Why bleeding your radiators is so important

Ensuring your radiators work correctly and to their maximum efficiency is an important part of keeping your house warm. You may not know it, but your radiators might not be heating up properly and need to be bled. Not sure when to bleed radiators at home? Continue reading to find out everything you need to know about bleeding radiators.

Why bleed your radiators?

Bleeding the radiators in your house is a very simple DIY task to do to ensure you have the optimum efficiency and heat. There are two reasons why you need to bleed your radiators and both involve releasing the pressure and air trapped in the system:

  • Cold spots on radiators
  • Banging in pipes

Besides spotting these issues in your central heating system, you should bleed your radiators once a year to give the system a refresh and ensure the maximum efficiency of your radiators.

You should bleed your radiators to release any air trapped inside the heating system that are causing cold spots on your radiators. Air trapped inside pipes also prevents your home from heating up evenly and properly, which will end up costing you money on your energy bills. 

Trapped air could also be a cause for any banging or rattling you hear inside the pipes. In which case, releasing that pressure may resolve the issue.

When to bleed your radiators

So when should you bleed radiators? Well, if you feel like your house is struggling to get up to optimum temperature when the heating is switched on, you should inspect your radiators. 

Run your hand slowly and carefully over the top of the radiators around the house and try to detect any cold spots. If there are certain areas of a radiator that are not heating up properly then it is likely you have air trapped in the system. 

Air does not carry heat as well as water, so the trapped air is preventing the hot water from reaching all areas of the radiator. This is reducing the amount of heat it is releasing into the air. By running your heating in this manner, it is costing you money without getting the right amount of heat. 

Without knowing that your radiators were producing cold spots, you could end up leaving the heating on for longer periods of time in a bid to warm the house up.

Your radiators may also need bleeding because of sounds in the central heating system. Sometimes, the pipes underneath the floorboards will produce a banging or vibrating noise. Releasing the air pressure from the system could be a resolution for this too.
Knowing when to bleed radiators is important for ensuring no larger issues with your boiler or radiators occur long-term.

How to bleed your radiators

Bleeding your radiators may sound like a daunting task for a DIY newbie, but it is actually a lot simpler than you may have thought, and takes just a few minutes.

Follow this step-by-step process so you can bleed your radiators and improve heating efficiency at home. Before starting the process of bleeding the radiators, you must first have purchased a radiator key. They’re available in most DIY stores and are not expensive, with most stores charging a couple of pounds.

  1. Turn all of your heating up to its maximum setting.
  2. Wait a short while for the radiators to heat up, then switch the heating system off, and let them cool down.
  3. Start at the radiator furthest away from the boiler. If your boiler is upstairs, start downstairs.
  4. Use the radiator key to turn the valve at the top of the radiator. Attach the key to the square groove in the centre of the valve and turn it anti-clockwise, slowly.
  5. There may be some hissing, which is the trapped air escaping. Using a cloth, catch any water that drips out and tighten the valve once some liquid has escaped. This is the sign that the air has passed through the system, allowing the flow of water to return.
  6. Do this to all of your radiators, ensuring you have tightened the valve properly each time.
  7. Return to the boiler and switch the heating back on. If everything has been done correctly, the radiators should heat up properly and efficiently relay heat into your home.

One small issue you may come across after bleeding the radiators is a loss of pressure in the boiler. This is also a simple fix. Turn the tap or filling loop handle (normally located underneath the boiler) so that it lines up with the pipes. You should hear water flowing through the pipes which will increase the pressure dial to the optimum level of between 1 and 1.5 bars.

Radiators and boiler services at toasti

If you require any further information or assistance, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with us here at Toasti. We provide expert boiler care and maintenance, including boiler services and installations. If you would like to contact us, call us on 0161 527 7326, or email us at info@toasti.co.uk.