What is a Column Radiator and Are They Efficient?

Two Column Radiators

If you’re looking to redesign your heating system or add another radiator to your space, then you’ve probably found that you’re overwhelmed with choice. As a result, it can be difficult to know whether a panel radiator, column radiator or designer radiator is best for your space and needs.

To help you make your choice, we’ve taken a detailed look at column radiators. Here, we’ll look at what a column radiator is, how they’re different to other types of radiator and the overall efficiency of column radiators.

What is a column radiator?

Column radiators have been a firm favourite in the heating industry for years. This is because they add dimension, pattern and texture to walls and spaces. Plus, their vintage style is great if you’re looking to add a touch of class to your home.

Column radiators are traditionally-styled radiators that are made from hollow tubes of mild steel or cast iron. No matter which of these materials you choose, your radiator will be split into sections, which are known as columns. The more columns you have, the larger your radiator will be and the more heat it will kick out.

Single column radiators don’t exist, but two, three and four column radiators are all common. Our range of the best column radiators available includes vertical and horizontal designs, as well as both steel and cast iron options in a range of colours. You’ll be spoilt for choice! Remember, your choice of heating solution can also be a distinctive design choice in your room, so take the time to consider which look and finish is right for you.

Just like other forms of central heating radiators, hot water flows through your column radiator to heat the room. The tubes of mild steel or cast iron then heat up and subsequently heat the air around them. Column radiators have been designed to maximise the surface area, which allows them to heat a room rapidly. So, if your radiator has several columns, then the heat will diffuse through the spaces and will then spread throughout the room quickly and easily.

As the air between and around the columns is heated by the hot radiator, it then rises and is replaced by cool air. This creates a convection current that spreads heat around the room.

Are column radiators efficient?

Column radiators are an efficient way of heating your home. This is because the space between each column provides the radiator with a large surface area and means they effectively heat air from multiple angles.

By comparison, panel radiators have solid steel panels at the front and convector fins attached to the back. With this style of radiator, although the convector fins increase the surface area of the radiator and circulate warm air through convection currents, the heat that’s transferred to the fin is wasted. By contrast, with column radiators, extra parts like fins aren’t required. Instead, the whole radiator acts as a form of convector fin. This means that the air is heated at a faster rate and the room is heated quicker. Ultimately, this then means that you may not need to have the heating on for as long, so you’ll save money on your heating bills.

At this point though, it’s important to say that panel radiators often have higher British Thermal Unit (BTU) output measurements than column radiators. These measurements are used to assess radiator efficiency and help you analyse the heating requirements of your room.

However, although panel radiators have higher BTU outputs than column radiators, this doesn’t necessarily mean that they’re more efficient. This is because although panel radiators may get hotter than column radiators, they spread the heat more inefficiently. This means that a column radiator is still likely to transfer the heat further and faster than a panel radiator would in the same space.

Finally though, it’s worth considering whether a designer radiator could actually be the most efficient way of heating your space. Although designer radiators work in the same way as traditional column radiators, you have a choice of materials. For example, aluminium designer radiators are more energy efficient than steel radiators and they are ideal for larger spaces. This is because aluminium heats quicker than either steel or cast iron, so the heat can spread through the room even faster.

In summary, column radiators are an energy efficient way of heating your home. Although panel radiators remain a popular option in many homes, steel column radiators are far more efficient because they have a larger surface area and can heat the air around them much more effectively than a panel radiator can.

However, you should be aware that which radiator is right for your space will depend on a number of factors such as how well insulated your room is and whether you have furniture blocking the radiator.

If you’d like to learn more about the best column radiators and how they can help you heat your home efficiently, then please do not hesitate to contact us today. Alternatively, take a look at our full range of column radiators and find one that’s perfect for your space.


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