Home NEWS How do you bleed a radiator and when should you do it?

How do you bleed a radiator and when should you do it?

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Christmas is a great time of year, in fact some consider it the most wonderful time, but it can also be incredibly expensive.

So having to fork out for a heating repairman to keep you warm in the dreary December temperatures would be very inconvenient timing.

If you’re struggling to keep your rooms warm this winter, before you call in professional help, you might just need to bleed a radiator.

If you don’t know how or when to bleed a radiator, we’ve got you covered. Read on…

What does bleeding a radiator mean?

To bleed a radiator simply means letting out air that’s trapped in your central heating system.

Trapped air prevents water from heating your whole radiator, causing cold spots and inefficient heating.

How often should you bleed a radiator?

If, when the heating is on, the top half of your radiator is noticeably cooler than the bottom half, this means your heating system isn’t working the way it should and needs bleeding.

Other signs you need to bleed a radiator is if there are gurgling sounds when the heating is on or the radiators take far longer than normal to heat up.

If you don’t act on it, you could be wasting money paying for higher energy bills.

How to bleed a radiator

What you’ll need to bleed a radiator

  • A radiator bleed key – available at most DIY shops or Amazon
  • A spare cloth or towel in case of drips and leaks.



Bleeding a radiator step-by-step guide

  1. Turn your heating on.
  2. Find out which radiators need bleeding. Give it 10-20 minutes after turning the heating on and listen for gurgling or feel for cold spots.
  3. Turn the heating off after working out which radiators to bleed. Wait until they’ve cooled.
  4. If the radiators you’re bleeding are near carpet, put down towels or cloth in case the water you bleed out stains them.
  5. Open the radiator valve – using your bleed key, turn the valve anti-clockwise slowly. The valve is usually a round hole with a square inside and your bleed key should slot right into it, making it easy to spot.
  6. Turn your valve slowly until the air stops coming out of your radiators. If water starts coming out and no air, your radiator has been bled and you should turn the valve clockwise and close it up again.

Can you bleed a radiator when the heating is on?

No. You risk scalding yourself with the hot water and air.

Even when you’ve given the radiators time to cool, you should still be careful when bleeding as the air released could come out very hot (and with high pressure).

MORE: Who invented Christmas, how long has the festival been celebrated and how was Charles Dickens involved?

MORE: Npower to increase energy bills for 1million customers by £64 a year

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