Buying the right radiator for my home - Consumer guide
Look for the MARC logo or ask for an independent test certificate for a test that has been done by an accredited body (see detail below).
Buying radiators, the facts;
It is the LAW that radiators and convectors installed in heating systems in buildings conform to the European Standard BS-EN442. Products that conform will have a ‘CE’ mark.
By placing the CE marking on a product a manufacturer is declaring, on his sole responsibility, conformity with all of the legal requirements to achieve CE marking. The manufacturer is thus ensuring validity for that product to be sold throughout the European Economic Area.
This legislation is designed to ensure heating engineers, and consumers alike can fairly compare the heat outputs of one radiator against another, so that they can choose the right fit for their home.
ALL products MUST be independently tested BY LAW in a special testing laboratory.
Why do I need to know?
Unfortunately, there are some companies out there who “claim” EN442 compliance for the radiators they are selling, either through ignorance, or deliberate deception. Leaving homeowners with radiators that may not be suitable for the room they are in and subsequently cold and out of pocket as they have to turn the heating up to get the desired room temperature.
So I just look for a CE mark or test certificate?
Many brands place a CE mark on their products, claiming that the products are safe for the end-customer, and sell them within the EU zone. But that's not always the case. Sometimes the CE mark you can see on a product can be fake.
There are some test certificates on the market which may seem genuine but are not fit for purpose.
Any product with CE should have a declaration of performance, which may be paper, on the packaging or via a website. This should include various pieces of information amongst which is the “notified body’s” (testing laboratory’s) 4 digit number.
A notified body, is an organisation that has been designated to assess the conformity of certain products, before being placed on the market, with the applicable essential technical requirements.
Current notified bodies for Radiators are;
Notified body No.
Name of notified body - Address
Old Bracknell lane West, Bracknell, Berkshire, RH12 7AH, UK
Institut für Gebäudeenergetik (IGE) - Lab. HLK
Pfaffenwaldring 6, 70569 Stuttgart, Germany
Cetiat - Technical Center Industries Aérauliques Et Thermiques
La DOUA - 25 Avenue des Arts, 69100 Villeurbanne, France
Politecnico di Milano - DIP. Energia - Lab. M.R.T.
Via Lambruschini, 4, 20156 Milano MI, Italy
Istituto Giordano spa
Via Gioacchino Rossini, 2, 47814 Bellaria RN, Italy
WSPLAB, DR. ING. Harald Bitter
Kapuzinerweg 7, 70374 Stuttgart, Germany
SZU - Strojírenský zkušební ústav
Hudcova 424/56B, CZ-621 00 - Brno- Czech Republic
Cp. 84 Býkev, 276 01 Melnnik, Czech Republic
+44(0) 1334 465 600
+49(0) 711 685 62085
+33(0) 4 72 44 49 00
+39(0) 2 2399 3834
+39(0) 2 2399 3825
+39 0541 343030
+49(0) 711 953 922-0
+420 541 120 111
+420 737 284 443
It is ALL RESELLERS legal responsibility to ensure all products conform. A Reseller could be a heating engineer or a heating merchant/supplies shop. In this case radiatorsdirect.co.uk are the reseller.
Radiatorsdirect.co.uk are proud of our products’ MARC affiliation, and, as most of our products are of Italian design and manufacture, use Politecnico De Milano for all our testing.
Unfortunately, there are many products on the market which have either not been tested or have been tested in Laboratories that are NOT official “notified bodies”, and as such, they are NOT compliant with the law. Consumers risk being sold products that are not fit for purpose.
If you challenge a seller of radiators – and you should ask for test certificates, and the reseller makes comments such as “it doesn’t matter”, or “it is still a valid test certificate”, or even “nobody polices it”, then buyer beware. You will probably end up with a product that is not fit for purpose.
This is an EU regulation and we are no longer part of the EU?
After our separation from the EU, the legislation remains the same. It is simply written into UK law. Irrespective of our removal from the EU. Consumer protection remains a top priority for the government.
What will happen if I end up with a radiator that is “under sized” due to incorrectly published outputs?
It will not adequately heat the space it was purchased to do
In order for you to be warm enough, it will be necessary to run the boiler at higher temperatures than would have been necessary
You will burn more fuel and in turn create more CO2 emissions
Burning more fuel will increase your heating costs
This may affect the life cycle of the boiler or heat source
But, given so many products out there “flout” the law, what can I do to ensure the product I am buying is above board and complies?
Our advice? Look out for MARC membership! All members of MARC must provide proof of product performance (CE marking), together with test certificates from a “notified body” as part of our membership criteria.
MARC members are committed to being at the forefront of change. Members are proud of their brand and what it stands for. Our aim is to work with every business involved in the manufacturing and supply chain of radiator and convector products.
For more information about MARC please visit www.marcuk.com