Advanced search

Where are your radiators?

(29 Posts)
Pinkfizzy Thu 10-Jul-14 23:14:33

Apologies for a boring thread in advance!

Are your radiators under windows or on party walls or on internal walls?

I always thought that they were meant to be under windows, but the builder who came around today told me that it was the worst place for them and that they should be far from the windows...any comments?

steppemum Thu 10-Jul-14 23:29:40

well, I love full length curtains.
I also think that full length curtains are warm, and good insulators and nice and dark in bedrooms.

So by choice I would never have any radiator under any window.

I have never understood it anyway, if you have short curtains, surely the warm air goes up inside the curtain and out of the window?

PeoplesFrontOfJudea Thu 10-Jul-14 23:33:04

A combination. Some are under windows, some are on external walls (no party walls) and some are on internal walls.

The under window ones aren't an issue anyway as I've got made to measure Roman blinds in the window recesses rather than curtains, so it doesn't affect the circulation or line.

Parietal Thu 10-Jul-14 23:35:49

sunk into the floor under grills. bit like underfloor heating but better for maintenance.

in our previous (victorian) house, the radiators in the living room were under the windows and then ended up behind the long curtains. so all the heat went out. in some bedrooms, they were on an internal wall away from the window, but then one side of the room was hot and the other cold. i've not sure there is any good way to heat an old victorian house!

ouryve Thu 10-Jul-14 23:37:33

A mixture. Small terrace. Through lounge - one on an internal dining room wall, one on external living room wall (limits us to short curtains). The bathroom and hall ones are internal. Boys' radiator is on external wall but not under a window. Ours is on the internal wall between our room and the boys'.

The two on outside walls do help a bit against damp, but not on the full width of the wall. The ones in the middle of the house do help to make the house feel warmer when it's extremely cold outside, by heating up the core of the house.

ouryve Thu 10-Jul-14 23:39:20

Steppemum - yes it does - our livingroom curtains billow out on cold days when the heating is constantly fired up.

ThinkIveBeenHacked Thu 10-Jul-14 23:39:58

We have an 1800s flat, ground floor. The master bedroom has a rad under the bay window (no problem as we have venetian blinds) plus a rad near the bedroom door on the wall that adjoins the living room. Its good as we can turn that one off on cold nights and just have the one warming any cold air coming in from the bay.

Lounge - under window
Bathroom - on outside wall not near window
Second bedroom - no rad. Never cold
Kitchen - on wall that adjoins the lounge
No rad in the hallway.

CheerfulYank Thu 10-Jul-14 23:42:35

All under the windows.

Pinkfizzy Thu 10-Jul-14 23:43:28

Wow! Quick answers! Thank you all!

We don't have any full length curtains + radiators precisely because of not wanting to lose the heat. However we are a mid terrace solid wall house and thinking of getting external wall insulation, so can rethink radiator location whilst we redecorate. Actually, that's a whole other thread...

Parietal, do you mean that your rads are sunk totally under the floor? Does that limit you significantly on where you place furniture? Are they placed near external walls and how do you clean them as sweeping etc must waft a bit of dust through the grills? More fascinating than I expected!

HauntedNoddyCar Thu 10-Jul-14 23:44:26

We have a mixture. About half and half. I would prefer them not to be under the window though.

QuacksLikeADuck Thu 10-Jul-14 23:53:06

Windows are not as good insulators as walls, so the air near a window is likely to be cooler, meaning it will fall in a pool near the floor. If the rest of the room is warmer, then this warmer air will rise meaning the cooler air on the floor by the window will move across to replace it - basic convection. This causes a draft which is uncomfortable, and this effect will be accelerated if there is a radiator on the wall opposite the windows.

Putting a radiator under the window cancels out this effect and stops the draft. Obviously if you have very very well insulated windows this is less of a problem, but vital for single glazing!

BackforGood Thu 10-Jul-14 23:54:24

Only 2 (of 12) under windows.

the advantage is everything you don't want to block with furniture is on the same wall.
The disadvantage is you lose a lot of heat to the outside without the room getting warm.

Pinkfizzy Fri 11-Jul-14 00:14:15

The convection currents explanation makes sense to me. Most of our radiators are under windows or on internal walls, and were installed by previous owner, a plumber.

However we have installed double glazing throughout, and draughts have definitely decreased. The only room that is really parky is the north facing one with a window seat in the bay, and the radiator is opposite it, about 16 feet away.

Thank you everyone!

weyayechickenpie Fri 11-Jul-14 00:18:27

Under all the Windows. I dont understand why as surely it lets the heat out. The only other one I have is in the hallway but I live in a flat so its pretty warm.

LawnOrnament Fri 11-Jul-14 07:38:57

All of ours are on internal walls. First UK house I've lived in where that's been the case. It's also the warmest house I've lived in.

PigletJohn Fri 11-Jul-14 07:40:18

In the old days, when energy was cheap, it seemed a good idea to put radiators under draughty windows.

The fact that half the heat went straight outside to warm the sky did not seem important.

Today, however, we prefer to spend our money on warming our homes, and putting rads on an internal wall is a better way to do that.

It also enables you to have long certains should you so desire.

PigletJohn Fri 11-Jul-14 07:45:39


Many builders and plumbers learned where to out radiators at their grandad's knee, and him from his grandad, so no surprise that some of them cling to Victorian traditions.

HSMMaCM Fri 11-Jul-14 07:56:55

I thought it was something to do with convection currents too, but I'm not a scientist. On a more practical note, I think it's the bit of the wall where you won't put furniture.

Madmog Fri 11-Jul-14 10:44:52

A combination in our old and present house. Haven't lived in our new house long enough, but in our old one you could always feel the cold from the windows, so I suspect some of the heat from the radiators under them went straight out rather than circulating around the room first. Also when the curtains where closed some of the heat could go straight behind them rather than into the room first.

The heating in our new house was only installed four years ago and they have very long narrow radiators under the windows rather than ones that finish just under the cills, think this must be something to do with being energy efficient as all other radiators are higher and shorter. If they need to be under a window ask if something lower and longer might be more suitable.

burnishedsilver Fri 11-Jul-14 11:08:29

Under the window is an inconvenient spot when it comes to curtains.

My understanding, however, is that that there is/was a reason for it. The window created a cold spot in the room. It was the weakest point in the wall from an insulation point of view. Heating the 'cold spot' would prevent heat being lost from the rest of the room. Whether this actually worked or whether it is still relevant with modern windows and modern insulation, I have no idea.

steppemum Fri 11-Jul-14 11:12:27

The thing about the convection currents is this.

If you have proper curtains, properly lined, then your window, whether single glazed or double glazed, is then well insulated.

This massively reduces the convection currents (and draughts) in the evening once the curtains are closed, and, importantly massively reduces your heating bill.

I'm afraid roman blind, venetian blinds etc don't do this.

My parents house has old windows, and thick curtains, the temp in the house jumps by 10 degrees within half an hour of closing the curtains.

So, if you want to reduce your bills, then get good curtains and don't put the radiators under the windows!

burnishedsilver Fri 11-Jul-14 11:27:30


PigletJohn Fri 11-Jul-14 12:03:20

The "science" webpage fails to give any weight to energy cost.

Since a large amount of the energy you are paying for goes straight out of the window, if you put the radiators there, the simulator is actually showing that, by spending more money, you can have a warmer room, and warmer birds sitting on your roof, if that is your desire.

Good curtains are a less wasteful way of having a more comfortable room.

Parietal Fri 11-Jul-14 21:00:43

our sunken radiators are unusual - modern house done up by others, and i've never seen them elsewhere. each room has a 20cm x 2m grill in the floor with a radiator underneath it. furniture can go on top of the grill but I try not to put bulky things on top. small lego pieces can fall down the grills, but otherwise they are great. you do need about 20cm depth under each floor too.

PigletJohn Fri 11-Jul-14 21:30:25

A very nice solution, usually only seen in Victorian churches and some stately homes. It might not be technically difficult to put them between the joists, but parts would be hard to find.

I bet you could have lift-out grilles and dust trays for easy cleaning.

Join the discussion

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now