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Differences between flat panel radiators
There are a wealth of minimalistic flat panel radiators on the market, available at a wide range of prices, but how can you tell which offer good value for money?
A customer asked me the other day, “What’s the difference between these flat panel radiators as one is much more expensive than the other?” So I answered the question, justifying the price difference and realised that this is a common enquiry and something worth addressing properly.
“Designer radiators” are becoming increasingly the norm in homes with a high quality finish and consumers often demand more than the “bog-standard”
However, although price is often an issue, opting for the “cheapest”
So how do flat panel radiators vary? What differences should you be looking out for?
Below we have detailed the various points to consider when purchasing flat-fronted or flat panel radiators.
• Guarantee period: A relatively short guarantee period may indicate lesser quality welding or thin steel. You should be looking for a radiator with a minimum guarantee period of 5 years.
• Independent testing: Are the radiators tested to EN442, the official European Standard? This certificate guarantees that a radiator meets the minimum standards on various aspects including heat output, product labelling and safety.
• Heat output confirmation:
• Awards and accreditations:
• Country of manufacture:
• There are 2 types of flat panel radiators:
1. Specifically designed flat-fronted radiators: These have been designed for the architects market, offering clean lines and a high quality finish. They consist of a neat, simple design that sits close to the wall and often have a plain flat top rather than a grille top.
• Sizes available: Increasing popularity of this type of radiator has led to an increased range of sizes available. For instance, flat panel radiators are now available in both horizontal and vertical designs, with widths from 200mm to 3000mm and heights from 300mm to 2000mm.
• Heat output performance:
• Finishing of the top and sides: Flat panel radiators can have open or closed sides; this does not affect the performance of the radiator and is purely cosmetic. They can also have an open or grille top; the effect on the heat output of the radiator is negligible when adding or removing a grille. A grille is usually added for practical reasons (mostly to stop small children putting toy cars down the back!).
• Valve connection positions: These types of radiators come with either “side connections”
• Design of brackets: To maximise space, look at radiators with cleverly designed brackets that keep the radiator as close to the wall as possible. Look for the “wall to front face measurement”
• Grades of steel – Pressed steel radiators in white are a popular product but the quality of steel can vary between models. A thick grade of steel, such as 1.20mm or 1.25mm internal construction will help ensure a long life. Front panels should be a minimum 1.1mm thick steel; top quality flat panel radiators may even be 2mm thick steel.
• Paint quality: Flat-fronted radiators in white or coloured paint finishes are “powder coated” and should have a smooth, semi-gloss surface, similar to those seen on home appliances. Poorly finished radiators may have a “orange peel” effect due to little paint being used.
• Quality of brackets: Brackets can give an immediate indication of the quality of the manufacturing, as a poor quality bracket may well reflect a poor quality radiator.
It’s clear from the above that choosing a flat panel radiator may not be the most straightforward decision, but by following the guidance detailed above, your radiator won’t be a false economy.
For more information on buying good quality flat panel radiators with a reasonable price tag, then speak to a specialist such as Feature Radiators. Their expert team will help you to choose the best radiator for your specific circumstances, so contact them on 01274 567789, visit them at their showroom in Bingley, West Yorkshire or see http://www.featureradiators.co.uk