Which heating radiators are best for an apartment and a house, according to experts


Which heating radiators are better to install in an apartment, and which ones are better for a private house? Not everyone knows that the difference between a central water supply and an autonomous one is huge! That is why, in the last decade, many who recently replaced old batteries regretted it very much, since the new ones lasted some five to eight years and had to be thrown away. Agree, this is not a period for such devices. And the only problem was that people were not very knowledgeable and bought something that is categorically not suitable for apartments.

In this article, you will learn how to choose the right heating radiators so that they serve not for years, but for decades.

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Why should radiators be chosen more carefully for centrally heated dwellings?

  heating radiators

It would seem, what could be the threats in the central heating system, except for dirty water and old pipes on which rust settles? But, it’s not that simple. The biggest threat is water hammer. It occurs if the water supply tap in the boiler room is taken and abruptly shut off, whereas, according to the rules, it is supposed to be turned on slowly and gradually. But, you understand, there are no rules for a drunk public utility worker! And as a result of such negligence — bursting brand new and modern batteries in so many apartments.

It is interesting that before the advent of ball valves, boiler rooms were equipped with special smooth-running valves that exclude any human error. And then these convenient and safe valves were taken and replaced. What for? Not very clear. But you should know about this before you decide to buy new radiators.

In addition, air can enter the heating system, which can also provoke water hammer. And as a result: bursting pipes of cheap radiators, damaged property, floors flooded with boiling water and compensation for damage from the flood to neighbors …

Also, you must understand that centralized water is very oversaturated with chemicals, which over time can corrode the walls of too thin radiators to holes.

We think now you understand how important it is to choose the right radiator for your home. But, let’s take a closer look at what is what in today’s market.

What materials are radiators made of now and what are their features?

What materials are radiators made of?

The consumer is now offered batteries from the following types of metal:

  • Cast iron
  • Steel
  • Aluminum
  • Bimetal
  • Copper

Now let’s go through each of them and consider their advantages and disadvantages.

Cast iron

We knowingly put this old and good metal in the first place. Cast iron batteries have been used to heat a private house and apartments for more than a century, and in some old houses you can still find old radiators that function perfectly. It’s not even about the well-known Soviet harmonicas, although they also can’t be demolished.

And they are often thrown away solely because of the outdated and rough appearance. But, to our happiness, today the buyer is presented with a large selection of various designs of cast-iron batteries, from modern to classic, with monograms, vintage faucets and valves. For example, devices from Demir Dokum, Konner and many others produce such beautiful batteries that they become an additional element of the interior in a classic or eclectic style.

So why is cast iron so good? And the fact, at least, that it is absolutely passive to the chemical reaction that is caused in other types of metals by centralized water, oversaturated with chemistry.

Then, such radiators do not rust from the inside in the summer, when water is drained from them. Also, a cast-iron radiator, due to its characteristics, with all the desire, cannot be cast as thin as steel or aluminum. And this means that the particles of sludge, constantly circulating in the pipes, will not wipe it to holes over time.

But, this is only one aspect regarding durability. What about functionality? Cast iron heats up slowly and this is a minus. But, it also cools down slowly, which is already a plus. If the heating was suddenly turned off in the apartment, which is not uncommon in our time, then the cast iron will give off heat for a long time, while the rest of the radiators will instantly become ice. Yes, and to the touch they are much hotter than the rest, at the same temperature of the water poured into the pipes, as they accumulate heat.

Also, cast iron is not afraid of surges in atmospheric pressure and water hammer, which in itself is a fat plus without any comments.

Well, the last advantage is the price. If you take domestic-made cast-iron batteries, then they will turn out to be much cheaper than bimetallic ones, for example, while the design will be quite modern. But for the retro style you will have to overpay, but they will please the eye all your life.


Many, giving preference to steel batteries of modern production, compare them with Soviet radiators, which were equipped with all the high-rise buildings of our vast country. They say that they stood for twenty years and nothing happened to them, which means that the metal is reliable.

But, do not rush to conclusions. Steel became different. And the Soviet quality and the current one are two big differences. Chinese manufacturers, for example, offer the consumer very nice radiators, only their thickness is slightly thicker than the thickness of a solid foil. You yourself understand that these are not batteries, but some kind of disposable props that will burst from the first water hammer. So, when choosing such a radiator, pay attention to the weight of the product.

But even thicker-walled models are not immune from water hammer, alas. And they are afraid of water with chemical impurities like fire. They rust, become thinner and wiped from sludge … In general, the option is unreliable for those who use centralized water.


Aluminum heating radiators are practically the same as steel heating radiators. All the disadvantages of the first are present here. The only thing is they don’t rust. But on the other hand, they are so soft that they are wiped much faster than the first. However, as a rule, things simply do not reach thinning, since they shamelessly burst from water hammer.

But aluminum has one undoubted plus: fast heating. But is this a plus, given that they also cool down quickly?

Yes, this is an inexpensive option. Yes, the design is modern. But taking such radiators into an apartment is the height of frivolity.


These radiators are made from two types of metals. They have an aluminum top, but the inside is made of copper or steel. Aluminum protects against external rust, so it is placed as a protective casing.

As you understand, the concept of «bimetal» in itself does not guarantee high quality. The inner metal plays a decisive role. If there is steel inside, then be prepared for corrosion to corrode the radiator from the inside, and much faster than you think when it comes to central heating. But the copper filler is good, you can’t say anything. But the price bites…

And there is one more big minus in these radiators. Their heat dissipation is not as good as that of mono-batteries, since resistance is formed at the junction of metals, which significantly reduces heat transfer.

Frankly speaking, we do not share the enthusiasm for this particular type of radiators and it is not very clear why such a price.


In addition, it would be a sin not to mention the fact that when changing batteries, you do not change the boiler room itself! That is, the water supply there is designed for appliances, the section of which holds 3-5 liters of water. Project aisles are wide enough and there can be no problems with filling. But in the case of European radiators, which are designed for 1 glass of water per section (they save water and their boiler rooms supply water under high pressure), the situation is very bad. Often, very often, a stream of water tuned to other sources simply bypasses microscopic holes and quietly runs around the battery without getting into it. In general, nobody canceled physics, you understand.


Good batteries, durable. They are not afraid of water hammer, they are not subject to corrosion. But they are very expensive and the design of pure copper radiators leaves much to be desired. They do not look like batteries, but like some spare part from the factory, albeit a nice copper color. By the way, if salt or acid gets on copper. Then you are provided with a green spot that is very difficult to scrub off. And in general, it is inconvenient to wash them.

What radiators are suitable for apartments in high-rise buildings?

Which radiators are suitable for apartments

So what have we come to? Ideal for apartments

  • Cast iron
  • Copper
  • Bimetal with copper inside

Other radiators are a temporary pleasure. And not just temporary, but short-term.

Which radiators are suitable only for private houses?

Which radiators are suitable only for private houses

But in the case of autonomous heating, things are much more fun. All types of batteries can be installed in a private house and they will last a very long time. Water hammer, sludge, sand, caustic chemicals in the water are excluded there. But, again… If brackish water comes out of your well, which is rare, but it happens, then you should not take steel radiators, as the salt will «eat» them in three years.

What parameters to pay attention to when buying in the first place?

What parameters to pay attention to

The most important thing is metal. But that’s not all. You need to know what atmospheric pressure is provided for by your boiler room. For example, in Khrushchev and Stalinka buildings built in the 50s and 60s, the pressure is only 5-6 atmospheres, which means that modern batteries that can hold only 200 grams of water per section will definitely not fit there, a weak flow of water will simply ignore these holes . But in skyscrapers, the pressure is much higher, about 15-20 atmospheres, and you can easily install a bimetal (only with copper inside, remember?).

Also, when choosing batteries, count on the possibility of water hammer. This means that their resistance should be at least two times greater than the initial atmospheric pressure in the system. That is, if you have a supply of 15-20 atmospheres, then take batteries with a resistance of at least 40 atmospheres.

We will not talk about the appearance of the batteries. In this case, the most important thing is functionality. Therefore, it is better to take cast-iron batteries that are not of the most presentable appearance than to take a beauty, and then change it after some five years.

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That, in general, is all that we wanted to tell you. We are sure that armed with this knowledge, you will be able to choose good batteries. And what are the best radiators for an apartment you already know for sure and will not repeat the sad experience of ignorant people.

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