How to balance a radiator system

When looking to get your central heating working to the optimum it is always best to balance the system. It is fair enough to try explain how to do it but firstly it is important to understand why and what is it. It is great to have a new central heating system and a new boiler and radiators but if it is not set up properly then you will have inefficient heat where you need it. So firstly choosing the correct radiators based on the output that you need for the room that you can easily and quickly work out using our BTU calculator, which will even submit possible actual rads for you. Once you have calculated the rads and had them installed you would hope that the installer doing the job will balance the system but sometimes they do not. If you are adding or changing rads then you also should balance the system.

Baker's of Danbury - Frith Farm

Ok great so what is balancing the system?

As you are aware most systems today are on a two pipe arrangement that has flow and return into the boiler. Hot water coming from the boiler and going around the circuit and come back into the boiler at a lower temperature. In the system will be rads and these are the heat emitters which in most cases rely on convection to circulate the air in the room, hot rising and cold at the bottom. So often the first radiator on the system, the closest is generally the hottest and then obviously going down in temperature as you go away from the boiler. So the principles are fairly straight forward and what balancing the system is trying to accomplish is that every radiator on the system is at a pretty similar temperature. In theory the term should be how to “balance the temperature of a radiator system”.

This is all great, but in most cases systems are added to or changed and pipework is utilised where existing and so on. Finding the first rad or even the sequence can be a problem. The only option is to turn on the heating and follow the heat around there rads. Once you have the sequence, you then need to establish the temperature of each radiator and see whether there is a common result across all. Good luck so far and if you are already confused then get a plumber in to do the work. If you have just had column rads fitted from our Revive collection then him or her back and with his thermometer. If you wish to continue with the balancing then the way to create a constant temperature across the whole system is to limit the heated water flowing through the system. You can do this by the return pipe on the radiators. Basically there is a flow and return on every rad in most cases. This will be hotter than the one leaving the rad and again will only be determined by turning the system on.

Once you have established the sequence of rads on the system and the flow and return pipes then you can start limiting what leaves the rads. The flow only a radiator should always have the thermostatic valve fitted on it as these work best here. The lock shield/wheel head or return valve needs to now be restricted or opened up to limit or increase the temperature of that radiator. You then can start balancing individual rads to a mean temperature across the system.

Great easy and now you have a perfectly efficient system with beautiful radiators supplied by Columnrads. If not call an installer and give us an email and we will try and help you.

If you still need help, see the video below.