With winter weather on its way, households will soon be looking to switch on their heating in the coming weeks.
For those who find that their radiators are not heating up properly or are cold at the top and warm at the bottom, they could be making one crucial mistake – not bleeding them.
Bleeding radiators can allow the hot water to circulate through the heating system once again.
According to the experts at Eon Energy, bleeding radiators are how you “get rid of the air pockets” that stop hot water circulating around the central heating system efficiently and are a “quick and easy task that anyone can do”.
They claimed: “This puts more strain on your boiler and costs you lots of money.”
Andy Kerr, Founder at BOXT, Andy Kerr, Founder at BOXT, highlighted that there are “three telltale signs” that a radiator needs bleeding.
These signs are if radiators are cold at the top, there are damp patches or condensation surrounding the radiator or above it and if the radiator makes funny noises when heating up.
If households spot any one of these three signs when turning on their heating, Andy has shared a few simple tips on how they can bleed the radiator themselves without calling a professional.
Start off by turning the boiler on and allowing radiators plenty of time to fully heat up. This way, it is easier to identify which radiators need some TLC and which can be left alone.
Once the radiators that need some attention have been identified, turn the heating off and allow the radiators plenty of time to cool down. Andy warned: “If you attempt to bleed a radiator with your heating on, you risk hurting yourself with the hot air or water from your radiators.”
The downstairs radiators should be bled first, then move on to upstairs. To bleed them, place an old towel and a container below the radiator valves to catch any liquids to protect the home from any dirty radiator water spillage. Use an old cloth or thick gloves to twist your radiator key anti-clockwise and open the valve.
Don’t open your radiator valve completely or keep it open for too long, just turn the valve enough to hear the hissing noise of air escaping. Allow all the trapped air to escape until the sound stops and a steady stream of water starts to leak from the valve.
Wipe away any excess moisture or condensation once done, in order to “avoid any rust forming” around the radiator valves.
The new step is to double-check that the efforts have paid off. Firstly, check the boiler pressure. It’s normal for the pressure to decrease slightly after radiator bleeding.
However, for reference, “it should be around 1.0 – 1.5 bars when switched off and can rise to around two bars when switched on”.
If the boiler pressure appears fine, it’s time for a “heat test”. Boot up the central heating and have another feel of the radiators. All being well, “there should be no more cold patches”, meaning households can feel the full benefits of a “warm home and save some cash on your bills – it’s a win-win situation”.