Radiator Maintenance: How to Bleed a Radiator

There are simple tips and tricks that you can do around your home by keeping your radiators well-maintained to help you save energy which will make your radiators function more efficiently.

In a previous article we talked about the benefits of thermostatic radiator valves, but there is another way that you can make your central heating more efficient which is to bleed your radiators. This is important as it will release trapped air so that your radiator can heat up evenly.

Bleeding Radiators

All radiators are fitted with a bleed valve on either the top-right or top-left side (a square shaft that is situated inside a threaded plug), which is used to allow air trapped within the radiator to be released. This will allow the radiator to heat up evenly, thus making it more efficient.

This quick guide will take you through how to bleed a radiator.

1. Turn off your heating and use a radiator key, or flat-head screwdriver, to turn the valve anti-clockwise a quarter or half turn to open the valve. Do not unscrew the valve by more than one complete turn.

2. The trapped air will be released, and make a hissing noise as it leaves the radiator.

3. You must hold a cloth under the valve to catch any water, and as soon as a trickle of water appears, you must close the valve.

If you find that you are bleeding your radiators frequently, it is advised that you have a heating or plumbing engineer check your heating system because there may be a fault within your central heating system.