How to Bleed a Radiator

Written by ehow home & garden editor
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As water enters the heating system, air usually does too. After enough air builds up in the system, the radiator's heating efficiency is significantly diminished. Bleeding the radiator fixes this problem in minutes, warming your space while reducing your heating bills.

Skill level:


  1. 1

    Feel the radiator. If the top is cool and the bottom is warm, the radiator needs to be bled. A radiator also needs to be bled if it's cool all over, or if it's cooler than the thermostat setting.

  2. 2

    Turn off your central heating system to prevent injury to yourself and the system. Turn the system off, don't just turn the thermostat down.

  3. 3

    Fit a bleed key into the bleed valve. Most radiators have bleed valves on the sides or backs of the units. The valve requires a special key to open and close it.

  4. 4

    Wrap a cloth around the key and valve. Turn the key counterclockwise to open the valve and let air hiss out of the radiator. Keep the valve open until water starts to bubble from the valve.

  5. 5

    Turn the key clockwise to close the valve. Make sure that it's firmly closed. However, don't close it too tightly. Turn on the central heating system and check if the radiator produces heat the way it should.

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