Felt a little more chilly than usual this Christmas? If you’ve had your heating on full blast without noticing a change in the temperature, it might be time to bleed your radiators.
There are several ways to tell whether your radiators are in need of some extra care. If your heating system is making unusual noises, your radiators sound as if they are rattling or they’re cold to the touch at the top, the warm air within your system may not be able to circulate as well as possible. As well as causing your energy bills to rise without feeling the benefits of adequate heating, trapped air pockets can cause your pipes to oxidise over time. This dramatically reduces the lifespan of your boiler, leading to further costs in the future. Luckily, bleeding your radiators is a simple and speedy job that you should be able to carry out by yourself, quickly and easily.
Step One: Prepare the area
Bleeding your radiators can sometimes be a messy job, with the prospect of dirty water cascading onto your floorboards or carpets. To stop this from happening, you’ll need a towel, old tea-towels or even a plastic tray to make sure you can catch any drips from your radiator valve. If you’re going to be bleeding your radiators regularly, you could also consider picking up a radiator key for a low price from a homeware shop. This isn’t a necessity, but makes unscrewing your radiator valves even more of a simple task for you to complete.
Step Two: Turn your radiators to the highest setting
This step is crucial to making sure you catch every cold spot among your heating system. While you’re more likely to notice a chilly feeling in rooms you spend more time in, it’s important to give all your radiators in your home the TLC they need to keep your home running smoothly. Regularly checking on your heating system makes sure you can always enjoy a cosy and warm home, as well as avoiding further expenses later down the line.
Step Three: Make sure your heating system is switched off
Before you bleed your radiators, it’s crucial to make sure your heating is turned off, and your radiators are entirely cold to the touch. This reduces the chance of hot water or steam being released as you let out the air from your radiators, avoiding the risk of any burn injuries.
Once you’re certain your radiators have fully cooled down, it’s time to begin bleeding them. If you have more than one radiator to look into, start with the one furthest away from your boiler, as this is more likely to have cooled down properly.
Step Four: Loosen the radiator valve
You can usually find the valve at the bottom of your radiator, next to the thermostat if your radiators are more modern. Rather than unscrewing the entire valve, loosen it slowly and carefully, until you hear air being released with a hissing sound. Don’t worry if water is released, as this is normal. Once the hissing sound stops, screw the radiator valve back on tightly, to avoid any more water or steam escaping when your radiators are back in use.
Step Five: Carry out your final checks
After you’ve bled each of your radiators, you’ll need to boot up your heating once more. Check each one carefully to make sure each cold spot has disappeared, and you’ll be good to go!
Depending on the type of radiators you have, and how long your heating system has been installed, your radiators should be bled every few months, or at the start of every season. However, once you’ve gotten used to the process, you should be able to tick this task off your home maintenance checklist without any hassle at all.
If regular bleeding isn’t making a difference to how warm your home feels, it might be time to think about investing in a new boiler. BOXT has a wide range of options available to suit both your home and your budget, so you can always rely on your radiators this winter.