Must we always put radiators under windows?

Must we always put radiators under windows?

Have you ever wondered why most radiators are positioned underneath windows? Do they need to be placed here?

As you look up now, chances are you are looking across the room at a radiator placed underneath the window. Why are they there?

The main reason is that before the days of double-glazing, this was always the coldest place in the room as drafts and breezes could be felt. When radiators were first installed during the Victorian era, they believed that this was the best place to position a heater.

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Therefore, the traditional place to install a radiator is the coldest part of the room. Conduction is the process that helps to warm the room. Any incoming colder air causes better heat conduction as it pushes the radiator’s hot air further into the centre of the room.

However, these days our homes have such good insulation and double glazing that there might not be any cold spots anymore. That being the case, you now have total freedom over where to position your radiator (with a few safety issues to consider) If you want to reposition a radiator, bear the following points in mind:

Keep away from furniture

Small lightweight items like a wicker table or standing lamp are fine but it’s best not put large scale furniture like a bed or sofa in front of a radiator. This will seriously reduce its heating potential.

Keep away from curtains

A radiator does need a certain amount of breathing space, so covering them up with curtains will reduce their potential and push heat away from the room and into the window. Not only will you be wasting money on heating, but a convector radiator that releases heat from the top could become dangerous if fabric is resting on it.


When architects are designing homes, they lay the pipework as traditional has always dictated, along exterior walls and underneath windows. However, there is no longer any need to stick to the original pipework. If you’re unsure how to tackle this DIY project, it’s best to find a qualified professional to insert an additional piping section to create your new radiator zone. Why not treat yourself to new column radiators from

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Where to position?

The exciting part now is deciding where’s the best place for a radiator to be positioned.

For the bathroom, you could consider keeping towels warm with a vertical heated towel rail. In the hallway, why not opt for a stylish horizontal radiator positioned beneath a large mirror? And for the kitchen, vertical radiators are a great space-saving choice, leaving plenty of wall space for photos, appliances, shelving or pictures.

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