Monday, 31 January 2011

Adding a radiator to your Aga hot water circuit

Many people find that their Aga, Rayburn or heat storage cooker can generate too much hot water.

Often the water in the hot water cylinder boils and consequently the water coming out of the taps is far too hot. When this happens, you may need to find a way to “lose” heat from the hot water circuit and the most effective way of doing this is to install a radiator to act as a “heat sink”.

The information below tells you how to install a radiator on an Aga hot water circuit.

The key is to maximise the flow of water through the system wherever possible.

Hot water circuits on Agas are gravity fed. In other words, they rely solely on natural convection to circulate the hot water, without the need for a pump. For this reason, it is important to maximise the flow of water both in and out of the radiator. This is done through both the design of the system and choosing a suitable design of radiator.

There are many different ways in which you can maximise the flow of water around the circuit.

1. Maximize the vertical length of flow pipe from the Aga to the radiator

Your radiator should be piped from a joint that is sited as close as possible to the Aga. This maximises the “thermal lift” effect which results in a stronger water flow to the radiator.

2. Minimise the horizontal distance the water needs to travel

The ideal position for the radiator would be directly above the Aga, so choose a spot that is as close to this as possible.

3. Minimise the number of restrictions in the water’s flow

Minimising the number of angled joints between the flow and return will help the flow of water. If you need the pipe to turn, then opt for pipes that have been curved using pipe benders instead of angled joints so any “corners” are not as angular.

4. Maximise the size of the bore on the pipe and valves

Always use the maximum diameter or “bore” of pipe to and from the radiator. Your hot water circuit up to the hot water tank and back down to the Aga is normally fed by 28mm pipe and, where possible, try to continue the 28mm pipe.

Valves are usually put on a radiator as standard to control the flow of water, but if a direct connection to the radiator without valves can be achieved, then this is preferable. However, where valves are to be used it’s always better (but not mandatory) to use full-bore lever arm ball valves. Regular radiator valves usually have a much smaller diameter bore, sometimes as small as 5mm.

Also radiators that have ¾ inch connections are better than radiators that have ½ inch connections.

5. Maximise the radiator output

The radiator should be connected with the flow at the top of the radiator and return at the bottom of the radiator, at the opposite side. This will ensure that the whole radiator becomes hot and that there are no cold areas, which could occur if you pipe the flow in at the bottom.

6. Maximise the size of the radiator’s interconnecting tubes

The best radiators to use on Aga hot water circuits are those with interconnecting tubes that have a large diameter.

Examples include “tube in tube” style towel radiators and tubular steel column radiators such as our Bordo. The Bordo is a fantastic option in this type of situation, as it is classically styled to suit many interiors, it comes in a variety of finishes including textured and traditional options, it comes in many sizes including both vertical and horizontal models and it can be fitted with a towel hanging rail. The Bordo can also be fitted with ¾ inch connections.

Many radiators have interconnecting waterways that are small, such as “tube on tube” style towel rails or panel radiators. This means they are not ideal for use in this type of application.

7. Minimise the amount of air in the system

A certain amount of air may build up in radiators over time so utilising an automatic bleed vent will ensure the radiator is kept free from air building up and maximise the water flowing through the radiator.

For more information on this topic or any other radiator related subjects, then speak to an expert such as Feature Radiators. You can contact them on 01274 567789, via their website, or visit them at their showroom in West Yorkshire.

Helena Gerwitz, EzineArticles Basic PLUS Author

Friday, 21 January 2011

This week, Feature Radiators presented the charity, Crohn’s and Colitis UK, with a cheque for £337.03 raised from their “Red Hot” radiator promotion.

Annually Crohn’s and Colitis UK (formerly known as the National Association of Ulcerative Colitis and Crohn’s or the NACC) organises Red Hot Day, a fund-raising day for those affected by Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD), the most common forms being Crohn's Disease and Ulcerative Colitis. These diseases affect about 250,000 people in the UK and the charity aims to help its members by providing support for sufferers and their families, through its publications, helplines and a website.

Feature Radiators’ General Manager, Helena Gerwitz, a Crohn’s sufferer, was inspired to help as she has personally found Crohn’s and Colitis UK essential for support and advice.

“As a member, I have been sent useful information that has helped me with the ongoing management of my condition as well as preparing me for surgery. My consultant is fantastic but when you have a quick question that needs answering, then is my first point of call. The charity also provides regular newsletters, keeping me up-to-date on research into these currently incurable diseases.”

In appreciation for the advice and guidance she has received from the charity, Helena was keen to give something back and help to maintain these services for years to come. So the Feature Radiators’ team thought about how they could help and Helena approached her directors with a proposition. “I thought its Red Hot Day, so why not have a Red Hot radiator! I sourced a fantastic contemporary radiator, in stock in both red and chrome, at a competitive price that would really appeal to our customers but also tied in with the “Red Hot” theme. And our directors kindly agreed to donate a percentage of the sale price. I couldn’t believe it!”

So Feature Radiators decided that they would donate 20% of the price of their brand new Red Hot radiator along with a contribution from the manufacturer, Pitacs, to Crohn’s and Colitis UK resulting in a total of £337.03 raised for the charity.

The cheque was gratefully accepted by Dr. Conrad Beckett, consultant gastroenterologist at Bradford’s Royal Infirmary, on behalf of Crohn’s and Colitis UK at Feature Radiators’ showroom in Bingley, West Yorkshire.

The Feature Radiators team and the Red Hot radiator’s manufacturer, Pitacs, are overjoyed at the success of their fund-raising, and hope they have helped the charity in achieving their aims and that the Red Hot radiator has enabled them to better support those suffering with IBD.

Feature Radiators based in Bingley, West Yorkshire is the UK’s leading retailer of contemporary, designer, traditional cast iron and electric radiators and heated towel rails, providing quality and design as well as value for money.

With over 250 styles on display in their West Yorkshire showroom, expert advice, unrivalled customer service and nationwide delivery, they are widely recognized as the UK's leading radiator specialist.

For more information on the Red Hot radiator or other radiators call 01274 567789, contact or visit

For more information on the charity Crohn’s and Colitis UK (formerly known as National Association for Colitis and Crohn’s Diseases), visit

Charity registered in England Number: 1117148
Charity registered in Scotland Number: SC038632
A company limited by guarantee in England. Company number: 5973370

Friday, 14 January 2011

Feature Radiators’ team are helping change the face of men’s health

November is now “Movember”, the month when men around the world help raise awareness and money for research into prostate cancer by growing moustaches.

2010 was a recording breaking year for the event, both in terms of money raised and the number of participants and this year’s Movember has seen the support of the staff at Feature Radiators, the leading radiator specialists.

With a number of the team sporting impressive mos, they have raised £220 to date for the Prostate Cancer Charity and they plan to support the charity again next year.

For more information on radiators, or moustache-growing, contact the Feature Radiators team on 01274 567789 or visit

For more information on Movember, visit the website and to view the Feature Radiators team’s marvellous moustaches and current fund-raising total, search for “Team Feature” on the Movember website.

Feature Radiators are a one-stop port of call for anyone wanting high performance, stylish heating at competitive prices.

Their collection is made up of the best contemporary, designer, traditional cast iron and electric radiators and heated towel rails on the market in terms of quality, design and value for money.
With over 250 styles on display in our showroom, expert advice, unrivalled customer service and nationwide delivery, we are widely recognized as the UK's leading radiator specialist.

Thursday, 6 January 2011

Energy Efficiency Resolutions for 2011

What can we, as consumers, do in 2011 to reduce our energy consumption and minimise our carbon footprint whilst keeping our costs down and maintaining our home comforts?

Domestic heating is a key area where we, as consumers, can all make costs savings and try to minimise our energy wastage as well as our utility bills.

Below are some key tips for keeping your energy usage and consequently your heating bills down.

Consider installing Thermostatic Radiator Valves

Thermostatic Radiator Valves, or TRVs, come with an in-built temperature sensor. A thermostatic valve will maintain a room at the temperature you have selected, by automatically adjusting the heat output from the radiator.

This means that you can make the most of any “free” heat the room receives, such as that from the sun (solar heat gain) or from electrical or gas appliances. As the valve is controlled automatically, it adjusts itself, ensuring the radiators perform as efficiently as possible, reducing energy waste. For this reason, TRVs are the environmentally friendly valve choice as they prevent energy being wasted by overheating a room.

There is now a wide range of stylish thermostatic valves available in both contemporary and traditional styles in a variety of finishes. For instance, Feature Radiators offers a wide range of TRVs on the valves page of their website.

Please be aware that building regulations require TRVs to be used for all new builds except:

- For one pair of valves on a system, which can and should be manual, so they can be left fully open at all times. This is needed to allow the system to function properly. Usually such manual valves will be put on the radiator/towel rail in a bathroom or entranceway, as more constant heating is needed in these areas.

- In rooms where there is a room thermostat that controls the boiler.

Although not essential, we recommend TRVs for larger radiators (above 1800 watts, or where the radiator is oversized for the room) and for use in kitchens where temperatures tend to fluctuate dramatically (due to additional heat from ovens, fridges and other appliances).

Ensure your central heating system or heaters are on timers

Timers are now available for gas central heating systems, electric radiators and electric central heating systems. This has been the standard for boiler systems for a while but now they are available on other forms of heating. For instance, iRad, the electric radiator from Feature Radiators, is available with a wireless controller enabling specific times and temperature modes to be set, minimising energy wastage.

Insulate, insulate, insulate

The importance of insulation in minimising wasted energy cannot be underestimated alongside the amount of money it can save it on your utility bills. Improved insulation in your home is guaranteed to dramatically reduce the heat lost through your walls and roof, meaning less requirements for heating and resulting in lower energy usage.

Look at the possibility of having cavity wall insulation and loft insulation installed. Many local councils now run schemes encouraging residents to go for better insulation by subsidising the cost, or even waiving the costs entirely.

Also, better insulation means a lower heat output from your radiators is required. So if you are thinking of opting for new radiators, then more options are available, as the heat output will not need to be as high. For advice on choosing radiators with the right heat output for your situation, it is essential you speak to a radiator specialist or qualified heating engineer.

Consider the future of your heating system

With stocks of gas and oil rapidly depleting, the future of the standard boilers is uncertain. A movement towards electricity as a cleaner fuel that can be generated from renewable sources is seeing the shift in the type of heating systems that may be installed over the next century.

Heat pumps are very “in vogue”, but installation costs are high and many properties cannot accommodate or are not suitable this type of system.

In order to retain your current central heating system and radiators, why not just switch to an electric boiler. These are currently available but at a relatively high price, but increasing demand is set to see the costs fall and this will provide a simple, practical and inexpensive option for many of us in the years to come.

Other options for modern heating systems include electric central heating that is run by linking independent electric radiators wirelessly. Without pipework and a boiler, installation costs and disruption can be significantly reduced. This new electric radiator technology is really taking off due to its practicality, flexibility and efficiency.

Finally, wear a jumper!

This may seem obvious, but the younger generation often seem to take central heating for granted, and wearing a T-shirt in the house despite sub zero temperatures is deemed quite acceptable by many. However, this is surely a waste of our precious resources and an unnecessary addition to our carbon footprint. Also what can be better than snuggling up under a cosy blanket on those frosty winter nights!

For more information on maximising your energy efficiency within a reasonable budget, contact Feature Radiators on 01274 567789, visit their large showroom in West Yorkshire or visit their website

Helena Gerwitz, EzineArticles Basic PLUS Author