How to bleed a radiator- a step by step guide anyone can follow!

Bleeding a radiator might seem like a daunting process. It’s really not that difficult! All it involves is getting air out of your heating system. With this guide you’ll be able to do it whenever necessary, making your house more efficient, your boiler healthier and you pocket more full!

What you’ll need:

A radiator key (most big supermarkets stock them)

A cloth

A cup

Step 1. Turn your heating on.

Firstly, you need to turn your heating on and make sure that every radiator in your home is turned on too. After you’ve done this you need to wait a while until your radiators are heated. You do this to ensure that there’s enough pressure in the system to allow you to determine if there’s a problem.

Step 2. Assessment- do you need to bleed your radiators?

After the heating is in full flow, check each radiator by feeling if it’s hot all over. If there are any cold patches you’ll need to bleed them. You want to pay particular attention to the top of the radiator as that’s where the air is most likely to build up. If your radiators get exceptionally hot you might want to wear a thin glove or use a cloth to shield your hand while doing this step.

Step 3. Turn your heating off.

Turning your heating off serves as a safety precaution. The pressure created when the water inside is heated can be high and so if it were to be opened, it could result in hot water squirting out and potentially burning you. Make sure your heating has been off long enough by simply checking the temperature of one of the radiators.

Step 4. Bleed ‘em.

Get your key cloth and cup handy for this bit. Hold the key with a cloth and use it to open the valve at the top of your radiator very slowly until you hear air exiting it. Once there is no more air left in the radiator water will start to come out… so have your cup ready to catch any water and the key ready to tighten the valve back shut. Repeat this step on all of your radiators to be sure of maximum efficiency.

Step 5. Reassessment

Check your boiler’s pressure gauge is on green and that there are error codes displayed (if your boiler is digital). Because you’ve let the pressure out of the system in bleeding the radiators, you might need to top up the pressure in the system. Again this isn’t difficult but it does vary depending on your boiler. Check your boilers instructions if you don’t know how. Turn your heating on again and check your radiators.

Step 6. Put the kettle on and have a cup of tea.