How to bleed a radiator: The solution to the top DIY query

How to bleed radiators. (Getty Images)
It's time to learn how to bleed radiators once and for all. (Getty Images)

Bleeding radiators are great for making sure your heating works efficiently this winter, even helping to save on energy bills.

But if you've forgotten and aren't sure what state yours are in (and you've been keeping them off for now), or have switched your heating on but one of your radiators is still stone cold (this could be because there's air bubbles in the system), now's the time to do it.

Trouble is, many of us don't actually know how to.

Not only has it been found that less than half of millennials can't perform this basic household task, other research has put it at the top of the most searched-for DIY queries.

For example, Toolstation analysed Google search data of a two-year-period to find the most searched for DIY queries and 'how to bleed a radiator' came out on top with a total of 503,730 searches between 2020-21.

Read more: The expert-approved date to turn on the heating this year

How to bleed a radiator

If you're one of the thousands still in the dark about how to carry out the task, Mark Biles, operations director at M & M Mechanical Services, has provided some easy-to-follow tips on how to bleed a radiator.

First thing's first – when filling the system he says you need to make sure all bleed valves are closed.

"Some people forget to close the valve when draining the system and this can be very messy if one is left open when filling the system and can cause potential damage," he advises.

"One by one, start at the lowest radiator and gently open the bleed valve, using a cup and bleed key (you can find a bleed key from any hardware store).

"Have a paper towel to hand to wipe off any excess drips."

Biles adds, "Continue opening until water is present and all air has left the radiator. Then close the valve. Repeat the process on each radiator in the house."

Read more: How to stop arguing about the heating and keep your home warm this winter

Winter season, woman warming up near home heating radiator. Female in warm woolen sweater under blanket with cup of hot drink
Make sure your radiator is working properly and ready for when you decide to turn it on. (Getty Images)

He also recommends remembering to let your radiator cool before beginning the process, if it's been on.

Once you've bled them all you should look to continue the process every few weeks during the winter months. "This is because cold spots can appear at the top of the radiator which is evident of air lock in the radiator," Biles explains.

"If you don't bleed them then air can travel round the system and cause issues with flow rates and over time can potentially lead to rust."

Aside from bleeding radiators, ‘How to fix a leaking tap’ was the second most searched for DIY query, receiving 216,720 searches over 2020-21, while 'how to unblock a shower drain’ came in third, with 170,580 searches.

Not knowing how to read the electric meter saw a 46% increase in searches compared to 2019, while the classic of flummoxing DIY tasks 'how to change a light bulb' also saw a 25% spike and received over 48,000 searches between the two-year-period.

At least we're learning!

Read more: Woman says floorboard hack helps keep house warm: 'It's the small changes that count'

Watch: Former Tory MP says 'females want the heating on' in awkward energy crisis interview