where the radiator had to be placed in the past. Even as insulation has improved, many people feel it's too difficult or costly to move the pipework around so simply keep their radiator in the same place. Despite this, with the help of a plumber, moving a radiator to another part of your room can be a stress free job.

Where Should You Position Your Radiator?

Despite improvements to insulation, many people will still choose to put their radiator below the window. This is a decision which often comes down to available space.

The area under a radiator is traditionally somewhere that you can't place any furniture, so it will often make logical sense to fill this space with a radiator.

However, there's now a huge range of different radiator types available which can help you utilise the available space you have. If you are short on horizontal space, choose a vertical radiator which will maximise all the available floor to wall space with a smaller footprint. We also stock a great range of slimline radiators which will produce great heat outputs in a smaller design.

Radiators are also available in double & single panel varieties. A double panel radiator will allow you to achieve a larger heat output from the same footprint.


Other Considerations:

Putting a Sofa in Front Of a Radiator

Putting a sofa in front of a radiator isn't recommended. The sofa will absorb a lot of the heat from the radiator and can prevent proper circulation of heat throughout the living room. As a result, if there's a sofa in front of your radiator, it will be less efficient and you'll need to turn up your heating to achieve a comfortable temperature.

Full Length Curtains

Similar to placing furniture in front of your radiator, full length curtains can stop the heat from your radiator circulating around the bedroom. If you open your curtains and feel a pocket of warmth, it's likely you're experiencing this problem.

Curtains can be dangerous if you have a convector radiator that releases heat from the top. This design will suffer the most from curtains and can present a fire risk.

Heating Freedom

Most of us are no longer shackled by the restrictions of poor insulation and single glazing. Even if we are, we can choose where we place our radiators.

Consider each room an individual palette, then select both the radiators and their positioning that best suit your ideal image.

See old pipework as a challenge to change rather than a limit to your creativity. Interior design gets a lot more fun once you do away with tired old traditions!

So now you know where to position your radiators, take a look at our extensive range and get designing!

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