Lat­est Heated Towel Rails

THE LAT­EST There’s plenty to con­sider when choos­ing the right heated towel ra­di­a­tor for your bath­room; here’s what you need to know…

Homebuilding & Renovating - - Contents -

A se­lec­tion of the hottest new prod­ucts avail­able

Choos­ing a heated towel ra­di­a­tor for your bath­room will de­pend pri­mar­ily on what pur­pose you are ask­ing it to ful­fil. Will it be the sole heat­ing source in the room, or is it a com­ple­ment to an­other sys­tem, like un­der­floor heat­ing, in ad­di­tion to heat­ing your tow­els on a cold day?

As such, you’ll need to con­sider the size of your room and es­ti­mate how much heat will need to be out­putted to suf­fi­ciently heat the room. The out­put is mea­sured in Bri­tish Ther­mal Units (BTUS), with one BTU the amount of en­ergy needed to heat one pound of wa­ter by 1°F. The BTU you’ll re­quire de­pends on the size of your room and the num­ber of win­dows, but also on how many tow­els will be on the rail — as these will ab­sorb some of the heat. Vic­to­ria Plum rec­om­mends 400 BTUS/M2 for a bath­room with one out­side wall and one small win­dow, but it’s im­por­tant to get this right (help­fully there are nu­mer­ous BTU cal­cu­la­tors on­line); too low and the rail won’t be per­form­ing ad­e­quately, and too high and you’ll be throw­ing open the win­dow and ex­pend­ing un­nec­es­sary en­ergy (and cash).

Heated towel ra­di­a­tors can ei­ther run off the cen­tral heat­ing, elec­tric­ity or be dual fuel. Mod­els that run off your cen­tral heat­ing will func­tion like any ra­di­a­tor in your prop­erty — heated wa­ter will flow through the bars of the rail and emit heat. You may have some in­di­vid­ual con­trol over the heat, but it is fun­da­men­tally tied to the en­tire heat­ing sys­tem. This means that if you want to use the rail dur­ing the sum­mer, you may need to close the valves on your ra­di­a­tors to avoid heat­ing rooms un­nec­es­sar­ily.

An elec­tric model has a heated el­e­ment which is pow­ered by your home’s mains elec­tric­ity. It runs in­de­pen­dently from the rest of your heat­ing sys­tem, so won’t put any fur­ther de­mand on your boiler. This also means that you can use it dur­ing the sum­mer with­out hav­ing to fire up the en­tire heat­ing sys­tem.

A dual fuel model of­fers the best of both worlds: it’s plumbed into your heat­ing sys­tem, but also con­tains an elec­tric el­e­ment – a switch or valve de­ter­mines which fuel source is used – of­fer­ing greater ver­sa­til­ity through­out the year.

It is of­ten pos­si­ble to in­stall a T-piece and heat­ing el­e­ment to a towel rail which will al­low you to iso­late the rail from the heat­ing sys­tem and switch be­tween elec­tric and heat from the boiler. H

1Dim­plex Bath­room Panel Heater Dim­plex’s elec­tric bath­room panel heater com­bines space heat­ing, towel air­ing and a mir­ror. It has a heat out­put of 1kw, with the mir­ror fin­ished op­tion com­ing with de-mist­ing ca­pa­bil­ity, a graph­i­cal dis­play and ad­vanced co

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