Expert explains how to clean a radiator to save on energy bills

That layer of dust could be costing your more than looks
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  • Radiators are part of the house we often forget to clean. If you have let a layer of dust build up behind your radiators it is not only unsightly, but could also be stopping your radiator from working efficiently. If you’re guilty of neglecting yours, there are a few simple tips for how to clean a radiator.

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    In summer, radiators might be the last things on our minds. However, Andrew Collinge, a heating product expert at BestHeating explained that we should be removing the dust from our radiators on a weekly basis. This is even more important no that most households are spending an increasing amount of time at home.

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    Image credit: Jody Stewart

    ‘Now that we’re spending more time at home and in our garden, it’s likely that the amount of dust settling in our houses is higher than normal,’ he explains. ‘The majority of dust, about 60 per cent, comes from he outdoors and things we bring inside.’

    ‘Dust settles on radiators easily. But keeping it clean can help lower heating costs as the build-up can prevent heat from escaping. Therefore making your radiators work harder and longer to keep a room warm,’ we adds.

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    Image credit: Polly Eltes

    ‘A few minutes spent dusting your radiators every time you do a weekly clean could result in a large cost saving over time.’

    Radiators can be tricky items to clean. However, if you follow these five steps you should have yours dust free in no time.

    How to clean a radiator

    1.Turn off the heating

    ‘Before you begin cleaning your radiators, it’s important that they are turned off,’ explains Andrew. ‘It is not only safer, but prevents them drawing up more dust while you clean.’

    2.Use a vacuum cleaner

    Before you reach for a feather duster, Andrew recommends using a vacuum to clean in, around and underneath the radiator.

    ‘Use a vacuum to clear as much dust in and around the radiator as possible,’ he explains. ‘If your vacuum has them, use the smaller attachments to get inside down the fins.’

    3. Use a radiator brush

    To reach the remaining bits of dirt use a radiator cleaning brush. If you don’t have one you can easily make your own.

    ‘Take a stick or piece of wood and wrap a microfibre cloth or fluffy duster around it and secure with tape,’ suggests Andrew. ‘To get fid of the smaller pieces that get caught on the radiator fixings, using a hairdryer on a cold setting is an effective way to blow these out down onto the towel.’

    However, remember to put down a towel under the radiator before embarking on this stage to protect your flooring.

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    Image credit: David Parmiter

    4. Wipe down with soap and water

    ‘Fill a bucket with warm soapy water and using a sponge, wipe down the outside of the radiator,’ says Andrew. ‘Ensure you have a lot of soapy suds on your sponge and ring it out so that it is damp but not dripping.’

    Dry your radiator thoroughly with a microfibre cloth to make sure the metal isn’t left to rust.

    5. Give your skirting boards a final check

    After cleaning the radiator, give the surrounding warm and skirting boards a check to see if any of the radiator dust has fallen down.

    ‘These may need wiping down too,’ says the expert. ‘As sometimes the heat can cause dirt and dust to stick to the wall. Give any marks a rub with the soapy sponge being careful not to damage any paintwork.’

    Related: Six easy ways to save money on energy bills in the kitchen

    Are your radiators over due a clean?

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