How to bleed your radiators

Bleeding your radiators is important to keep your heating running efficiently, but how often it needs doing will differ from home to home. You’ll know when your radiator might need bleeding when it takes longer to heat up than usual or it is colder at the top.

‘Bleeding your radiator’ simply means letting excess air out of your radiator to ensure it is running efficiently. Keeping on top of this can mean a warmer home and cheaper energy bills – a win-win! Here’s how to do it:

1. Assess each individual radiator to find out which ones need bleeding. You can do this by touching them at the top and bottom to see how hot they are – but be careful not to burn yourself!

2. Turn off the heating. This is very important to save yourself from injury and/or getting water all over the floor.

3. Grab your radiator key and put it into the valve at the top of your radiator (if you don’t have your key, you can use a screwdriver). Hold a cloth at the base of the valve to catch any drips and use another to protect your hands as you slowly twist the valve anti-clockwise.

4. You should hear air coming out of the radiator. Listen carefully for when it tails off, as the hot water in the radiator travels up to push the air out. Once water starts to drip (or shoot!) out of the valve, shut it off quickly. Repeat on the other radiators around the house.

5. Once you’ve finished, check the pressure gauge on your boiler – if the pressure is too low you’ll need to top it up following the instructions from your boiler manufacturer.

radiator dial