This is where you should (and shouldn’t) put a radiator


Photo: New Africa (Shutterstock)

Just as fan placement is critical to keeping your home cool in the summer, heater placement is a major strategy to consider for the winter. Heaters can be dangerous, of course, so the first thing you need to do is familiarize yourself with some safety tips to avoid accidentally starting a fire.

Here’s where to put your heater and where not to put it.

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Radiators are intended to heat individual rooms

One radiator isn’t going to heat your whole house, according to manufacturer Lasko. They are not like fans, which can circulate and cool air over a good distance. Instead, they only really heat the area they’re in, so be sure to put your heater in a cool room where you’ll be spending your time. Never leave it unattended. Also choose a room that can be closed off with doors, so you can trap the heat with you, and consider an oscillating tower heater if you want some heat dispersal.

Do not place your radiator near a wall

Unless you have a heater specifically designed to be placed close to a wall (with intake and exhaust vents on the front machine), you need to give it a foot or two of space, so choose a room where you can move the machine away from the walls. Do not locate the heater near flammable objects, such as curtains, and provide a buffer zone of approximately three feet around the front of the heater so that children and pets do not accidentally burn themselves on nearby objects that have been heated. The buffer isn’t just about safety either: if there are objects in the heat’s path, the room won’t heat up as well, so you’ll be wasting energy.

Place the radiator under a window

The manufacturer Adax recommends placing radiators under the windows if you have a panel radiator or a wall panel radiator. This will warm the colder air coming down from the glass and keep the floor from getting drafty. Just make sure there are no curtains or furniture obstructing the flow of the radiator. You can also mount heating panels on a wall, but they must be at least 10 centimeters from the floor and have a buffer space in front of them. Check the manufacturer’s instructions carefully.

Use more than one radiator

You can use multiple heaters to heat a large room, but you need to keep them away from the wall and any obstructions. You also need to make sure everyone has their own take; a space heater should never be plugged into a power strip or extension cord, as these can overheat and catch fire.

Watch out for water points

Finally, don’t place your heater near anything that could get wet: don’t place it near sinks, showers, or humidifiers. Don’t even keep it near a table you’ll be putting drinks on. (It shouldn’t be near a table, anyway, but it bears repeating.)

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