Property Maintenance Tips & Tricks
This series of articles is designed to help you solve some of those niggling household problems. These tips aren't intended to make you an expert, and are not a replacement for seeking professional advice where needed. Please feel free to contact us if you have any questions or comments.
How to Balance Heating System Radiators
During the cold season it is important that you get the best out of your heating system, not just for comfort, but also for economy. Bleeding your radiators to remove excess air/gas is always a good start, but balancing your system is equally as important, and is easy enough for anyone to do. Just follow the steps below to see how...
Balancing Your System
Even with a pump on your boiler, hot water naturally gravitates upwards. This means that your upstairs radiators can get very hot, while those downstairs stay quite cool because the water is rushed back to the boiler to re-circulate. The solution to this problem is very simple.
Pull off the protective cap from the lockshield (not the TRV*) and then using a small spanner, close the lockshield off by turning it anti-clockwise on all upsatairs radiators, then open it up again (turning clockwise) by just a quarter of a turn. This will not affect the heat capacity of these radiators, but you will notice that more hot water is diverted to the downstairs radiators.
* Thermostatic Radiator Valve - this automatically controls the flow of hot water to the radiator and does not affect the balancing of your system.
If you find that one of your downstairs radiators is still quite cool, but the other is hot, close the lockshield off on the hot radiator, then turn it on by a quarter of a turn as above.
If you still have a problem with one or more radiators not getting hot, you may have an airlock in your system. With a few basic tools and following our next article you can usually remove an airlock quite easily yourself...
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Simple schematic of a 2 storey heating system.
Work from the top down.
Typical position of radiator valves
(may be reversed on some systems).
Turning off a lockshield valve...