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When your radiators don't seem to be heating your home as they should it is likely that they need to be bled. Bleeding your radiators helps to ensure that they are working at their optimum level and that your home is being heated efficiently.
It is important to bleed your radiators as air pockets in the system prevent hot water from circulating around the radiators, meaning the heat cannot be distributed evenly.
There is no set rule for how often you should bleed your radiators. Generally it is recommended to bleed them at least once a year regardless of whether you notice any symptoms. Other than that, simply checking for the telltale signs mentioned above and bleeding when necessary is enough.
The time it takes to bleed a radiator can vary depending on the type of radiator you have, the air pressure in the system and any other obstructions such as radiator covers. THe actual process of bleeding a radiator however is a relatively quick and straightforward process. On average it should take no longer than a minute to bleed a single radiator and most households can be done in under 15-30 minutes.
Before starting the process it can pay to identify which radiators need attention. This can be done simply by turning on your heating and visiting each radiator feeling for a cold-spot at the top. Once identified, and the radiators cooled you can proceed with the steps below:
It's now as simple as repeating these steps for every radiator identified as having air in it. Once complete you can check your boiler pressure. If your pressure gauge was unusually high beforehand you may now notice it has settled to a more acceptable level.
Burns: Though it is tempting to proceed while the rads are still hot you do run the risk of scalding yourself when water eventually releases from the valve.
Leaks: It's worth double-checking you have tightened up the bleed valve sufficiently to stop the escape of water. They don't need to be over-tightened, and it often feels as though they aren't closed when the key comes to an abrupt stop.
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