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Single or Double Radiators, Which Should I Choose?

Updated: Oct 6, 2023

White tube radiator fixed to a grey wall

When choosing a radiator, you may want to consider whether you want a single or double configuration.

Not surprisingly, a single radiator has one panel or one row of tubes, whereas a double radiator has two panels or two rows of tubes. You can see this by looking at the radiator side on.

When weighing up the options, the main things to consider are heat output, size and of course cost.

Single Radiators

With less surface area, a single radiator emits less heat than a double. The main benefit is that single radiators tend to be slimmer and so for areas such as hallways or downstairs toilets, where space is tight or limited, they are a good option. They are also likely to be the more cost-effective option for smaller rooms that don’t need a large heat output, such as a bathroom or en-suite.

Double Radiators

The benefit of double configurations is that versus a single configured radiator in exactly the same size, it will emit a higher heat output. This means you can replace your single radiator with a smaller double radiator and still achieve the same BTUs - but take up less wall space. Another benefit is that where you may initially have had two single radiators, you can meet the same output requirements with just one double radiator. This will again take up less wall space and be one less radiator to heat and push water through.

If budget is a real consideration, for larger rooms in particular it might be worth costing out different options for using single or double configurations, to see the cheapest solution.

You can easily do this by calculating the heat output required for your room using a BTU calculator and then using this figure to choose the size of radiator(s) you require – and whether a single or double radiator is the best solution.

For example, for a product such as our Isabella 70 Max Horizontal the different BTUs of a single or double configuration are clearly given, i.e.

1000mm x 366mm single radiator – Output ∆t 50ºC is 2177

1000mm x 366mm double radiator – Output ∆t 50ºC is 4188

A dark grey flat fronted radiator in a dining room

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British Thermal Units (BTU) is a measure of the output of heat needed to raise the temperature of a room. Determining the correct BTU will help you get the right radiator for your home.

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