How to bleed your radiators in five simple steps

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If your radiators aren't heating your home properly, it could be because air bubbles are trapped in the system. These bubbles stop the normal flow of the hot water and leave you with a colder home and higher energy bills.

So, to help save your bills and suffering the cold as the darker night draw in, here's how to bleed your radiators in five simple steps...

How to bleed your radiators

Step 1 - Work out which radiators need bleeding

Turn on your radiators and wait until they are fully heated. Be careful and do not burn your hands. If the radiator is cool at the bottom and hot at the top or it is not distributing heat evenly, it might be due to trapped air. Don't worry, it a common issue and can be fixed under half an hour. Your radiators just need bleeding.

Step 2 - Gather your tools

You will need:

  • Radiator key (can be replaced with narrow pliers thus, they may damage the valve)
  • Dry cloth
  • Small bowl

Step 3 - Prepare and turn off the heating

Always turn the heating off before you start bleeding your radiators - if you leave it on, more air can be pushed into the system, and cool radiators are easier to handle. Next step is to find a radiator valve. Radiator valves can be found at the top corners of the heaters as per the picture below. 

Step 4 - Bleed the radiators

  • Push the radiator key into the center of the valve
  • Place the bowl underneath the radiator in order to catch the excess water
  • Put the cloth over the radiator key and turn the key slowly anti-clockwise
  • At this point, you will hear the hissing sound, that means you are doing everything correctly and the air bubbles are escaping
  • Once the air has escaped, quickly close the valve to prevent any unwanted leakage

Step 5 - Check the pressure of your boiler and switch the heating on

The final step is to check whether the boiler pressure is at its adequate level. If it is below the optimal level you will need to repressurize the system. If the boiler pressure is optimal, turn on the radiators and check if there aren’t any unexpected leaks and if the heat is distributed evenly across the heating panel.  

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