Winter heating maintenance tips for cast iron radiators

Have you turned your central heating on for the winter yet? While some of us like to get cosy at the first sign of a cold spell, others prefer to hold off for as long as possible. Whenever you choose to crank up the thermostat, make sure you’ve run through this checklist to ensure your radiators are as efficient as possible this winter.

Regular maintenance will not only help your radiators to work more effectively, it can also help to keep your energy costs down. This means you can stay warm and cosy for less.

Cast iron radiators are similar to modern radiators, but there are some key differences in the ways they work. So, if you’re recently made the switch to cast iron radiators and want to know how to keep them in tip-top condition throughout the winter, follow our advice.

maintenance tips for cast iron radiators

Clean your radiators

Your radiators are likely to attract dust like any other piece of furniture in your home, we recommend giving them a good clean.

The easiest way to clean your radiators is with a static duster that can run between the columns. This will allow you to reach all surfaces and remove dust and pet dander.

This should leave your radiators clean and ready for the winter.

Review your thermostatic valves

If you opted for thermostatic radiator valves, you will need to check these are all switched to the “on” position. As the weather gets warmer in spring, we tend to close off radiators one by one. This means that some radiators might be switched off when winter next rolls around.

Make sure all of your radiators are switched on so you can run the entire heating system to check for issues. If there are radiators that don’t need to be switched on, or don’t need to be as hot, you can review this later and adjust the valve to suit your needs. But for the purposes of turning your heating on for the first time, you want to make sure all radiator valves are in the fully open position.

Welford lever antique brass manual radiator valve

Check your thermostat

It’s time to turn on your central heating system and check everything is working as it should. Set your thermostat a little bit higher than you typically would to make sure the heating system stays on for long enough to check everything is working.

This is also an opportunity to check that your thermostat is working correctly. Many thermostats are battery-powered, and a low battery could mean that your radiators don’t turn on when they are supposed to.

If you have a smart thermostat, check that it is functioning correctly. You can also use this opportunity to review your heating schedule to make sure it still suits your schedule and preferences.

Bleeding your radiators

After you have turned on your central heating and allowed it to get up to temperature, it’s time to check your radiators. You are looking for even heat distribution throughout the entire radiator.

Check the top, bottom, left and right sides of your radiators after the central heating system has been switched on for a short time. If there are cold spots on your radiators, this could be a sign there is air in the system and your radiators need to be bled (remove the air in the system).

Bleeding your radiators is a simple task. We’ve included instructions for how to bleed your radiators here. You’ll need a radiator bleed key to be able to complete this step.

Protecting against frost

If you’re planning to go away and your central heating won’t be switched on for a while, you need to think about how to protect against frozen pipework. Our thermostatic valves have something known as “frost protection” which will trigger, assuming your heating is programmed to be on to work if the temperature drops to the point where your pipes are at risk of freezing, usually around 6-7 degrees.

This function will work whether your radiators are on or switched to the off position. This can offer excellent peace of mind during winter, as no one wants to deal with a burst pipe!

Want to upgrade your heating system?

Cast iron radiators offer a cost-effective way to heat your home through the winter months. The cast iron material heats up gradually and then retains the heat for longer than modern radiators. This means you’ll enjoy long and sustained heat output that keeps your home warm and comfortable throughout even the chilliest nights.

You could choose our most popular radiator, the traditional Victorian 3 column radiator. Or you could opt for something more ornate, such as the Art Nouveau 2 column radiator. All radiators are available in a range of lengths and finishes, allowing you to choose the perfect fit for your interiors.

Looking for more radiator interior inspiration? See the stunning results of our recent #MyRadRocks competition on Instagram and follow along to be the first to hear about future giveaways!

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Cast Iron Radiator Centre
(a Division of Mossmead Ltd)
241 Torrington Avenue
(Corner of Padstow Road)
Coventry, West Midlands
0800 294 8603
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