Although it may sound like it but there is no violence in bleeding a radiator! The unfortunate usage of the 'bleeding' word, makes this job sound like a job, for the mob! However, you can rest assured that it isn't.
Why Should One Bleed a Radiator?
Radiator bleeding is one of those jobs that are a mandatory part of maintenance, if you want your radiator to function efficiently. To know why bleeding a radiator is important, one must understand how a house radiator works.
So, let us get a basic overview of a traditional radiator system used to keep rooms warm. It all begins with the boiler, which creates steam. The heat energy required for creation of steam can be supplied by natural gas, oil, wood or electricity.
There is a network of pipes connected with this boiler (usually placed in the basement), that transport this steam to radiators inside houses. The radiator has a winding network of tubes that transports this steam. The passage of steam heats up the metal tubes and consequently they radiate heat into the room.
The steam cools and becomes water again, which is transported back to the boiler for reheating. The reason you need to know bleeding radiators is the air bubbles that get into the coils bring down its efficiency. When air bubbles get inside the coils, they displace water and reduce heating efficiency, as air is an inferior conductor of heat, than steam.
That is why, home maintenance experts highly recommend bleeding of radiator regularly, as it removes the trapped air and significantly improves heating efficiency.
How to Bleed a Radiator System?
Periodic bleeding of a radiator is recommended. There are some signs which can tell you that the radiator needs bleeding. The sure sign is a difference in temperature at the bottom and top of radiator. If the radiator top is cold while the bottom is warm, there is definite trapping of air.
If you observe that the whole radiator is cold, then a large quantity of air is trapped inside. The presence of air creates this distortion in the temperature gradient of the radiator, which can be normalized only after air release, through bleeding.
Then insert the key into the bleed screw slot and turn it anticlockwise (about half a turn). Water will squirt out, with a hiss and drip out of the screw. Dab it with the towel.
Switch on the central heating system and enjoy the considerably warmer interiors of your home. It doesn't take an Einstein to figure out the job, as you will agree with me. All that is needed is an ability to understand logic and capacity to follow simple instructions.