It might be summer, but with energy bills soaring and even bigger price increases likely in October, it’s a good time to think about how to get the most from your heating come wintertime.
Whilst ensuring your boiler is in good nick is essential, so is making sure your radiators are in the best working condition. There are a few simple checks you can do to ensure they operate at their optimum.
Bleed your radiators
Bleeding your radiators is usually the most common solution when it comes to functioning problems. When air builds up it can mean they don’t heat up as quickly as they should with the boiler on. To bleed them, make sure all radiators are cool and ensure your boiler is switched off. Turn the valve at the top anti-clockwise (usually with a radiator key) and you should hear the hissing sound as the air is released.
Check for cold spots
A common issue in radiators is the build up of sludge and debris. If you notice cold spots on your radiators, this could be a sign that the system needs a good clean out. You might also find that your radiators are cold at the bottom and warmer at the top, which is another indicator that the system is clogged.
If you need to flush out your radiators, you can get a professional plumber in to do the job or you can use a power flusher, which are available from trade shops to either hire or buy. You’ll need to isolate, switch off your boiler and the water supply and open the valves to perform the clean.
Turn the radiator valves up
Another common problem is that valves can become stuck if left for too long in the ‘off’ position. During the summer, most people switch their thermostat valves off but it’s a good idea to open them to their fullest when the boiler is not in use to prevent this from happening.
Add a corrosion inhibitor
This is a type of chemical that can break down any sludge that’s formed in the system when radiators are turned off, often due to rust. This can then stop any potential blockage and keep your radiators in good working condition for longer, without having to call the professionals in.
By carrying out these simple checks regularly, your radiators should continue to work well in the colder months, and you’ll hopefully save on any expensive repair costs.