A beginner’s guide to radiator and towel rail jargon

It may seem that purchasing a radiator or towel rail is a simple task; however, once you see the range of products available, it becomes more challenging. This is even truer when many of the product descriptions are full of trade-specific jargon that the average consumer will struggle to understand. Let’s have a look at some of the most common.

A beginner's guide to radiator and towel rail jargon

BSEN442

This is a European guarantee that your rail or radiator will meet a certain standard. It includes accuracy, materials and testing within its label.

Conformité Européene (CE)

Another European guarantee, this allows a product to be sold in any EU country. It means it meets European requirements and regulations.

A beginner's guide to radiator and towel rail jargon

British thermal units (BTU)

Any device that emits heat, including a radiator or towel rail, has its heat measured in BTUs. The higher the BTU, the higher the heat production. This is an alternative to measuring in watts.

Delta T (ΔT/ΔT50)

This refers to the difference between the radiator’s hot water temperature and the temperature of the surrounding room. It can help to calculate the BTU.

Column

With column radiators, the body is made of hollow chambers called columns. There can be between two and four columns, which will provide the radiator’s heat once filled with hot water. If you are wondering can you choose sizes for column radiators, the answer is yes.

Convector fin

In a convector radiator, there are zigzags of metal at the back. These increase heat production by increasing surface area.

Dual fuel

If you want to switch an individual rail or radiator on or off by itself, it can be helpful to have a dual fuel device. The first heating source is hot water from the central heating; the second is through an electrical circuit.

Non-thermostatic radiator valve (non-TRV)/single heat valves

This keeps your rail or radiator at a single temperature. It cannot be adjusted.

Thermostatic radiator valve (TRV)/variable heat valve

A digital or a numbered valve, this allows the radiator temperature to be adjusted depending upon the room temperature.

Panel

The main flat piece of the radiator’s front.

Pipe centre

A measure of how far it is between the centremost points of your two radiator pipes.

Projection

A measure of how far it is between the front of the radiator and the wall.

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