The clocks are going back this weekend and as the nights draw in and the weather turns cooler, so the radiators get turned up. As thoughts turn to the festive season and cosy nights in on the sofa (Saturday night Strictly anyone?) we all want to ensure that our central heating systems are hot to trot and primed to keep us reliably warm throughout winter.
Here are our 5 top tips for keeping your radiators working efficiently and maximise their benefit.
1. If your radiator is only getting hot at the bottom then trapped air could be the issue. To get rid of the air and allow the radiator to work to full effect it needs bleeding. Use a radiator key in the bleed valve and twist to open allowing the air to escape. DON’T do this when the heating is on, or the radiator is still hot and ensure to use a cloth to catch any dribbles which may also escape when the air is released. Once water starts to come out then close the valve. We would recommend bleeding radiators a couple of times a year. If you’re uncertain how to do this yourself and want to prevent any accidents, then give us a call and we’ll be happy to assist you.
2. Check the positioning of your radiators, traditionally they are placed under windows but take care not to block the heat with heavy curtains or you will be losing the benefits. Radiator foil can be fitted behind the radiator to bounce heat back into a room, although this will only be effective with solid panel radiators.
3. Do you have TRV’s (Thermostatic radiator valves) fitted to your radiators, these valves allows you to control the temperature in individual rooms. Up to date controls including TRV’s and room thermostats help the system to work more efficiently and to improve performance.
4. If you’re planning to upgrade or replace radiators check out a BTU calculator or ask the advice of a Gas Safe Registered Heating engineer. BTU’s or British Thermal Units are the measurement of radiator output. Online calculators will help you work out the category of radiator you need to achieve the desired result, taking into account the number of outside walls, room direction etc as these factors will all play a part in how cold a room is.
5. Don’t use your radiator to dry clothes. Hanging clothes over the radiator reduces it efficiency by blocking the air flow from the radiator around the room and thereby costing you more. Use a separate airer instead to hang clothes.
Hope these tips help you to maximise the efficiency of your radiators, save energy and keep you cosy this winter. For any help or assistance do get in touch, we’d be happy to help you.