How to Balance a Radiator System

Author: dpinning  //  Category: DIY Tips, Heating, Radiators

You need to balance your radiator system in order to achieve an even delivery of hot water to all of the radiators in your home.  In central heating systems the water is pumped via copper pipes that branch off to each radiator.  As a result of this system the radiators at the start of the pipe run get the most hot water first. 

In order to balance your radiators you will need to use the lockshield valve on each of the radiators.  This will regulate the water flow.  You can partially close the valve on the radiators that come at the beginning of the run, to restrict them from getting too much of the water.  In order to achieve the right balance of water to all of the radiators you can use thermostatic radiator valves.  These are an accurate way of automatically turning off the water flow to an individual radiator when the room temperature reaches the point at which the valve is set.

When you balance your radiators you must turn your heating off well before you begin this task.  This is to enable to water to cool down completely.  You can then turn the heating back on and adjust the first radiator. You must adjust them in the order that the water goes to them.  Reduce the flow to the nearest radiator via the valve and increase it to the ones farthest away from the boiler. 

Planning Underfloor Heating

Author: dpinning  //  Category: DIY Tips, Heating, Underfloor Heating

DIY underfloor heating is a project any homeowner can take on successfully.  However, thorough planning can make the process go more smoothly for those tackling the project.

It is important to make a decision about underfloor heating as early as you can.  This type of heating can be installed in any home, but it will be much easier to install in a home that is not yet completely built.  If decided on early enough, underfloor heating can be incorporated right into the floor plans for the home, and therefore fit seamlessly into the building process.

However, many homeowners decide years after the house is complete that they want underfloor heating.  This is fine as well, but may take a little more thought.  Installing DIY underfloor heating will require a little more strategic planning.  Know before you start the type of underfloor heating you want (wet or dry) and how it will fit into the structure of the existing room.

A big draw of underfloor heating systems is that they are discrete.  Some homeowners want them to be completely unnoticeable though.  This too is possible with some planning in advance.

Underfloor heating systems rely on sensors and thermostats to regulate temperature.  Often, these elements are the only visible signs that an underfloor heating system exists in a home.  However, even these can be hidden in closets and other discrete corners of the home.  The key is to plan before installing the underfloor heating so that when it comes time to add the thermostat there is a hidden location for it to be set up in.

Health Benefits of Underfloor Heating

Author: dpinning  //  Category: Heating, Home Improvements, Underfloor Heating

Many people know that underfloor heating can provide an even, comfortable heat throughout a room, but not as many realize that it actually could have healthy side effects, particularly for those who suffer from asthma or allergies.

Asthma and allergy sufferers know that dust and other air pollutants can agitate symptoms quickly.  These irritants are often present in the air circulating through a home.  Conventional heating systems do nothing to improve this situation.  Rather, they worsen it by pushing the irritants around and moving them through the home.

Underfloor heating systems improve this situation.  Rather than circulating air through a room, underfloor heating systems merely heat the floor, providing a naturally-rising, even heat.  This heat does not circulate and blow around.  Rather, it just rises from the floor without disturbing dust or other particles.

This simple difference can be a huge one to asthma and allergy sufferers.  Simply leaving the irritants undisturbed can make the air more breathable for those most sensitive to them.

Underfloor heating also takes humidity away from the ground.  This is important because humidity can breed things like mites and germs, which cause illness.  By taking away what these illness-causers want in order to live in a home, underfloor heating helps make the air healthier to breathe.

Overall, the design and functionality of an underfloor heating system is ideal for allergy and asthma sufferers.  The way the system works keeps irritants out of the air and, therefore, out of the air tract and lungs.

Longevity of Underfloor Heating

Author: dpinning  //  Category: Heating, Home Improvements, Underfloor Heating

Underfloor heating systems have gained a lot of popularity recently.  They are becoming well-known for saving money on energy and being highly efficient heating systems.  There is also another benefit to underfloor heating systems, however.  They are also known for their durability and longevity.

No home owner wants to deal with a heating system that is constantly in need of repair.  Luckily, tests and studies have shown that underfloor heating systems do not generally incur many problems during their lifetimes.

Underfloor heating should be compared to conventional heating methods when it comes to longevity, maintenance and repair.  When compared, the two methods of heating are pretty similar.  Water and electric based HVAC systems all have pretty much the same issues when it comes to maintenance and repair.

However, where underfloor heating systems are different is in that the heating pipes, cables and mats are located directly underfloor.  This setup has resulted in some failures, but most are attributed to job site neglect, installation errors and product mishandling.  In general, once an underfloor heating system is installed, it is likely to be reliable.

That is not to say it never fails.  If the underfloor heating system uses copper and steel piping, it will run into the same types of problems that any other heating system using those types of pipes runs into.  Even newer materials like polybutylene and EPDM have run into some problems.

Perhaps the scariest maintenance issue is an electrical one.  These can occur with an underfloor heating system, especially an electric underfloor heating system, but if installed by a professional, these issues are less likely to crop up.

How To Repair Leaks In A Central Heating System

Author: dpinning  //  Category: DIY Tips, Heating, How To Guides

Joints in Water Pipes

If a leak develops in a soldered joint, you will have to replace it. Before doing this, you must first drain the system. Compression joints can often be sealed by simply tightening the nuts. Tighten the side that leaks gently – not more than a quarter turn. If you overdo it, you will damage the joint. If this does not work, drain the water from the system and fit a new joint.


Pinholes sometimes develop in radiators. The cause of this is either sludge or excessive air building up in the system. Corrosion can of course not occur without air. The only way to solve this is by replacing the radiator. First drain the whole system and try to locate the exact spot where air is getting into the system.

Leaking Valve Connections

If a leak develops at the spot where the valve is connected to the pipe work, your only option is to repair the joint. Once again you must first drain the whole system before you repair the joint. If the leak develops on the opposite side, where the valve goes into the radiator, it’s possible to turn off both valves and then drain the radiator. Loosen the connection and wind some PTFE tape around the joint before tightening it again. Most of the time it should seal the leak.

Radiator Connector

Empty the radiator before you try to fix this. Then disconnect the valve from the radiator. Now use a large Allen key which you insert into the end to loosen the radiator connector. Clean the connection thoroughly and wind some PTFE tape around it. Assemble everything again.

Heating the floor

Author: dpinning  //  Category: DIY Tips, Heating, Underfloor Heating

You might imagine underfloor heating to be the latest thing, but it was actually invented by the Romans over two thousand years ago. However, nowadays you do not have to be a legionnaire to install this very effective form of heating beneath your own floors. You do not have to be a DIY genius or super-rich, either. Anyone with bit of sense and motivation can do it.

With underfloor heating, loops of pipes are installed beneath the surface of the floor to circulate warm water, which can come from any of the usual sources, normally a boiler. Underfloor heating is used extensively across Europe to heat homes and commercial premises unobtrusively and effectively.

This form of heating is actually more effective than the traditional radiator-based central heating, as the latter starts heating rooms at ceiling level, whereas underfloor heating gets the heat to where it is most needed first.

Underfloor heating is relatively cheap to install, and the components are easy to fit in place, because there are no complicated fitting systems. All the other materials you will need are standard, and readily available. The system is plumbed and wired in the same way as a normal radiator system, and in fact you can combine underfloor heating with radiators.

Laying underfloor heating is a great investment, as the room heats more quickly. The fact that the Germans and Swiss use it extensively on all new buildings speaks for itself. Easy to install, saves on money, very effective – give underfloor heating a try and feel the difference!

Upgrading to a Designer Bathroom Radiator

Author: dpinning  //  Category: Bathrooms, Heating, Interior Design

Trading in the old bathroom heating system for a new one may sound like a lot of work, especially if you rent your house or flat.  It’s a lot of work for a homeowner and seems like an excessive amount of work for a tenant.  You will be happy to know there are simple and affordable options for tenants to update their bathroom radiators.

With new innovations hitting the market on a regular basis, bathroom radiators most certainly have come a long way from their old clunky cast-iron days.  Although many of these units still work and perform they way they were intended, they’re not always convenient to have, especially when your bathroom is smaller in size.

Several companies realised there should be additional options to replacing these ancient heating systems, so that is why they have created an assortment of designer radiators made especially for the bathroom.  They are generally in a freestanding form, offer designer appeal, and require minimal space.

There are the designer radiators such as the curved chrome, optimum straight and designer vertical that offer a lot of heat for its size.  These cost-efficient radiators are in designer styles and are ideal for small rooms.  They can function separately or be added to your central heating system with a kit.  Due to their upright nature, they can also be used as a towel warmer.  

Stylish electric radiators come in a variety of wattages but are not really a DIY job to install unless you are very confident with electrical installation work.  It is advisable that electrical work in bathrooms is always completed by a fully qualified electrical engineer. 

Applying Window Film

Author: dpinning  //  Category: DIY Tips, Heating, Home Improvements

The Benefits of Window Film

Applying window film to windows in your home can give you privacy while keeping the same level of natural light.  Alternatives to window film, such as curtains, blinds, shutters or nets can block the light and also look heavier and out of place.  Window film is wonderfully versatile and fits in with most domestic surroundings.

Furthermore, window film is easily cut into the right shape to fit in any window.  You can cover only the bottom or the top part of the window, depending on which part you seek to block out.  Window film comes in many different forms and styles, from plain white to elaborate with decorations; this can add a touch of decoration to your domestic interiors.  Some window film can be made to order; you can request patterns, shapes, number or letters to be shown in the film, such as your house name or number.

Applying Window Film

Clean your window thoroughly before you apply the window film.  Remove greasy stains by using special window cleaning products.  Next, spray the window with soapy water.  Apply the window film; the soapy water allows you to move the film into place.  Use a squeegee to stick the film to the window, extracting all the water.  Once the water has been pushed from beneath the window film, it will stick naturally to the window.

Use a sharp knife to cut unwanted edges or left over window film.

Boiler repairs are essential in the winter

Author: dpinning  //  Category: Heating, Home Improvements

The boiler is crucial to the smooth running of any household.  If it breaks down the family’s health and hygiene will immediately be affected.  Being deprived of heating and/or hot water, even for a short time, can make life a pain, so it is important to contact boiler repairs Harrogate ( without delay in order to return your heating system to normal.  Boiler repair engineers will tell you what action is required and will have any replacement parts ready to be installed.

In the meantime, you can run a few checks just to make sure that there really is a problem with your boiler.  It may be the gas supply itself, rather than the boiler, that is causing the trouble.  Take a look at your other appliances to see if they are still working correctly.  If not, the gas supply to your home may have been interrupted by maintenance work or for some other reason and the supplier should be contacted.

Also, check the boiler pressure.  If this is below about 1.0 bar then the boiler may have to be refilled or restarted.  Look through the manufacturer’s instruction manual and examine any warning lights on the boiler.

A very common reason for a boiler not working is that the pilot light has gone out.  This can happen for all sorts of reasons, but instructions for relighting it are usually displayed on the boiler itself or in the manual.  An extinguished pilot light is simple to fix and does not require boiler repairs York ( engineers to be called out.

Lagging radiators

Author: dpinning  //  Category: DIY Tips, Heating, How To Guides, Radiators

You might not immediately think of radiators as benefiting from lagging, but actually a quarter of the heat they produce is lost to the wall behind it.  Of course you do not lag the whole radiator, it almost goes without saying, just the surface facing the wall.  You do this with a special expanded polystyrene lining that is foil-faced and which, when fitted, will save over half the heat that would otherwise be lost.

You have to remove the radiator in order to fit the lagging easily, so the ideal time to do the job is while redecorating.  However, it is also possible to fit it without removing the radiators.

Buy the lining from a DIY store and cut it slightly smaller than the radiator dimensions.  Next, mark and cut out slots for the radiator fittings to slip over.  Remember to turn the radiator off before starting work.  Wallpaper paste or double-sided sticky tape can be used to glue the polystyrene lining to the wall behind the radiator.  You then use a long batten to smooth it into place after feeding the radiator fittings through the pre-cut slots.  Do not forget to fit the lining with the foil side facing towards the radiator, as the whole idea is to direct potentially lost heat back into the room rather than into the wall.  Allow time for the adhesive or paste to set before turning the radiator on again.

This is a cheap and effective method of cutting household heating bills, which is often overlooked in the race to lag boilers and pipes and insulate lofts.