What is a dual fuel radiator and what benefits can it bring to my home?

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Does one room in your home tend to get colder during the summertime when your central heating system is switched off? Wouldn’t it be useful if you could switch the radiator on to heat this one room? Or are you tired of cold, soggy towels in your bathroom during the summertime? Then you need a dual fuel radiator! After all, there’s nothing worse than getting out of the bath or shower to a cold bathroom.

women cold in the bath bathroom

What is a dual fuel radiator?

A dual fuel radiator is connected to both your central heating system and your electrics with the addition of an electrical heating element and a T-piece. This means that your radiator can be heated either hydrontically by the central heating system or electrically via the heating element. This will work for various radiators, so long as the heating element fits safely it can be made into a dual fuel radiator. For a bathroom, ensuite or cloakroom you will more than likely opt for a dual fuel towel rail, and for other rooms in your home you may opt for a dual fuel radiator.

Terma crystal dual fuel towel rail

Why will this benefit me?

There are various benefits of choosing dual fuel. Have a read below to find out why this should be on the top of your wish-list…

– Warmth all year through

With the unpredicatable British weather throughout summer, being able to heat a singular room without having to switch the central heating system on and making the rest of the house too warm is a very useful feature to have. Especially during this time of the year when the weather is changing from Summer to Autumn; some days are starting to get really cold but other days are feeling much warmer. It's starting to feel particualy chilly in the mornings and you can certainly feel the cold when you step out of the shower. This is where a dual fuel towel rail comes in handy; simply switch the heating element on to heat the room and your towels before you get a shower. Then you can step out of the shower comfortably and be greeted by a warm fluffy towel, rather than having to brave the coldness of the bathroom and then, just to add salt to the wound, wrap a soggy cold towel around you.

towelrads soho designer dual fuel radiator towel rail


It also means that if you have a room in your home that gets colder than the rest of the house, you can make the radiator in this room dual fuel, so you can heat the one room without heating the whole house.


– Flexibility

We've discpvered that a dual fuel radiator gives you warmth no matter the season, but aside from this they also come with a large array of functionality to choose from. Depending on your requirements, they can come with a built-in timer, have multiple temperature settings and can even come with Bluetooth functionality to control the element via your mobile phone! These advanced radiator heating elements allow you to have complete control over your radiator; the Terma KTX 3 heating element has a built-in 24-hour timer meaning you can time your radiator to come on and off at selected temperatures up to 4 times over a 24-hour time period. Our Heating Style Smart Thermostatic element has six temperature settings ranging from 40°C to 65°C as well as a 2 hour 'boost' button which can be programmed to come on every 12 or 24 hours.

heating style smart thermostatic heating element and t piece for dual fuel towel rail radiator

– Energy efficient & cost effective

Compared with central heating radiators or electric radiators, dual fuel radiators are a much more cost-effective solution because they allow you to choose the most cost-effective heating solution depending on the season. Some people get put off by dual fuel because they are concerned that electricity is an expensive energy source. However, if you consider that if the one room is feeling cold, switching on 1 dual fuel radiator will use much less energy than switching on your central heating system and heating up the whole house unnecessarily, resulting in saving energy as well as money on your heating bills. 

piggy bank money saving save money on your heating bills

Plus, if you team up your dual fuel radiator with a thermostatic heating element with a timer, you can be even more energy-efficient and cost-effective. This allows you to use the heating element for short periods of time when you really need to, for example just before you take a shower.


terma electrical heating element and t piece dual fuel radiator towel rail

How to select the correct sized dual fuel radiator for your home 

It’s important that you select the correct sized radiator with a high enough BTU heat output to sufficiently heat your room. To find out the BTU’s required to heat a room in your home, you can use our BTU calculator.

If you need to purchase all the parts separately to make a dual fuel radiator or towel rail, this means you will need to find out what wattage element you need to go into your radiator. You must match the wattage of the element with the wattage of the radiator that it will be installed into, so it’s important that you know the wattage of the radiator. If you only know the BTU output, then you simply divide by 3.41 to calculate the output in Watts.

Once you have worked out the wattage of the radiator or towel rail, select the element that matches this the closest. We advise the heating element you select should be no more than 10% higher than the output of the towel rail, as they have a built-in thermal fuse to avoid overheating. Therefore, if you use an overpowered heating element in your towel rail it will lead to the element switching itself off (to protect your towel rail from overheating).

towelrads square electric towel rail dual fuel designer radiator

How do I use a dual fuel towel rail?

Dual fuel towel rails are easy to use once you know how, but you do need to understand how to use them properly. It’s important to remember that they are designed to be used either as a central heating radiator or as an electric radiator, they cannot be used as both at the same time.  

How to make your dual fuel towel rail electric in the summer

  1. Turn the inlet and outlet valves off completely to isolate the radiator from the central heating system.
  2. Loosen either the bleed valve or the return valve – make sure you do this gently and only loosen it slightly. This is important to avoid pressure building up in the radiator.
  3. You can now safely switch your heating element on.

How to make your dual fuel towel rail plumbed in during the winter

  1. Turn your heating element off.
  2. Tighten the bleed or return valve.
  3. Turn the inlet and outlet valves fully on.


So, what are you waiting for? Go dual fuel today!

With our affordable range of dual fuel radiators, you’re just a few clicks away from having ultimate control over your heating all year through.


Shop our range of dual fuel radiators here. >>

If you have any questions about dual fuel, call one of our helpful team today on 01535 288307, or email us at admin@heating-style.co.uk. Open hours Monday-Friday, 9am-5pm.


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