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Bleeding Radiators- Increase Radiator Efficiency

30 November 2011

Does your radiator seem to be slacking off?  If it doesn’t heat up as well as it used to, you probably need to bleed your radiator.  Another way to detect this is if your radiator is hotter on the bottom than the top.  This is caused by the air bubbles that result from the heating and cooling of water.  The air can build up and result in a lower functioning radiator, which no one wants in the dead of winter! Thankfully, this is a problem that can be easily checked off your to do list.

To bleed a radiator, first turn off your heat. Then, use a radiator key – available at your local hardware store – and use it to open the valve on your radiator.  Once open it will release air.  Close the valve when water has started to leak out instead of air (it’s a good idea to have some towels or a bucket on hand for this step).  Simple as that, folks! To properly maintain your radiator this should be done yearly. 

Wikihow has a great step by step guide on this with a clear video.

2 Comments leave one →
  1. 30 November 2011 10:15 am

    The last Wikihow step:

    6 Check the boiler. Finally, you may need to top up the boiler if necessary.

    could probably use some explanation. If you have let a lot of pressure out in this process, you may need to add more water to bring the pressure back up. But how far up, I’m not sure.

    I have often wished for a decent “Minnesota Boiler Owner’s guide” for all this sort of thing.

    • 30 November 2011 4:18 pm

      Good idea – I’ll check with our engineers and see if they know of a resource like that. Would be good to put up on the Energy Challenge website!

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