The use of forced air heating is more common in businesses in the UK. But the majority of residents in the UK depend on radiant heating systems to keep their homes warm and comfortable.
As the weather gets colder and the chilly nights start to draw in, it may be time to turn the home radiator on. Maintaining the radiators is necessary as faulty or broken radiators can be dangerous and will keep you cold and uncomfortable on a chilly night.
Home radiators may seem like an old-fashioned heating system, but they can consistently provide comfortable heating. Radiators do not require hefty maintenance, but well-maintained radiators work efficiently and can also reduce energy bills.
How Home Radiators Function?
Radiant systems are driven by hot water. A closed radiant system consists of a boiler and connecting pipes that are filled with water. Your boiler heats the water in the pipes to more than 87 degrees Celsius. Heated water is pushed by a pump to the connecting pipes and into the radiators. The radiators then cool down the air surrounding them and the water in the radiator returns to the boiler once it is cooled down. The water in a closed system is recycled constantly as the water is returned to be heated again. Home radiators are not only effective, but they also use minimum water.
In this article, we will discuss five tips on how to maintain a home radiator so that it continues to work smoothly.
How To Maintain Home Radiators?
Radiators do not require much maintenance. A bit of seasonal and basic maintenance is enough to keep the radiators working properly and efficiently.
1. Service the radiators at least once a year:
Annual servicing of your home radiator will make sure that it is running optimally for as long as possible. Contact your local plumber who provides plumbing and heating services to ensure that the system is safe and does not have any problems that require attention. It is better to service the radiators during September or October to ensure that it is ready for heavy use during the winter.
2.Bleed the radiators:
As time passes, air can escape the water even though the boiler and the connecting pipes are in a closed system. When the boiler is switched on, you will notice that all the radiators do not heat up immediately. This happens due to the presence of air in the radiators.
You will have to bleed the radiators to remove the air from the radiators. Turn off the boiler and let the water in the system cool down. There is a small valve toward the top of the radiator that is turned by a special key or by hand. Hold a bowl under the opening of the valve and turn it counter-clockwise to hear a hiss as the trapped air in the system escapes.
The pressurised system will force the air out of the home radiator once the valve is turned. Close the valve once the water comes out of the radiator. Touch the radiator to see whether the top and the bottom are equally heated or not.
3. Balance the radiators:
After bleeding all the radiators, you may observe that some of the radiators heat up more than the others. Fine-tune the radiators gently to decrease the heat in the radiators so that the colder radiators can heat up properly. It is better to balance the radiators using a professional.
4. Check the pressure in the boiler:
Check the boiler pressure after bleeding out and balancing the radiators. Look for a temperature and pressure gauge after opening the service panel of the boiler. A cold boiler should have a pressure reading on the 1.3 bar, and the hot boiler should have a reading on the 1.5 to 1.8 bar, depending on the manufacturer of the boiler.
You may have to add more water to the boiler if the pressure readings fall below the guidelines. Keep a close eye on the pressure gauge and allow more water into the boiler through the cold water pipe. Close the valve once the pressure gauge hits the 1.3 bar. You can also get professional help to check the pressure of your boiler.
Open the pressure relief valve if the pressure reading is above the 1.3 bar. Evacuate the water from the pipes to balance the system.
5. Combustion Chamber Maintenance:
Every boiler is powered by a combustion chamber. The work of the combustion chamber is to provide fire to heat the water in the boiler. The chamber will not be able to perform efficiently if there is too much residue collected in the combustion chamber. Maintaining or cleaning the combustion chamber is dangerous as there is a risk of catching fire. Therefore, it is advised to get the combustion chamber cleaned by professional plumbing services once every few years.
Do not forget to complete the safety check of your boiler from time to time. The safety check will ensure that the boiler is working efficiently.
These safety checks are:
- Flue and combustion. A plumbing or heating expert will use a gas analyser to make sure that the boiler is burning the proper mixture of air and gas.
- All the electric connections must be in good working condition.
- Make sure that the seals are intact and the fans are running fine.
- Check all the safety devices and electrodes.
- Check the pressure in the boiler regularly to make sure that it is in line with the guidelines given by the manufacturer.
The tips mentioned above will provide you with a better understanding of home radiator maintenance and what you can do to ensure that the radiators are working smoothly. Always take the necessary precautions and make sure that the water is cooled down before working on the maintenance of your radiators. Any maintenance work performed on the home radiator when the boiler is hot can result in severe burns. To avoid risks and prolong your radiator’s service life, contact us.