How to get the most of your heating this winter – three key radiator hacks

B&Q explains how to bleed a radiator

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Winter is in full swing, with the nation beginning to feel the chill. With home working in place for even longer, heating costs can quickly creep up as the temperatures plummet. These are the top hacks to make your radiators more efficient for a warmer property.

Heating our homes for less is a key goal for many as rising tariffs continue.

Radiator maintenance is just one way to keep your home heated without wasting a penny – but what should you be doing?

Home heating experts Radiance Fireplaces have shared their top hacks for homeowners to get the most out of their radiators this winter.

Radiance Fireplaces told “There can be a lot of guilt, both financially and environmentally when you put your heating on.

“But with the current UK weather forecast, we’re confident that everyone will want their radiators turned firmly on at the moment.”

Use foil panelling

Radiator foil, or even tin foil, can be used as reflective panelling on existing radiators.

This insulating layer works to reflect heat back into your home rather than towards the walls.

Foil panelling should be placed behind your existing radiators to make the most of its reflective properties.

By diverting precious heat into the centre of a room, your home will feel warmer than if heat is wastefully directed towards the walls.

This is a cheap and easy way to save on your energy bill while still using your central heating.

Focus on radiators placed against external walls to maximise efficiency and minimise heat loss to exposed walls.

Radiator foil is easy to install yourself and is best placed in larger rooms with multiple external walls.

Foil offers an affordable alternative to cavity wall insulation, though the Energy Saving trust advises that it is not worth trying if you already have this type of wall insulation installed in your home.

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Dust your radiators

Keeping your home free from dust is important to maintain good air quality within your home.

While dusting surfaces like tables and ornaments is often done as part of everyday cleaning, radiators can often be neglected when it comes to dust.

Gathered particles on top of your radiator and between the grooves of the panel can prevent heat from being properly radiated into the room.

Make sure radiators are regularly dusted throughout the winter to maximise heat output from your radiators.

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Keeping household radiators free from dust is easily done with the following tricks:

  • Use a dampened cloth to wipe over the surface of radiators
  • Add scented disinfectant or essential oils to your cloth to add a fresh scent while removing dust
  • Never use a dry duster as this will only disperse dust particles instead of collecting them
  • Keep windows open to allow air flow
  • Use an air purifier to reduce dust levels
  • Target the back of radiators to dislodge particles using a long fluffy duster

Bleed your radiator

Air naturally becomes trapped in the internal radiator system, making it harder for water to flow throughout the pipes.

Insufficient heating can be solved by bleeding radiators to release trapped air and dislodge any blockages.

Start by turning your heating off until the surface is cold to touch.

Use a radiator key to open the valve at the top of your radiator and slowly release the trapped air inside.

Catch any leaking water in a container – once the hissing noise of the air escaping stops, immediately close the valve to prevent any excess water loss.

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