If you have hot and cold spots throughout your home despite having a central heating system installed, you may need to balance your radiators. Here are some tips on how to do it yourself.
You will need:
A radiator-bleeding key
An adjustable spanner or valve adjuster
A digital thermometer
Before you begin, make sure all your radiators have been bled.
Measuring Your Radiators’ Heat Output
First, turn off your central heating and give your radiators time to cool.
Then remove the cap which usually sits on top of the valves on the pipes which come into your radiators at the sides.
Open all the valves on your radiators by turning them anti-clockwise. You may be able to do this by hand but may also need to use a spanner with older-style valves. Do this with all the radiators in your house.
Then turn the central heating on again. Move round your home feeling which radiators heat up first, and write down the order in which they heat up in. The radiators nearest the boiler normally heat up first. Get someone to help you do this if you’ve got lots of radiators. Now turn off the heating again.
The Telegraph’s Jeff Howell explains more about balancing radiators, and it seems it isn’t always a simple job for a DIYer. If you want some help, you could bring in the experts from Gloucester boiler servicing firm www.hprservicesltd.com/gloucester-boilers/boiler-service-gloucester.
Adjusting Your Radiators
Once the radiators have cooled again, switch the heating back on and go to the radiator that heats up first. Turn the lockshield valve in a clockwise direction until it is closed. Open it with a 90-degree turn, and once it is hot take a reading of the temperature from the pipe that goes to one of the valves.
On the other valve check the temperature and then start opening the lockshield valve until there’s 12° C difference in the temperature.
Go on to do this with all of the other radiators in your house, following the order in which they heat up. The further you move away from the boiler and the further down your list you work, the more you’ll have to open the lockshield valve in order to have the 12° C difference in the temperature.