Here in the USA, we often think of a radiator as outdated or ineffectual as a heating unit. In sharp contrast, flat-panel or wall-panel radiators are known in Europe to be the epitome of minimalism, quiet, and calm warmth. That’s because the design and functionality of the radiator has undergone vast changes and has become a streamlined heating option. The huge hissing, clunking, and groaning radiators of decades past are gone and have been replaced with a sleek, well-designed, efficient, and silent great-grandchild.
How They Work
The “how” of flat-panel radiators has not changed with their design: water is heated in a boiler and flows through the radiators to gently radiate heat into a room.
Forced air systems may lose up to 30% of the heat that they generate just through the airway ducts, radiator heat is much more efficient. They also won’t stir up dust which can cause or exacerbate allergies, and they are so quiet that you’ll probably forget that you even have them. Wall-panel radiators of the past didn’t have the huge surface area that today’s models have to offer. This means that the heat they give off is much greater but at the same time, they don’t require the water temperature to be as high and will only heat water to the required heat. This effectively lowers the amount of energy being used, while heating more efficiently, and making the radiators safe to touch.
Another significant benefit of the flat-panel radiators is that with multiple thermostats, you can limit your wasted energy and save on your utility bill by only heating the rooms you need to heat instead of the entire house. Unlike their bulky great-grandparents, today’s models offer space-saving solutions, the smallest clocks in at about 2 inches deep, but the average is 3-4 inches. The large range of designs offered today is also a bonus; you can choose something around which to build your interior décor, or you can choose a design that is practically invisible.
Where to Find
Talk to your custom home builder about the wall-panel radiator options in your area, but a good place to start looking are European companies that import to the USA. The USA also has some good companies that offer flat-panel radiators, your home builder can help you connect with them and discover the best choice for your dream home.