EcoTip – Are your radiators working as well as they should?

IF YOU HAVE fairly modern radiators, made up of two heated panels with a set of fins between them, they act a bit like a convector heater, heating the air moving up through the fins. Dust, pet hairs etc are drawn up as well and can coat the insides of the panels, reducing the efficiency of heat transfer. Knock along the base of the radiator and see what falls out, peer down through the fins to check there is nothing large stuck in one of them. If there is, then take the cover off the radiator and use a long stick to push it down and out. Use the open end of the vacuum cleaner hose along the base to suck fine stuff out from between the fins.
Next thing is to bleed all the radiators every year to release any accumulated air. I can never remember where I’ve put the radiator key, but it is very quick to do once you either have the key or a suitable screwdriver bit. Remember a towel to catch any leaks!
Then check all the thermostatic radiator valves (TRVs) to make sure that they turn up and down. If you have more than one radiator in a room, check the TRVs are set to the same temperature, and decide which rooms you can set to a lower temperature for the winter months. Consider putting TRVs onto the radiators if you don’t already have them.
And make sure you have your boiler regularly serviced!