Missing in Action - Radiators?!
In my previous life I was an HR Manager for a large European radiator manufacturer, a radiator being a water filled heating device affixed to a wall, which is controlled by thermostats and a gas boiler. I add this as I suspect many of you are wondering what the heck I am on about. As you see, I have yet to spot a single wall radiator in over 3 years and that is just downright bizarre for a Brit'! 99% of buildings in the UK have these spread throughout them to supply heat.I used to study the import/export tables for radiators in my job and after trawling through the hundreds of thousands going around the world, I would hit the figures for the United States and rarely saw a figure over 100! I didn't give it much thought as to why there were literally none going into, or coming out of the USA at the time.They come in all shapes and sizes, the one above is a cast iron Victorian radiator and a highly desirable item to many Brit's with older homes. These even come with intricate scrollwork and can be painted any colour you wish, to match your decor. Below is a towel warming radiator, again very popular and fashionable across Europe.But I have to give you credit, home heating is one thing you do so much better than us. Over here you don't need to consider the position of your wall radiators, when arranging your furniture. This can be a right royal pain in the butt, as they are rarely somewhere that you don't want to put something. You can place things in front of them, but they get hot which you need to consider with plastics and babies, and the fact you're blocking the heat flow!But over here you have the heat delivered by airflow through floor, wall or ceiling vents. As a Brit' I have to say I think it's genius and so much more efficient. You have the ability to turn your heat down or off instantly with immediate results, not waiting for something to cool down.But then there is the really brilliant part. You can switch from heat to air-conditioning in a matter of seconds - wow!!Very few homes in the UK have air-con installed, it was never considered a necessity in years past. You would also be amazed at how few stores and businesses have it too, although the new builds have the past few years. But the British climate is changing and the summers are now hotter and of course we always have humidity. So the demand for air-con is growing all the time and there we are stuck with our wall radiators!Even after being here a few years, I still love the fact I can switch between heat and air-con in seconds. I also love not having to give consideration to radiators in my rooms!