B&Q explains how to bleed a radiator
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If you have radiators which struggle to get hot, or one which is both cold and hot in different places, it may be time to bleed it. According to SSE, radiators need bleeding when they have trapped air inside them. This trapped air stops warm water circulating around the radiator. Bleeding them not only makes your home warmer, but may also make your heating system more efficient by removing the air pockets.
Sharon Hayward, head of marketing comms at Draper Tools, explained: “Bleeding a radiator is a simple task which can make a huge difference to your heating efficiency.
“Unlike many home improvement projects, anyone can do it and you only need a low cost radiator bleed key.
“Now is the perfect time of year to bleed your radiators. You should never bleed them whilst the heating is on to avoid risk of scalding from hot water.
“Bleeding radiators can save money and it only takes a few minutes. Low cost radiator keys are readily available from DIY shops or online stockists such as Draper’s twin pack of zinc keys costing just £3.50.
“Whilst bleeding a radiator is a simple task which can quickly result in big gains in heating efficiency, it is worth buying a good quality metal radiator key which won’t bend or crack whilst undoing tight valves.
“Holes in the handle allow it to be hung on a hook or keyring so you can find it again the following year.”
Once you have your radiator key, bleeding the radiator is a “quick and simple” process. Firstly, Britons need to switch off their heating and allow the radiators to cool before bleeding them.
It may be worth protecting the floor with an old towel. Also, get an old cloth, jug or other container to hold under the radiator valve and insert the radiator key.
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The experts at Draper Tools said: “Turn the radiator key gently in an anti-clockwise direction, you’ll probably hear a hissing sound – this is the gas escaping.
“Once all the gas has escaped, water will start to come out. This is your cue to quickly turn the radiator key to the right to re-tighten the valve.
“You can repeat the process on each radiator that needs bleeding. To check you’ve been successful, turn on the heating again and check for any cold spots on your radiators.”
If you still have any cold spots, this may be because the radiators need to be drained and flushed. In this case, you may need to call a professional.
Jess Steele, heating technology specialist from BestHeating, shared how households can improve their radiator efficiency and what can be done to make them work smarter.
The expert explained: “Radiator efficiency is paramount with the prospect of higher energy prices and a cost of living crisis for all of us to prepare for this winter.
“One way to cut costs is by keeping them clean and free of obstruction, so they can do the job they were created to do. Keeping radiators clean may seem like an obvious way to ensure they operate properly, but many people overlook the different components of a radiator and where to clean to guarantee good performance.
“It is important to clean in-between panels and even inside the radiator itself, not just the surface of the radiator.”
If you have radiators placed beneath windows with curtains or blinds, it is important to make sure they are not covering the heat source.
As well as being a fire risk, they can block valuable heat which could be circulating the room. An expert also recommended keeping curtains and blinds open when the sun is shining to allow heat to shine through the windows.
David Miloshev, Certified Electrician from Fantastic Services, said: “By letting the rays of sunshine into your home, you are taking advantage of the free solar heat. Closing the curtains and blinds afterwards helps create a good insulating layer and lets you keep that free warmth you’ve gathered throughout the day.”
The thicker the curtains, the more they will stop heat from escaping, especially if you have draughty or particularly old windows.
According to Safe Style Windows, around 18 percent of the total heat within a house is lost through the windows. This is caused by radiation, through glazing, convection and conducted through the window frame.
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