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Are Vertical Radiators Any Good?


Radiators have slowly evolved over the years. They used to be those neglected appliances sitting at the corner of the room pumping heat all day long. These days, they are now part and parcel of home decor. Nowadays, people are not just keen on installing efficient radiators, but they also want their beloved appliances to match their style.

So, you’ve probably heard of designer vertical radiators and are wondering, “Are they any good?”

Yes, vertical radiators are worth their weight. However, there is still a lot to consider before installing them or switching from horizontal radiators.

Speaking of horizontal radiators, are they any better than vertical radiators? Don’t worry. We’ll explain everything in detail.

Let’s get started!

History of Vertical radiators

Before vertical radiators, we had the good-old horizontal ones. Indeed, they kept our houses nice and warm. However, most people didn’t appreciate their looks. Don’t get us wrong. We’re sure they are plenty of well-designed horizontal radiators available in the market. Nonetheless, most of them are “boring.” On top of that, most horizontal radiators can only occupy the dead space below your window.

Vertical radiators have a different feel about them. They are more “modern” and fashionable than horizontal radiators. A nicely positioned vertical radiator can easily become your room’s focal point.

But are they efficient? Besides style, do they have anything more to offer?

Yes. Vertical radiators are perfect for small rooms and houses with scarce space. Unlike horizontal radiators, they occupy less wall space. Additionally, you’ll not have to worry about furniture placement. A well-installed vertical radiator will dodge all furniture. You can now go crazy with other aspects of room design.

The three main vertical radiator styles

You get more options to choose from:

  • Column radiators: There are the traditional and most common vertical radiators. As expected, they’re not the most impressive looking. They have your typical radiator look with continuous steel tubes running from top to bottom.
  • Flat-panel radiators: These vertical radiators look more modern than column radiators. Nonetheless, they still maintain that “reserved” look. Instead of tubes, they are characterized by large and compact containers that fill with hot water. For double-panel radiators, there will be two containers. Most of the time, these vertical radiators appeal to minimalists.
  • Convector radiators: These are an improvement on the flat panel vertical radiators. Unlike horizontal radiators, vertical radiators don’t benefit from the cold air convection currents near windows. Therefore, they are slightly less efficient. Convector radiators have overcome this weakness with the help of convection fins installed between the panels. In the case of single panel radiators, the fins are usually at the back.

Note: Is your home large and a little chiller than most? Then we advise you to get the convector vertical radiators. Because of their fins, there are much better at warm air circulation than your average vertical radiators.

Are vertical radiators less efficient than horizontal radiators?

Most people assume that vertical radiators are primarily for good looks, are less efficient, and will cost more to run.

That’s a lie! Vertical radiators are just as efficient as horizontal radiators. In fact, in some cases, vertical radiators do well than their counterparts.

However, it’s true that, at times, vertical radiators can be less powerful. This stems from the fact that most vertical radiators are narrow. Also, they don’t benefit from the convectional currents that horizontal ones get from being underneath the window. In large rooms, you might need more than one vertical radiator.

That being said, size isn’t the only thing you should have in mind when considering vertical radiators. Different models use different materials. High-end vertical radiators come with specific features that make up for their weakness in size. In such a scenario, one radiator can replace your horizontal one.

As mentioned earlier, vertical radiators work best in small rooms. A high output one will quickly warm up the space and usher in that cosy feeling.

In larger rooms, one average-sized radiator might not be enough. You might need two or more.

We strongly advise you to do the calculations before buying a new radiator. Specifically, you have to figure out the required BTU rating.

The BTU rating will tell you how much energy your radiator will need to warm your room. Of course, we’re not expecting you to go Einstein. There are plenty of BTU calculators to help you with that.

What are the most efficient vertical radiators?

Ideally, you want to look for a radiator that complies with the ECO Design 20 Regulation. Not only will such a radiator warm your home better, but you’ll save some money on heating costs.

Switching to vertical radiators. Do I need to replace the entire system?

No. Not always. You don’t need to replace your entire central heating system because of one vertical radiator.

To be on the safe side, we advise you to size your central heating system before you purchase your preferred radiators.

“Sizing” is the act of figuring out how many radiators can be supported by your central heating system. Bear in mind each radiator comes with its specific power rating.

If the radiators have very high power requirements, your central heating system might fail. Your home won’t heat up. Some people might opt to turn their thermostats to higher settings. Unfortunately, this won’t fix the problem. You’ll only end up spending more on electricity bills than is necessary.


Yes. Vertical radiators are good. Not only are they more fashionable than horizontal radiators, but they help save indoor space. Specifically, they are ideal for those running short of furniture space.

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