3 important steps in radiator maintenance


If you live in an older home, you may still have radiators as your main source of warmth in the winter, which is referred to as a radiant heating system. In this type of setup, you probably have a boiler that heats up water and sends it to radiators throughout the house, which then generate warm air. Unlike more recent gas or electric heating systems, radiant systems require a slightly different annual maintenance procedure. Make sure you take these three steps to keep your radiators in good shape.

1. Check your pipes
The first important step is to examine your piping for any potential problems. Begin by checking your radiators and the pipes surrounding them for any cracks or leaks. Even a small drip could become a big problem if not taken care of. Next, examine the pipes around your boiler for similar issues. Be careful not to touch any hot water pipes. Essortment explained that you should replace any problematic pipes right away, or else your heating system will not be able to sustain the pressure required to warm your home.

2. Bleed hot water radiators
Hot-water radiators will not warm your home efficiently if there is air trapped in them, so it's important to "bleed" the system annually. Your radiator should have come with a key that fits into the valve on one end of the radiator. To bleed the radiator, insert the key and turn it counterclockwise until water begins to drip out. Have a container on hand to catch the runoff. This process will release any trapped air so your radiators can heat up properly. Turn the key back to its original position when nothing but water is coming out. Once you're finished, you should make sure the pressure gauge on your heating system is still within the manufacturer's recommended range. If it's not, add water through the water fill valve.

3. Clean steam radiator vents
If you have steam radiators, you'll need to clean out their air vents to maintain proper function. These vents are located halfway down one side of each radiator. If the air hole becomes plugged, it can compromise the efficiency of your heating system. To clean them out, simply use a fine wire or sewing needle to clear any debris from the hole. Make sure that the vent does not get painted over or covered by furniture to keep your radiator working efficiently.

Another important step to keep your home's systems and appliances running smoothly is to invest in a TotalProtect® Home Warranty. This home protection plan will cover breakdowns caused by normal wear and tear, no matter how old your appliances are. For details about what items are included under your TotalProtect warranty, review your contract or call to speak with a customer care representative today.

The information in this article is intended to provide guidance on the proper maintenance and care of systems and appliances in the home. Not all of the topics mentioned are covered by our home warranty or maintenance plans. Please review your home warranty contract carefully to understand your coverage.