Common signs that your radiator needs bleeding

If your central heating isn’t working as efficiently as you would like, it could be a sign that you need to bleed your radiators. Bleeding your radiators regularly helps to remove air which is trapped in the central heating system. If air is present, there is less space for the hot water and this will prevent the radiator from heating up correctly.

With air trapped in your central heating system, you will find it takes longer to heat up your home and it might never feel warm enough. It will cost more for you to heat your home and it will make your home less environmentally friendly. You can read instructions on how to bleed your radiators in this blog or read on to discover how to spot the telltale signs that a radiator needs bleeding.

The top of the radiator is cold

Turn your central heating on and wait for it to warm up. Now check your radiators. Does the temperature at the top of your radiators feel the same as the temperature at the bottom of your radiators? If it’s cold at the top of the radiator, this is a classic sign that you need to bleed your radiators. It might not be completely cold. Sometimes the top is just warm while the bottom is hot.

The entire radiator is cold

First, check that the lockshield is open by turning it as far as you can anti-clockwise then check the pipes going into the radiator by placing your hand on them. If this has resolved the issue, one of the pipes should start to feel warm. If this hasn’t helped, check the thermostatic valve is moving properly. Take the cap off the thermostatic valve and push the pin down. This should be moving freely. If it’s stuck and not moving freely you may need a replacement thermostatic valve. See this video for a further explanation.  

thermostatic valve and push the pin down

Mildew on the walls

Unbalanced heat around the home can cause condensation. Make sure you check your home for small damp patches or mildew on the walls. If you have found any sign of these then it could be an indication that the room where they appear in your home is too cold. So, check the radiator to make sure it is heating up and working as it should be.

Strange noises from your heating

When your heating first turns on, does it make noises similar to gurgling, gulping and rattling? This can be a sign that air is trapped in the system although it could also be an indication of various other issues too. So, checking the radiators is a must to make sure the problem is not more serious.

If you bleed your radiators (see here) and the problem persists, then you may need to call a professional to diagnose the issue.

Having all your radiators working as they should be will make your home more comfortable, help you to save money on heating bills and, ultimately, help to save the environment. You can read more about your boiler maintenance tips here. 

For peace of mind and to avoid any unwanted engineer fees, take out one of our home and boiler care plans. This way, you are covered for any eventuality.