To understand the heating challenge posed by hallways, staircases and landings you first need to understand how our radiators work. Just like gas central heating radiators, our electric radiators heat with a mixture of convected and radiated heat. Radiated heat warms people and objects directly without heating the air, so provides the same level of heating no matter the size of the room.
However, despite their name, radiators deliver the majority of their heat through convection. Convection is the name given to the process of heating by filling a space with warm air. As air circulates around the room it is warmed by the elements enclosed within the radiators. As warm air fills the room the ambient temperature increases. This is an effective heating strategy for standard sized living spaces, helping living rooms, bedrooms, kitchens and dining rooms reach comfort temperatures in minutes.
However, the heating requirements of hallways, stairways, landings and other open-plan, multi-storey spaces are more demanding. This is because the volume of air contained in your hallway is much larger than in normal sized rooms. Your hallway may be a small room at ground level – with a floor area of perhaps only 6m2 – but if your hall is at the foot of a staircase leading to the first floor landing, you could be looking at heating a volume of air as large as 32m3 ! By comparison, a normal room with a standard ceiling height of 2.7 metres with the same floor area would have an air volume of just 16m3. Obviously, this makes heating a hallway a very different proposition to heating a standard sized room. You cannot use our radiator calculator to work out which size radiators you need for your hallway, because when you heat a hallway you’re also heating your stairs and the upper landing. And because heat rises, a single electric radiator in your hallway will send most of its heat upstairs: your upper landing may be warm but the hall itself will be cold. So, what’s the solution?