How to bleed radiators – step-by-step guide to keep your home warm

IF YOUR central heating isn't warming your home properly, it could be because there are air bubbles in the system, meaning you need to bleed your radiator.

Yet, surprisingly, it's been found that less than half of millennials don't know how to perform this basic household task. If you're one of them, listen up…

What should you do before bleeding a radiator?

Before bleeding your radiator, you need to turn on your central heating and check for blockages.

Here, you need to look at your thermostatic radiator valves (TRVs) and check they're working to full power – these are the (usually) white knobs you find at the top or bottom corner of your radiator.

When the heating has been on a while, carefully check how hot each radiator is.

If the radiator is completely cold or cold at the top, this is means air bubbles have gathered and it'll need bleeding.

Credit: Dorling Kindersley – Getty
How do you bleed a radiator?

So now to the actual bleeding, which AXA have laid out in six easy steps:

  1. First, gather your tools: a bowl, tray or cup to catch water; a dry cloth like a tea towel; and a radiator key which can can be purchases at DIY shops.
  2. It's VERY important that you turn your central heating off and let everything cool down before beginning (otherwise boiling water could spray out of the radiator)
  3. Find the square bleed screw at the top corner of your radiator, and place the bowl or tray directly underneath it at the base of the radiator.
  4. Next, place the radiator key over the bleed screw (it should fit snugly), cover it with another cloth and slowly turn the key anti-clockwise for about half a turn. As the air releases, you'll hear a hissing sound. At this point, hold the cloth close to prevent water dripping or spitting onto the radiator.
  5. Once air stops hissing and water begins to trickle out steadily, tighten the screw again, being careful not to over-tighten and damage the valve. That's the basic process of how to bleed a radiator covered, but do wipe down the radiator to avoid leaving any moisture, which could cause rust.
  6. Switch the heating on again, and check the boiler pressure. If it's below the optimal level, you may need to boost it by using the filling loop on your boiler. This is usually a tap or lever on the main water supply to your boiler. Finally, check that all the radiators are heating evenly and that none of the bleed valves are leaking. You may need to bleed some radiators a second time, but if the problem still isn't resolved, contact a heating engineer

People now struggle to sew on a button, bleed a radiator or put up a shelf… so how many can YOU do?

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