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Witten by Bernard Morgan (Engineer).
First Published: February 13, 2024. Updated: February 13, 2024

Why Are Radiators Under Windows?

Why are radiators under windows? | Boilerhut

Have you ever noticed that it’s common to see radiators under windows? While this traditional setup was practical in the past, it might not be as relevant for today’s well-insulated homes.

We’ll explore the rationale behind radiator placement in a central heating system. Why placing radiators under windows was a ‘thing’ and discusses alternatives.

Understanding Traditional Radiator Placement

Radiators under windows - open window | BoilerhutOriginally, the coldest part of a room was typically near the window. This was especially true in the era before the advent of double or triple glazing. Victorian homes, with their single-glazed windows, often experienced drafts near windows.

Placing radiators under windows in these older homes was a strategic move to combat this chill. Utilising the principle that warm air rises and cold air falls. This positioning allowed for efficient circulation of warm air, combating the cold drafts. It helped maintain a comfortable room temperature.

Another reason radiators found their home under windows is practicality. The space beneath a window is often clear of furniture. This provides an ideal spot for installation without obstructing views or the usability of the room.

Reevaluating Radiator Placement in Modern Homes

Today’s homes feature more advanced window insulation, such as double or triple glazing. Modern windows also have improved seals. This technological advancement opens up new possibilities for radiator placement, allowing homeowners to think creatively about how to integrate heating into their spaces.

Choosing the Best Location for Your Radiator

The traditional placement under windows remains efficient for homes still equipped with single-glazed windows. However, with the improved insulation of modern windows, homeowners have the flexibility to explore alternative radiator placements:

  • Consider Room Layout and Furniture: Ensure radiators are not obstructed by furniture, as this can significantly reduce their efficiency. Opt for locations that are unblocked, allowing for free airflow and optimal heat distribution.
  • Identify Cold Spots: Even with modern insulation, some rooms may have areas that are prone to cold drafts, such as near doors or air vents. Placing radiators near these cold spots can help maintain a consistent room temperature.
  • Explore Vertical Options: Limited wall space doesn’t mean you have to compromise on heating. Vertical radiators offer a space-efficient heating solution. Ensure your heating system can accommodate the change in orientation before switching.

Conclusion

Traditional wisdom placed radiators under windows to counteract drafts. However, modern insulation techniques have changed this, offering more flexibility in radiator placement.

By considering your specific needs and your heating system’s capabilities, you can optimise your heating efficiency. Whether adhering to tradition or branching out with innovative placement, the goal remains the same…achieving a warm, comfortable, and stylish living environment.

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