The term ‘bleeding’ a radiator means to release the air trapped inside the radiator.
Trapped air inside results in cold spots occurring on the radiator, reducing the quantity of heat being released into the home. Bleeding radiators vastly improves your heating system’s efficiency, whilst being a simple task you can complete yourself.
Overall, bleeding radiators contributes to a warmer home, and reducing energy bills. Follow this simple step-by-step guide to bleeding a radiator.
1. Turn the heating on
The first step is to switch your heating on and turn the radiators up, which will allow you to check if it feels chilled at the top of the radiator. If it appears colder than it should be, this indicates that there is air trapped in the system that must be released.
Turning the radiators to high also ensures enough pressure will be built up to force all the air out of the radiator. Wait until each radiator has fully heated up to assess whether they require bleeding.
2. Discover which radiators to bleed
Use a cloth or wear a pair of gloves to avoid burning yourself on the radiators. Work your way around the house and feel each radiator the whole way around to see if it feels warm. If the radiator feels colder at the top and hot lower down then the air trapped inside should be released.
3. Bleeding the radiator
Unexpected boiler repairs cost UK homeowners £725 million last year and basic maintenance such as bleeding your radiators can save you a hefty repair bill.
You will need:
– A cloth to grip parts of the radiator
– A towel to cover the floor
– A bucket to catch drips
– A radiator key for older radiators or flathead screwdriver for more modern radiators
Using the key or screwdriver, turn the valve a quarter turn anti-clockwise. As the air escapes, you should hear a hissing sound. Once it has all escaped, water will drip from the radiator valve, then turn the valve to its original starting position carefully, avoiding tightening too much as it could damage the valve.
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4. Check the pressure
Lastly, check your boiler’s pressure. If it needs to be topped up, this can be done using your main water supply tap.