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Ask Kirk: 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.

how to bleed a radiator

 

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.

How to keep your home protected and secure

Christmas cheer can quickly turn to heartache if your home is targeted by burglars who are often at their busiest when they know a lot of valuable gifts and there for the taking.

With latest figures suggesting that a burglary happens every 40 seconds in the UK, it’s essential to take stock of your home security in order to prevent break-ins. Here are our top tips.

 

keeping your home secure

 

1. The majority of burglars get into homes through windows and doors, so it’s important to make sure they are fitted with secure locks. Canny burglars recognise which types of lock are most secure and will likely avoid them. It’s also worth thinking about upgrading your window security by adding sash jammers for extra protection.

 

2. It’s sobering to reflect that nearly one in four home burglaries are through first-storey windows.Poorly maintained windows are easier for burglars to access, while double glazing is much safer than single. Also, the more secure your house looks from the street, the less it will attract the attention of potential burglars.

Ensuring your double glazed windows are repaired and in full working order is also crucial to deterring criminals and keeping your home safe. If you have failed or cloudy double glazing, this can be a sign to thieves that you don’t look after your home and are therefore lax with security.

 

3. Your neighbours can be a helpful defence against a break in, especially if they know you’re away visiting friends and family. If your neighbours spot any suspicious activity while you’re not at home, they can either call you and let you know, or alert the police.

 

4. Be sure to lock your door – even when you’re in the house. Cheeky thieves can be in and out of your home in a few minutes, taking with them many of your treasured possessions. Some burglars have even got in through large cat and dog flaps, so the best advice is to secure them.

 

5. An effective home security system is a significant deterrent that makes burglars think again about targeting a property. In a poll of convicted burglars, 60% admitted to being put off by a security system.

 

6. Fitting a security camera outside your home is another preventative way of dissuading would-be thieves. Faced with having their activities videoed, most burglars will shy away from a property. Similarly, movement-activated external lighting will give burglars even more pause for thought.

 

7. If you are going to be away from your home for any length of time over Christmas, you should think about using timers that turn house lights on and off randomly. Contrary to what some people believe, leaving lights on can actually attract the attention of criminals, especially if they see lights on when it isn’t dark.

Ask Kirk: Why does condensation occur in the winter?

Condensation can be a reoccurring problem throughout the year, but is especially troublesome in winter. But why is this? We asked our resident window expert, Kirk Williams, to give us the low-down on the effects of colder weather and condensation.

why does condensation occur in the winter

 

When temperatures drop, most of us utilise our central heating systems and fires a lot more than normal. This means that the humidity inside our homes is higher and condensation can occur more easily. As well as using these methods for heating, most of us are also tempted to keep windows and doors shut. However, this traps moisture inside.

 

fireplace condensation winter

 

During the summer, excess moisture from cooking, showering, and damp clothes drying doesn’t seem noticeable. This is because there are fewer cold surfaces for the humidity to gather and often we have our windows ajar, so it can escape more easily.

Cooler air also holds less water vapour than warmer air, which is why condensation seems excessive during the winter. Although it’s common to experience condensation during the winter, having a disproportionate amount could mean there are more serious problems afoot.  Damp patches, mould, peeling wallpaper, unpleasant smells, and water droplets on walls are all signs that your condensation problem could be getting out of hand.

Health problems can sometimes occur if excess condensation isn’t addressed in a timely manner, so it’s not just your home that could deteriorate, but your family’s well-being. If you have failed double glazing, this can contribute to an increase in condensation because the way in which the double glazing works is altered. In simple terms, double glazed glass prevents the movement of heat. You can read more about how double glazing works here.

 

condensation winter

 

By replacing any failed double glazing, you can prevent condensation from worsening, as well as improving your energy usage, which is important when energy prices are increasingly becoming higher and higher. The winter months mean most of us will be using the most energy we’ve used all year, so it’s important to do as much as possible to help save on these bills.

If you need to repair or replace any failed double glazing before Christmas, get in touch with your local Cloudy2Clear branch today for a free no obligation quotation.

How to draught proof your home in time for Christmas

With the coldest day of the year recorded in November this year, it’s certainly time to start thinking about draught proofing your home for the coming winter months.

There are so many quick and easy ways to do this that will save you both time and money. We’ve listed some of the benefits of draught proofing below and how to achieve them without breaking the bank.

 

1. Windows

Windows are often the main cause of warm air escaping in the home; in fact, 20% of heat loss is attributed to windows, even when double glazed. Draughtproofing effectively can ensure that you save energy, especially during the winter months and the run up to Christmas. You can get this done professionally or buy products to fit yourself, such as self-adhesive foam, metal, or plastic strips.

 

draught proof your home

 

However, you can ensure you don’t lose further heat from your home, and therefore increase energy bills, by having insulating glass installed and checking your units for any failed double glazing, so glass that may be clouded up or misty. In the long-run, this will help towards preventing against condensation and mould.

2. Doors

Again, doors are one of the main sources of heat loss in a home. Think about how many places there are for heat to escape – locks, keyholes, letterboxes, around the edges. Easy ways to help alleviate heat loss from your doors are to buy draught excluders, which you can pick up relatively cheaply; use a letterbox brush; and keep doors shut!

 

draught proof your home

 

3. Attic

Your attic area can often be overlooked when thinking about draught exclusion. People often worry it will cost too much to sort out. A simple way to reduce some heat loss is by insulating the hatch with strips around the edges. Of course, you can insulate your loft fully, which is highly recommended, especially if you’re looking to save on your energy bills.

 

4. Pipework

Often overlooked, pipework can be a serious cause of draughts in the home, especially if you have a lot of exposed pipes. Using an appropriate material to fill in gaps, such as polyurethane foam or silicone filler will help to alleviate any problems moving forward.

 

5. Floorboards and skirting boards

Gaps in floorboards and skirting boards may seem like insignificant areas to think about, but along with all the above issues, they can contribute to the problem. Draught proofing skirting boards can be cheap and relatively straightforward, simply by using sealant along the edge.

 

draught proof your home

 

If you have suspended floors i.e. floorboards, then this is a potentially much bigger job to deal with. You may need to lift-up all of your floorboards up in order to gain access to lay insulating material, which can be a time-consuming and messy job. Although worthwhile in order to save energy in the long-run, it may be advisable to contact a professional in order to complete the job for you.

If you are thinking about saving energy before Christmas, contact Cloudy2Clear today for more information on our failed double glazing repair services, as well as replacing any of your broken locks or hinges, which could be causing heat to escape.

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