The survey of 2,000 UK homeowners, commissioned by The Manufacturers’ Association of Radiators and Convectors (MARC), has revealed that almost a quarter of residents (24%) haven’t bled their radiators in over a year, while over one in 10 (13%) have never done so. Among this figure, nearly half (49%) stated they didn’t know how to, while 15% were concerned of damaging their heating system.

The trade body discovered that nearly one in four homeowners (24%) were unaware of how to correctly identify when a radiator needs to be bled. More surprisingly, the research also outlined that seven in 10 homeowners (71%) didn’t know how to determine if their heating system needs flushing.

On average, respondents had eight radiators in their homes, with six of those being fitted with Thermostatic Radiator Valves (TRVs). However, almost one in 10 (9%) of homeowners said they didn’t have a TRV on any of their radiators. This reveals the opportunity to inform many householders about how TRVs can bring up to 15% energy savings per year.

These findings have led MARC to raise the need for heating engineers and installers to educate their customers about the importance of maintaining radiator health throughout the home. Consequently, the trade body has emphasised the collective effort required to safeguard nationwide radiator health, as Stewart Clements, Director of MARC, commented: “As we enter the winter months in the backdrop of the ongoing cost of living crisis, it is essential that people can affordably and efficiently heat their homes. We’re determined to ensure that homeowners aren’t needlessly raising energy – which could consequently raise their bills – owing to an incorrectly installed or maintained heating system.

“Heating installers and engineers are essential in forcing a widescale change of habit. By advising homes of the benefits attached to maintaining radiator health and a balanced heating system, they could help save their customers around £50 a year, while recommending the fitting of TRVs could save up to a further 15%. It is therefore essential that heating engineers are poised to give advice on how best to make their system work efficiently when they are in touch with customers this winter.”

On National Radiator Day (1 November), MARC is prompting heating engineers to educate their customers about sustaining radiator health and is revealing how they should advocate for efficient practices throughout the home. To mark the day, the organisation has also sent 650 radiator keys to MPs across the UK to challenge them to bleed their radiators, in addition to encouraging their constituents to do the same.

Stewart continued: “MARC is committed to shielding consumers from rising energy bills and it’s evident that a task as straightforward as bleeding radiators, for instance, can provide a huge step in doing so. Heating engineers are urged to endorse homeowners to make sure that their radiator continues to perform optimally by receiving an annual service. Alongside the understanding of when and how to bleed and flush their radiators, which can be promoted through our simple step-by-step guide, this can play a pivotal role in the collective effort of reducing energy bills.”