If you notice a strange swishing noise when you kick on your heating system or if your radiator is cold to the touch, chances are bleeding it will do the trick. Swishing means that air is trapped in the pipes, which in turn is preventing the radiator from filling with hot water and heating to its full potential. But don’t worry, bleeding a radiator is easy as 1, 2, 3. So easy in fact, that you can even try it on your own before calling in the HVAC reinforcements. Here’s how:

Step #1: Grab your radiator key.

This is the most important tool for bleeding your radiators, as it opens the bleed valve. These keys are available at most hardware stores and are fairly cheap. Just make sure the key you purchase is the right size! If you have a modern radiator, you may be able to open and close the bleed valve with a simple flathead screwdriver.

Step #2: Dial down the heat.

If you keep your system running while you bleed your radiators you run the risk of letting more air in. To be safe, allow your radiators to cool completely before you begin bleeding them.

Step #3: Open up your valves.

That’s right, we said “valves” — multiple. When you bleed one radiator, you should bleed them all. Just make sure you do each separately, as liquid and steam will often come out once opened. For that reason, you should always have a kitchen towel handy to catch any drips.

Step #4. Close valves and repeat.

Once there is a steady stream of water coming out of your bleed valve, close it off and move onto the next radiator in your home. It’s really that simple.

Tried bleeding your radiators but still having trouble getting your system to heat up? That sounds like a job for the Tyler Heating & Air Conditioning team. Just give us a call at 203-378-4700 and we’d be happy to assist.