Why Are Radiators Usually Located Under Windows?

At first glance, it might seem that locating a radiator under a window is the wrong place to put a heat-emitting device. Surely all the lovely heat emanating from the radiator will just be wasted when placed by the window? However, the answer is no. In fact, for many years, under the window was the prime position for a radiator. Why is that? Well, we’ll tell you.

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The Window Factor

In decades gone by, most homes had single-glazed windows. Until the double-glazing revolution in the 1970s and 1980s, single-glazed windows were the norm. And we know that single glazing lets in more cooler air than our more high-tech double- and even triple-glazed windows of today. But surely the draughty single glaze would just suck all the warm air out?

It actually works to push the warm air into the room. As the warm air rises out of the top of the radiator, the cooler air falling on it causes a convection effect, forcing the warmth into the room, making the radiator more efficient. If your home still has single glazing and you are updating your heating system, it still makes sense to place your radiator under the window.

Double and Triple Glazing

What about if you have updated your windows to double or triple glazing? Well, of course this gives you more flexibility with where you place your radiator. You can play with all the radiator designs that are available – panel radiators, column radiators and even radiators that go up the walls rather than across. You can visit Apollo for column radiators and design ideas. No matter which radiator style you choose, you still need to look after them. Radiators need to be bled to keep them in top condition.

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Saving Space and Saving Heat

Even with modern windows, placing the radiator under the window might still be the best option when it comes to optimising the space in your rooms. If you have smaller rooms, tucking the radiator under the window saves wall space for other items. And to get the most out of your radiator, avoid blocking it with a sofa or other large piece of furniture. The heat will be absorbed into the furniture rather than being pushed out into the room.