Central heating systems are standard in UK homes today, having been an efficient replacement to tank-based systems for decades now. According to 2021 census data, nearly three quarters of UK households enjoy mains-gas central heating.

For the relative ubiquity of mains-gas central heating, many households are still somewhat poorly-versed in how to get the most out of their system. This has become particularly evident in recent years, with the energy crisis leading many to cut their central heating usage and struggle through winters as a result. There are many reasons for which a heating system might not be cutting the mustard, but most of them start with your radiators. What can you do to improve the performance of your home heating via the radiators?

Bleed The Radiators

Generally, if you feel your system is working too hard to heat a room, this is a sign that your radiators need bleeding. Air bubbles force water out of your radiators, making them less effective at doing what they’re designed to do. Bleeding the radiators releases the air bubbles and refreshes the water in the system, allowing them to work at full capacity again.

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Use Reflective Panels

Radiators throw heat out in all directions, but one of those directions is quite simply soaking up the energy thrown at it: the wall on which the radiator is installed. You can reflect this energy back into a room by laying some reflective material on the wall behind the radiator. Tin foil works well in a pinch, but proper reflective panels are a better choice.

Image: Big Stock

Remove Radiator Covers

Radiator covers are a common find in newer-build homes, as a personal touch to cover up the often-austere look of installed radiators. These covers, though, soak up heat energy just like walls do. Removing them entirely can immediately improve things, minimising impediments between your radiator and the space into which it is designed to radiate heat.

Install High Heat Output Radiators

The above tips are all handy enough, and together can make a humongous difference to the effectiveness and efficiency of your heating system at home. However, it is still possible to try all of these and feel that your system is coming up short. If you’re still experiencing chilly rooms even after attempting the above, it may be time to replace your radiators entirely.

Swapping out your existing radiators for high-BTU (British Thermal Unit) alternatives will be a sure-fire way to dramatically improve heat transfer in your home’s rooms. Just be mindful that between installation and higher energy demand, you might see your bills go up a tad.