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Ask Louis: How to bleed a radiator

With cold weather sweeping the nation, it’s vital that your central heating is working as efficiently as it can be.


Ensuring that your radiators are functioning properly by ‘bleeding’ them i.e. releasing air that is trapped inside, is the first step to improving the overall efficiency of your central heating system. This is a straightforward task for most people and should not require a plumber! Check out our handy article below for a step-by-step method.


how to bleed a radiator


Step one

To see which radiators require bleeding, turn your central heating on and give them enough time to fully heat up. It’s important to allow the pressure to build within each radiator, so that excess air is evacuated.

Step two

A simple method for seeing which radiators require bleeding is by gently touching each radiator with your hand. Be careful during this stage, as your radiators may be very hot. However, in some spots, they may feel lukewarm or even completely cold; this is a sign that there is air trapped inside and bleeding is required.

Step three

Once you have identified which radiators need bleeding, turn your central heating off. This decreases the risk of leaks, making the job a whole lot easier.

Focus on the valve on the top of the radiator and you should see a square section within this, which is what you need to turn using a radiator key, or an appropriate screw driver, you should use a towel to grip the radiator and to protect your hands. If you do not have a radiator key, you can find one in most DIY stores.


how to bleed a radiator


Step four

Turn the key or screw driver anti-clockwise and listen for the air/ gas escaping from the radiator. Once the air has stopped being released, water should leak out and this indicates that the air has been fully dispersed.

Step five

When the water starts to leak out, get ready to quickly tighten the valve back on. At this stage there may be some excess water that needs to be cleaned up.

Wait a couple of hours before turning your radiators back on and you will then be able to test the radiators to see if they have been successfully bled.

Step six

To test that the process has worked correctly, go back and follow steps one and two. If cooler patches still exist, it may be that there is air still trapped inside the radiator and you need to start again.

If your radiators feel the same temperature across the whole surface, congratulations you have successfully bled your radiator!

Having fully working radiators is essential for ensuring that your home is warm and dry, to lessen the risk of condensation. Discover our other articles on how to prevent condensation here:

Why does condensation occur in the winter?

How to deal with condensation, damp, and mould as a landlord

How to prevent condensation

How to use less energy in your home

turn appliances off standby to save energy


Use less energy with your devices

Whether this is leaving them on standby or charging them throughout the night, you can save a lot of energy by ensuring you unplug your devices once fully charged and turning appliances completely off.

Also, try to adjust the brightness of your screens too and switch to ‘battery saving mode’, if your device has this function. This will mean you can use your gadgets for longer, without having to charge as often.


Use less energy in the kitchen

Take advantage of utilising your microwave, rather than your oven. Food can be cooked in minutes, shaving a huge amount of time off and helping you to save energy. A slow cooker can also be an energy saving prop, as you can create delicious home-cooked meals by simply popping the ingredients in and leaving to cook. Most slow cookers only use slightly more energy than a regular lightbulb. If possible, always try and make toast in a separate toaster, rather than under the grill.

Defrosting your fridge and freezer on a regular basis also aids in using less energy in the kitchen. Excess ice within your appliances means that they may not work as efficiently, meaning they have to work harder by using more energy.

Another top tip is to make sure you don’t fill the kettle excessively, especially if you’re only making a single cup of tea. It’s a huge waste of energy to boil water you don’t need.


Use less energy whilst showering

Washing your hair fewer times per week is a great way to cut back on energy costs and timing yourself in the shower can be an effective way of managing your water usage.

You could also invest in a high efficiency shower head and a dual flush toilet. Both of these options allow you to use less water, saving on energy costs.


Use less energy to heat your home

Make a conscious decision to turn your heating down to lower than you would normally have it. Even a couple of degrees cooler will help you save on costs, but won’t leave you in the cold.

We don’t want to sound boring, but wrapping up warmer and wearing slippers and an extra layer around the house can also make a real difference to the amount of energy you need to utilise.


Use less energy by installing more insulation

Draught proofing your home and adding better insulation is a great way to save on energy costs. Whether you take small measures, such as buying draught excluders, or choose to invest in attic / loft insulation, these smart choices can make a lot of difference to your energy bills.

Repairing any failed double glazing is also a great way to keep insulation costs down and energy bills at bay. Whether you’ve noticed excess condensation, misted up panes, or broken hinges and locks, all of these can contribute or be a sign of energy loss in the home. Contact your local branch of Cloudy2Clear today for more information.

See more of our top tips here for saving energy in your home.