Heating Your Home
Radiators used to be large iron units (known as ‘School Radiators’) which took a little time to warm up, but their full bore design, in conjunction with large diameter steel pipework, allowed systems to work by gravity circulation alone.
These were replaced by smaller panel radiators in the 1950s/60s, which were usually made from mild steel. Although described as radiators, most of the heat from a radiator is by convection.
In the 1970s panel radiators started to be produced with steel convector fins on the rear, which makes a significant improvement to their efficiency by encouraging more convection to take place.
Very little innovation has taken place since the 1970’s in the world of radiators; instead of welded top edges we can now have ‘roll tops’ which are potentially less injurious if you should be unlucky enough to fall on one.
‘Compact’ radiators are now the popular choice. These have a panelled in cover where the convector louvres are sited, which looks neater, and prevents items from being lodged inside. Ironically, ‘Compacts’ are not really any smaller than the normal type.
Hot Water & Central Heating recommend and fit the Vogel & Noot ‘Vienna Line’ range. These Austrian built units have safe, easily cleaned curved edges, and a quality paint finish. Because Vogel & Noot were originally a packaging company, their radiators are always expertly protected from damage.
Other makes we have fitted and found to be well made include Stelrad, Purmo, Myson and the innovative Jaga Low H20 range. Vogel & Noot, Myson and Purmo are all owned by the same group.
These beautiful iron units are being removed in their hundreds by over zealous local authorities in schools and public buildings, and replaced with cheap and relatively short lived pressed steel units.
Safety guidelines encourage councils to fit “low surface temperature” radiators (a radiator in a tin outer box) because of the ‘risk of burns’ from standard units.
Iron school type radiators are the embodiment of sensible recycling. Refurbished 1970’s school radiators are typically already 50 years old or more, and will carry on almost indefinitely. Nothing looks as classy as a refurbished school radiator in a period setting.
We can supply and fit radiators in your choice of colour, in a variety of column depths and widths. Radiators are made up to order from reclaimed units, our supplier has over 1000 radiators in stock awaiting refurbishment at any time. School radiators are made from sectional castings, so they can be assembled to suit your requirements.
Each radiator is shotblasted, assembled to size, painted and pressure tested.
A selection of old pattern new brass valves with bakelite handles are available to complete the job.
Imported replicas are available but the quality of the castings are noticeably inferior to the original British made units. We say buy reclaimed, and recycle our heritage.
Towel rails for bathrooms are usually tubular and have a low heat output for their size compared to radiators.
If you have a reasonable sized bathroom it is unwise to expect a ladder towel rail to generate enough warmth on a cold day.
A little known fact is that if you took two towel rails, identical bar the fact one is white and the other chrome, the white unit will have a 30% higher heat output. So if you need a high output towel rail, ignore the chrome ones!
Bathroom towel rails are becoming a major ‘user chooser’ item, with a bewildering variety of designs available. We can fit your towel rail, please call for details.
Manual Radiator Valves
We use the Honeywell VH200. This valve is a compact, proven design, offering great durability.
Furthermore, and almost uniquely, this manual radiator valve has an easy upgrade to a thermostatic valve head at a later date, see below.
Thermostatic Radiator Valves:
The Honeywell VT200 is not a cheap product, but justifies the investment with looks, reliability and build quality.
Honeywell VT200 thermostatic radiator valve
It uses the same valve base as the VH200 manual valve above.
So even after installation, a customer can upgrade their manual valves for thermostatic ones, without needing tools (or plumbers).
Timed Thermostatic Valves:
For some years, our customers have asked why there isn’t a timed radiator valve available, that could automatically turn down the heating when not required.
This type of product would have applications in most properties, for instance;
- the upstairs radiators can be set to create less heat when you are downstairs
- the lounge radiator can be cooler in the day, but warmer in the evenings
- your home office can be warmer in the day, but cooler in the evenin
We were surprised to discover that Honeywell EU manufacture this type of valve, but it is not distributed in the UK.
So Hot Water & Central Heating import them especially for our customers!
As you might expect, the Honeywell timed radiator valve fits on the Honeywell valve body. It is also compatible with the popular Danfoss TRV and Drayton TRV4 bodies.
Operation is simple…..
You decide on a low temperature setting (eg: 12ºC) and a high temperature setting (eg: 20°C). You then tell the radiator what periods of the day, and week, those temperatures apply.
These units are the most economical way to ‘zone’ your home heating, and save energy.
They use 2xAA batteries, which last typically 2 years. Your preset temperature can be overridden at any time by just turning the blue handwheel, the temperature reverts back to the programmed routine later in case you forget.
We understand there is a lot to choose from, but we are a professional central heating installer and we can recommend and install the perfect heating system for your home. Simply tell us your needs, and we’ll know what’s right for you. If you’d like to know the areas that we cover in the South East, see our map.