When you bleed your radiators, you release any air that is trapped inside them. It is hard to prevent air occasionally making its way into your radiators, and it is important to remove it because not only can it cause irritating noises, but it also reduces the efficiency of your heating system.
It is important for you, your wallet and the Earth’s resources.
Improve efficiency: When air is trapped in a radiator, it can prevent the hot water circulating to all parts of the radiator, thus reducing its efficiency. By bleeding a radiator, you can ensure that it operates at full capacity.
Save money and energy: Inefficient radiators have to work harder to heat a room. This means that they consume more energy than they should. By bleeding your radiators, you can save energy – which has a beneficial effect on your heating bills.
Reduce noise and banging: Have you ever heard banging noises coming from your radiator? Air trapped in a radiator can cause knocking or banging noises. Bleeding your radiator can help eliminate these noises. If the banging noises continue after you have bled your radiator, have a look at our radiator guide here. It contains a number of suggestions for why a radiator may be making strange noises.
It is really easy to bleed our radiators. You do not need a radiator key or any special tools – all you have to do is turn the bleeder valve. If it is a little tight, you can loosen it with a standard pipe wrench or an adjustable spanner. Otherwise, bleed the radiator as described below.
Generally speaking, you should bleed your radiators at least once a year. The best time to do so is typically at the start of the heating season, i.e. just before you start using your radiators regularly. In autumn, in other words.
However, the timing may vary depending on your specific heating system and the conditions it operates under. Here are some scenarios where you may need to bleed your radiators more often:
The process of bleeding a radiator normally takes just a few minutes. However, most people have several radiators in their homes and you will have to repeat the process for each and every radiator. This means that the entire process can take between 30 minutes and a couple of hours, depending on how many radiators you have and how much air is trapped in them.
Similarly, once you have bled your heating system, it may need to be refilled with water to maintain the correct pressure, and this will naturally take a little more time.
If you don’t feel comfortable bleeding your radiators yourself, or if you have any problems with the process, you can always hire a professional to do it for you.
Contact your local plumber or a heating technician. Both have the necessary knowledge and experience to handle the assignment safely and efficiently. They can also help resolve any issues you may be having with your heating system.
If your radiators still contain air after they have been bled, or if they still fail to heat correctly, this may indicate a more serious problem with your heating system. A professional will be able to determine what the problem is – and then deal with it.
Generally speaking, the process of bleeding radiators is largely the same, no matter what type of radiator you have. You need to locate the bleeder valve, carefully open it to allow the air to escape and then retighten it when water starts to seep out.
That said, there may be some small differences, depending on the specific properties of your radiators:
Generally speaking, if your radiators are old and/or corroded, it is best to call in a professional to take care of the maintenance and bleeding. This should ensure that the work is done safely and efficiently. Otherwise, it is always a good idea to read the instruction manual for your specific radiators and heating system.
Finally, it is absolutely worth considering replacing any old, corroded radiators with new models. This is often the key to improved efficiency and less maintenance.