MARC's Garry Naughton discusses the evolution of the radiator and the varieties currently available on the market.

Garry Naughton is a board member of the Manufacturers’ Association of Radiators & Convectors (MARC) and director at Zehnder Group UK.

As a result of advanced manufacturing, the UK radiator market has become more adventurous, which has seen many consumers as concerned about the aesthetics of a radiator in the home as its capabilities.

This influx of diverse designs of radiators has left homeowners, installers and architects with an interesting dilemma when it comes to choosing the best product for either the home or on the behalf of a client.

Nowadays, the white-steeled panel is the favoured choice of radiator as opposed to the wide-panelled cast iron radiator, which was first created in 1874 by Nelson Bundy, the American inventor. However, greater numbers are turning to more stylish alternatives.

This change has come about from the greater awareness brought on by the increasing number of interior design TV programmes and magazines, which has seen the transformation of the radiator from just being a source of heating to a stylish item for the home.

The use of a wider range of raw materials, coupled with an assortment of colour and designs, has made heating the home a decorative choice, with stainless steel, aluminium and chrome radiators available. Some products even serve a dual purpose, with radiators being shaped like a bench or doubling as a mirror.

Whether it is for a home or commercial building, newbuild or retrofit, there is a radiator to suit everyone, especially with radiator manufacturers having the capabilities to design tailored products when something individual is required.

Taking a step back from the aesthetics of radiators, Low Surface Temperature (LST) radiators allow a safe heating option to nurseries and care homes. Such products are perfectly safe to touch and still heat a room just as effectively as other radiator models.

Despite the current focus being on the aesthetic qualities of a radiator in the home, this has not led to a decrease in output efficiency among manufacturers. In fact, with advances in radiator design together with alternative power sources, the future looks bright for the manufacturing of radiators.