It is recommended that radiators are bled once a year
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RADIATORS are crucial for many people needing to heat their homes over the winter – but unfortunately they do require some maintenance to perform at their best.

One way to ensure your radiator is operating at its prime is a process called “bleeding” and, luckily, it’s not as complicated as it sounds.

It is recommended that radiators are bled once a year

It is recommended that radiators are bled once a yearCredit: Getty Images

When do I need to bleed my radiators?

Many homeowners find when they switch on their heating after the summer months, some radiators are not working efficiently.

This can indicate the radiator needs to be bled.

This happens when they have air trapped inside them, which stops warm water from circulating around the radiator. 

It is recommended that you bleed your radiators once a year – even if they are working properly.

How do I bleed a radiator?

There is no need to call an engineer when bleeding your radiator.

Thankfully, it is a relatively easy process to carry out.

Here are the steps to follow:

Turn the heating off and allow it to cool down

It is important to turn the heating off and allow the radiators time to cool.

This is to make sure that the hot water in the radiators doesn’t burn you when you start to bleed the radiators.

Locate the radiator bleed valve

You will usually be able to find the bleed valve at the top and side of your radiator.

The bleed valve is the small metal square or screw found inside the surrounding nut.

To protect your flooring from any discoloured water, be sure to place a container or towel on the floor beneath the bleed valve.

Make a quarter (anti-clockwise) turn

Use your radiator key to turn the valve at the top of the radiator.

Turn in an anticlockwise direction until you hear a hissing sound.

Make sure to not open the valve fully to avoid water escaping too quickly.

Close the radiator bleed valve

You will have bled all the trapped air from the radiator once the hissing noise and air stop and water starts to leak out.

You must then turn the key back clockwise to close the valve.

To avoid damaging the valve, be sure not to close the valve too tightly.

Check the pressure of your boiler

You may notice the pressure gauge on your boiler drops after you bleed your radiators.

If so, you will need to top the boiler pressure back up before turning the heating back on.

Turn your heating back on for your final checks

Once your boiler pressure is back to normal, you can switch your heating back on.

This way you will be able to check to see if there are any cold spots.

If you find that there are still some, try bleeding the radiator again.

If you encounter any difficulties while bleeding your radiators, it is best to call a professional.

Though there is no “correct temperature” to heat your home to, experts recommend having the heating to at least 18C to maintain good health.

According to The Met Office, keeping to this minimum temperature is especially important for those with reduced mobility, those aged 65 or over, and anyone with a health condition such as heart or lung disease.

What are radiator valve caps?

A radiator valve cap is used to control the flow of water to your radiator.

The changing of the flow can control the temperature of the room.

The cap also regulates the maximum pressure, preventing damage to both the hoses and radiator.

It can also turn the radiator off if its in a room you don’t use.

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