How to bleed your radiators: The solution to the most-searched DIY query

·4-min read
How to bleed a radiator is the top DIY task confusing Brits. (Getty Images)
How to bleed a radiator is the top DIY task confusing Brits. (Getty Images)

If you listened to the experts and recently turned on your heating ( you were meant to have fired up the boiler on October 31), you're likely to be enjoying a toasty temperature right now.

But if you switched on your heating and one of your radiators is still stone cold, it could be because there are air bubbles in the system, meaning you need to bleed your radiator. 

Trouble is, many of us don't actually know how to do that. 

Not only has it been found that less than half of millennials don't know how to perform this basic household task, recent research put it at the top of the most searched-for DIY queries. 

Toolstation analysed Google search data of the past two years to find the most searched for DIY queries and 'how to bleed a radiator' came out on top with a total of 503,730 searches between 2020-21.

And with the mercury dropping and chilly winter nights setting in, searches for how to bleed radiators are expected to spike further in the coming months. 

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If you're one of the thousands still in the dark about how to carry out the task, Mark Biles, operations director at M & M Mechanical Services, has provided some easy to follow tips on how to bleed a radiator.

First things first when filling the system he says you need to make sure all bleed valves are closed.  

"Some people forget to close the valve when draining the system and this can be very messy if one is left open when filling the system and can cause potential damage," he advises.  

"One by one, start at the lowest radiator and gently open the bleed valve, using a cup and bleed key," he continues (you can find a bleed key from any hardware store).

"Have a paper towel to hand to wipe off any excess drips. 

"Continue opening until water is present and all air has left the radiator. Then close valve. Repeat the process on each radiator in the house."

Fixing a leaky tap is another DIY task Brits are turning to the Internet for help with.  (Getty Images)
Fixing a leaky tap is another DIY task Brits are turning to the Internet for help with. (Getty Images)

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Biles also recommends remembering to let your radiator cool before beginning the process. 

Once you've bled your radiators you should look to continue the process every few weeks during the winter months. "This is because cold spots can appear at the top of the radiator which is evident of air lock in the radiator," Biles adds. 

"If you don't bleed them then air can travel round the system and cause issues with flow rates and over time can potentially lead to rust."

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Turns out bleeding our radiators isn't the only DIY task we're turning to Google for help with, we're also being flummoxed by leaky taps, blocked drains and reading our electric meters.  

‘How to fix a leaking tap’ is the second most searched for DIY query, receiving 216,720 searches over 2020-21, while 'how to unblock a shower drain’ came in third, with 170,580 searches.

Not knowing how to read the electric meter saw a 46% increase in searches compared to 2019, while that classic of flummoxing DIY tasks 'how to change a light bulb' also saw a 25% spike and received over 48,000 searches between 2020 and 2021. 

Interestingly, while there has been an uptick in various DIY task searches since the start of pandemic, there are three that have witnessed a drop compared to the previous year. 

It seems we're turning our backs on the task of wallpapering with searches on 'how to put up wallpaper' seeing a downturn, alongside 'how to read a smart gas meter' and 'how to change a tap washer'.

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How to change a lightbulb comes in tenth on the most searched for list. (Getty Images)
How to change a lightbulb comes in tenth on the most searched for list. (Getty Images)

The Top 15 most searched for DIY tasks

1) How to bleed a radiator

2) How to fix a dripping tap

3) How to unblock shower drain

4) How to read electric meter

5) How to unblock a drain

6) How to read gas meter

7) Laying laminate flooring

8) How to hang a door

9) How to put up a curtain pole

10) How to change a lightbulb

11) How to read a smart electric meter

12) How to hang pictures without nails

13) How to put up wallpaper

13) How to read a smart gas meter

14) How to change a tap washer

Watch: Turns out most millennials aren't very handy around the house. 

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