You may be a heating engineer yourself, but chances are if you’ve landed on this page that you are a customer looking for answers! With the constant buzz about energy prices and more sustainable ways of heating your home – And all the new information surrounding it – There are lots of things to find out and consider if you think it might be time to update the way you heat your home.
If you are considering installing a new heating system then it’s important you choose a heating engineer you can trust to install everything properly – Or you could end up paying more on your heating bills than necessary! This includes the type of radiator you choose.
We’re going to explain Radiator Delta Ratings so that you are armed with the knowledge you need, to make sure that what you’re having installed is correct.
Us Brits are creatures of habit
We like our traditions and tend to stick to what we know. Completely replacing a type of heating system that we’ve known for decades is no small thing! Replacing a gas boiler with another type of boiler or even a different type of heating system like a Heat Pump is a pretty big deal. Most people know where they stand with their heating – But when a system is completely new, it’s going to take some getting used to. There is a certain reluctance to adapt, and that’s just our way.
When it comes to Delta ratings, the UK differed to much of Europe. Most European countries had a standard of Delta T50, whereas the UK had a standard of Delta T60. Thankfully, the UK has now joined the party and matched European standards of Delta T50.
But as with all changes, there has been a transition period. Unfortunately, this transition to the new standard has meant that some households have not been getting the performance they should be – As well as having up to 25% higher energy bills!
Companies may not even realise that they are leaving you out of pocket. It’s more a lack of research and failure to stay up to date with changes in laws, standards and regulations.
Thankfully that’s not the case here at Aura Heating! We’re here to help and make sure that you have all the information you need.
So what actually are Radiator Delta Ratings?
To be able to judge one product with another, you need to compare them. In order to accurately compare radiators, you need a common denominator.
For radiators, this commonality is the wattage. This basically tells you how powerful a unit is. You can compare a radiator’s heat output using its wattage in relation to its Delta T rating.
The Delta T rating tells you a rooms heating requirement and radiator output.
Most radiator retailers will show the radiator output in terms of Delta T50. This is because, as we said above, this is the current European testing standard for modern boilers. Most newer boilers are condensing boilers which have lower flow and return temperatures than older boiler systems which still use DeltaT 60.
To ensure that the radiators you are buying are sized correctly, you need to know the temperatures of your heating system. It’s also vital that you base your calculation for your rooms requirements on the right Delta T value. Choosing a radiator rated at Delta T50 when you are using Delta T60 in your heating system then your radiator output will be too high and could cause you more money than necessary. And vice versa, if you choose a radiator with an output based on Delta T60 but your heating system is Delta T50, then your radiator output will be too low and won’t meet your room heating requirements.
We can calculate the Delta T rating by using the flow temperature of a boiler into and out of a radiator. For example, a boiler with an input of 80 degrees and an output of 60 degrees would have an average radiator temperature of 70 degrees.
You then take away the room temperature, which is generally accepted as an average of 20 degrees. Which leaves you with 70 minus 20, equalling 50 or Delta T50.
How does Delta T50 compare to Delta T60?
Let’s take a look at Delta T50 in comparison to Delta T60.
Europe has been using Delta T50 for quite a while now. Here in the UK, we adopted this standard (replacing Delta T60) back in 2013, but as we said above, change can be slow in this industry. Heating engineers, manufacturers and suppliers should now be using Delta T50 as standard.
The Delta T50 standard fits in better to current homes, taking into consideration modern insulation and global warming. It is based on a much lower expected boiler temperature for these reasons.
How do I convert Delta T60 to Delta T50?
Here comes the maths! If for any reason you need to convert Delta T60 ratings to Delta T50, or vice versa, here’s what you need to know. You can find tables online if you need to work out different Delta ratings.
Converting Delta T60 to Delta T50
For example, let’s say you have a radiator with a heat output of 2000 Watts at Delta T60, and you want to know the heat output at Delta T50. You would need to multiply the wattage by 0.781.
Watts (Delta T50) = Watts (Delta T60) x 0.781
Watts (Delta T50) = 2000 x 0.781
Watts (Delta T50) = 1562 Watts
Converting Delta T50 to Delta T60
For example, let’s say you have a radiator with a heat output of 3000 Watts at Delta T50, and you want to know the heat output at Delta T60. You would need to multiply the Watts by 1.280.
Watts (Delta T60) = Watts (Delta T50) x 1.280
Watts (Delta T60) = 3000 x 1.280
Watts (Delta T60) = 3840 Watts
Why is a Delta Rating important when it comes to radiators?
If you are currently buying a radiator then you may well be acquainted with wattage and Delta T ratings already. If you’re not, then you should be! It would be awful if you ended up with a radiator that was actually much colder than advertised.
It is important to remember that when you are buying a radiator, you should always choose one that has a higher wattage than the minimum requirement of the room. This means that you have the power to control how warm your room is, and worse case scenario can simply turn it down a bit.
The importance of Delta ratings really becomes vital when comparing radiators from different stores. If one shop is basing their radiator output on Delta T60 and another is basing theirs on Delta T50 (the proper rating) then the radiator from that first shop will appear to be more powerful and thus better value for money.
But that is in fact, not the case. Because as we’ve seen from the calculations above, the wattage can be very different between Delta T50 and Delta T60 and that could have a huge impact on how you effectively heat your home.
Perhaps the fact that their figures are based wrongly on Delta T60 are concealed, or maybe they just lack an understanding of these things – Either way, not having the right output can mean you end up buying a lower quality radiator when you think you’re getting a good one. You might even pay more for it because of this inflated, and inaccurate, rating.
Whether it’s intentionally misleading, or just an oversight by those who haven’t moved to the new standard of Delta T50, we don’t want you to be left out of pocket.
Upgrade your heating system with Aura Heating
If you are in the market for new radiators, a new central heating system or a new boiler, then get in touch with our friendly team today.
Our engineers are heating experts, and we can help make sure you are making the right decisions for heating your home in the most efficient and cost effective way.
Give us a call today and we’ll be more than happy to help.