In this article, we’re going to show you how to bleed a radiator to ensure your home is warm and comfortable.

Every so often air gets trapped inside your system and the only way to fix the issue is by bleeding your radiators, which releases the trapped air.

The air stops the warm water from circulating properly in your system and prevents the radiators from working correctly, which results in an inefficient system.

When your system works inefficiently, it cannot heat your home properly and not only will you use more energy, but you will also see an increase in your energy bills.

Luckily, you can carry out the task yourself by following our instructions.

bleed a radiatorHow to Tell If You Need to Bleed A Radiator

1. Weird noises

A system that makes gurgling, gulping and rattling noises when turned on may have trapped air.

However, noises could also have other underlying issues, so if you successfully bleed your radiators and can still hear the weird noises, contact a professional for further assistance.

2. The top of your radiator is cold

This is a classic sign of a radiator that needs bleeding. You can check this by turning your central heating on and wait for it to heat. You should compare the top and the bottom of your radiators to see if they are both as hot as each other.

Step By Step Guide

Before we go any further, it is important to prepare correctly. You will need a key that fits into your radiator’s valve, which you can purchase from most hardware shops. The key usually has a square hole which locks into the valve.

But first, check and see if you need a key because many modern valves can be turned with a flathead screwdriver.

1. Turn on your heating

When the radiators are finally warm, do a quick manual check to find which ones require bleeding. You can do this by listening for strange noises and touching the top and the bottom of your radiators to see if you feel any difference in the temperature.

Keep in mind that some of your heaters might be too hot to touch, so be extra careful when you touch them.

2. Turn off your central heating

After you have successfully inspected and identified the individual radiators that may need bleeding, you should turn off your heating system.

You must allow enough time for them to cool down before you begin the process to prevent hot water from spraying out.

3. Find the bleed valve

The valve can be found at the top of your radiator at one end. Push the key in and slowly turn it anti-clockwise until you hear a hissing sound, which indicates that air is being released.

The air might be hot, so make sure not to stand in the way and keep a safe distance.

4. Bleed your radiator

When you begin the process, a quarter to half a turn will be plenty. That will quickly allow the air to escape. Once you bleed the air, there is a chance of water rushing out, therefore it is advised not to open the valve completely.

Once the air has been released, you may begin to see drips, so turn your key to close the valve quickly.

5. Check the pressure

When you bleed a radiator, you may lose water during the process and if this happens, you need to re-pressurise your system.

A quick way to check this is to look at the needle gauge on your boiler. The needle usually sits between 1 to 1.5 bar and if it is below 1, then follow our guide to fix your low boiler pressure.