How to Get Air Out of a Radiator


Homes that have radiator systems sometimes have problems such as banging or knocking sounds in their pipes or failing to get as hot as they used to, wasting energy and money. The problem could be a buildup of air in the radiator. The air builds up in the radiator system and prevents the water from flowing through the radiator, effectively acting as an insulator. You can fix this problem by bleeding your radiator.

Things You'll Need

  • Small bowl or old towel
  • Bleed key
  • Make sure your radiators are cold so that you don't get scalded by hot water. If your heating system is on, turn it off and allow the radiators to cool down.

  • Go to the radiator that is farthest from the boiler, because this radiator will have the largest amount of air inside it.

  • Find the bleed valve on the radiator. It's usually located on the side of the radiator, and is a small circular hole with a metal square in the middle that the bleed key fits on.

  • Place a small bowl or container near the bleed valve to catch any water that might leak out when you bleed the radiator. Lay down an old towel if you can't use a bowl.

  • Using the bleed key, slowly turn the bleed valve counterclockwise. Stop at 1/4 turn. If nothing happens, slowly turn the key to a 1/2 turn. You'll hear a hissing sound—that's just the air getting bled out of the radiator. Close the valve all the way once you don't hear any more air hissing and water is the only thing coming out of the valve.

  • Go to the next radiator that is farthest from the boiler and repeat the process. Do this until you have bled all the radiators, then turn your heating system back on.

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