Originally posted on https://jamjargill.com/when-did-radiators-become-so-hip/
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When radiators first started making their way into homes over a hundred years ago in the Victorian era, their style credentials left a lot to be desired. Back then, they were great hulking iron contraptions, designed to take advantage of the theory of heat conduction where the heat energy of particles in one substance gets passed over to another. Victorian engineers didn’t care what their radiators looked like, so long as they worked. That was the novelty.
But over the years, consumers started taking radiators for granted, putting them in practically every room of the house and expecting them as standard. Central heating was not “optional.”
We all know what happened, though: radiators morphed from one ugly, functional design to another, never really becoming a celebrated part of interior design. Radiators were just there, like light switches or sockets, doing their job.
For some homeowners, this wasn’t good enough. People wanted radiators that not only did their job but looked good too. It seemed ridiculous that such a large object that took up so much room in the average home would have so little effort invested in its design. It was a travesty.
Electric Radiators Began A Trend
Things, however, began to change when electric radiators from companies like Electric Heating Expert began to emerge. Unlike traditional heaters, most electric radiators didn’t rely on water. Instead, they worked by passing current through resistors, generating heat as waste. And because they didn’t need to use water, they didn’t need to be as bulky. You could place a slim-profile electric radiator practically anywhere you liked in your home. It was something of a godsend.
Radiators In The Bathroom
Once regular manufacturers got wind of the changes going on in the sector, they decided that it was time to up their game. Vendors began offering stylish chrome-finish towel rails which looked stunning with the right bathroom decor. Before long, the humble and ugly radiator was on the way to becoming something beautiful and even celebrated. Its long-time invisibility was no more. With options finally available on the market, it turned out that people really did care about what their radiators looked like, but the market had failed them in the past.
The concept of a designer radiator might seem a little far fetched. But today there are a plethora of options available, both electric and water-based. What’s more, these radiators tend to be much more powerful than you might expect. Designer radiators can churn out vast amounts of heat. Some have ratings of 4500 Btus or more.
Whether designer radiators will become mainstream remains to be seen. But it’s certainly opening up opportunities for people who love interior design. Finally, you can buy radiators which can complement the look of your rooms. Manufacturers deliberately make their products as neutral as possible so that you’re free to play around with different renovation concepts and the radiator itself won’t get in the way.
Some radiator designs are so beautiful that you might consider using a radiator as your centrepiece. If that ever happens, then the humble radiator will have well and truly turned a corner.
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