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Ask the Expert: Bleeding Radiators

5 February 2010

“I live in an older condo building (1925) with a boiler and radiator heat.  What impact does regularly bleeding radiators have on heat efficiency?”

I’ve had people tell me that bleeding my hot water radiators makes a different for comfort, but I’ve never been sure why.  After researching, I have an answer – and I’m also starting to get pretty grossed out by the phrase “bleeding a radiator”!

There are two different kinds of radiators – steam and hot water.  If you have a hot water radiator and you’ve noticed that it isn’t producing as much heat as it used to, air bubbles have probably formed at the top of the internal coils and are displacing that hot water.  Since air does a really pathetic job of conducting heat, your radiator won’t be keeping you as toasty as you’re used to.  Here at the Energy Challenge we recommend bleeding your radiators at least once a year at the beginning of the heating system, and whenever you feel that the top of your radiator isn’t as hot as the bottom.  The energy savings might not be enough that you’d notice them on your heating bill, but you will DEFINITELY notice the change in your comfort.

Here’s a great video on bleeding radiators.  For some reason, all the videos I found are from the UK…but the information is the same!

One Comment leave one →
  1. 5 February 2010 11:50 am

    Just the video I needed to see.

    I’ve got two half warm radiators that are cold at the top.
    As I’m no expert on heating systems this has been a useful two minutes.

    Many thanks.

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