Alex Burgess, National Sales Manager at Supplies4Heat, explains how installers can add value to their radiator installations.
The rise of home interiors and renovation accounts on Instagram, Pinterest, and YouTube have certainly ignited the interior designer within the average homeowner, particularly over the past year where the home has played an increasingly important role in people’s lives.
It not uncommon for homeowners to now use these online platforms as a source of inspiration to research and source interior products, including radiators, that match their décor vision before calling a professional tradesperson to install these products.
For radiators specifically, it is unfortunately often the case that the average homeowner, lacking any technical knowledge and perhaps more concerned with the design, will not have considered important functional features such as heat output or building legislation.
Indeed, this can be a nightmare for both the homeowner and installer when the product is not fit for purpose, placing unrealistic expectations on the installer and potentially incurring additional time and monetary costs to rectify.
Therefore, it’s important to engage with customers early and work with them to choose a radiator that not only suits their interior requirements, but will also perform as expected.
As installers know, properly sizing a radiator is much more than simply ensuring it fits in a designated space, or with the existing pipework. A radiator that doesn’t heat a room, no matter how beautiful, is a contradiction in terms and matching heat performance should always be the first step in the selection process, yet the average homeowner may not be aware of this.
By engaging early with your customers, you can help them to understand heat outputs and calculate the heat output (BTU) requirements before they embark on the selection process, guaranteeing the radiator will work as expected.
Many manufacturers offer free, simple to use BTU calculators on their websites to easily find the requirements with minimal information. Installers can save these figures for each room as a quick reference, to save time for each project.
Crucially though, homeowners will likely be unaware about the details surrounding Delta T50 and compliance, and this can create problems down the line. With a small number of manufacturers on the market who, inadvertently or not, use misleading heating figures in their product collateral, the average homeowner could specify a completely subpar product.
The risk is that when you install this product and it does not work as expected, this could negatively impact the perception of your business, with homeowners blaming you for the shortfall in heating, assuming that your work is the problem. To avoid such problems, recommend transparent, fully compliant manufacturers with quality guarantees.
Installers will know that Delta T50 is the standard measure used to calculate radiator heat outputs for UK home heating systems, and it is a legal requirement for radiator products to be tested based on this calculation. Manufacturers should all declare their radiator heating performance (BTU) figures tested using BS EN 442 protocols and based on Delta T50, so this is something to look for as a key indicator of product performance and reliability.
For further reassurance, installers should consider manufacturers that are associated with regulatory trade bodies, such as the Manufacturers’ Association of Radiators and Convectors; an industry body that ensures members only use approved laboratories to certify products in accordance with UK standards, to uphold compliance and best practice for the industry.
In addition, a trusted manufacturer will also be able to provide a Declaration of Performance upon request, confirming the testing standards and the accuracy of the data provided and include clear statements on any collateral and brochureware that radiators are produced and measured according the Delta T50 European Standard EN 442.
With homeowners looking to refresh their homes and match their design vision, installers can use this opportunity to add value to their offering. Engage with customers early to add value and assist with radiator specification that not only looks beautiful, but is fit for purpose and generates positive word of mouth for your business as a result.
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