Yesterday morning I kept hearing an intermittent knocking sound which sounded like a woodpecker. Since the noise was coming from the basement, not an adjacent tree, Charlie went downstairs to find the source. The furnace was making the noise, and some tiny spot in my brain said “I bet it’s air.” The heating man came later that morning and confirmed that it was air.
How did I know this? I remembered some vestige of knowledge from my childhood about radiators. Sadly, I had forgotten the other bit from then that heard my mother saying she had to “bleed the radiators.” We have lived in this house for twenty years and, although we have a 1929 heating system which uses radiators, we have never “bled” them. The upstairs has always been chilly with very little heat coming from the radiators there, but we had never given it a second thought.
The worker began to “bleed” the radiators using the little key pictured above. Apparently there was so much air in the upstairs radiators that the technician had to go into the basement three different times to deal with an override setting when too much water was accumulating. He said he expected the upstairs would be much warmer and that we might need to partially close the radiators.
No kidding! I am now in my office which is even warmer than the dining room “office” gets with the door shut enclosing the thermostat. The bathroom is toasty. Our bedroom was so hot last night I threw off the covers. So adjust them we will. And let’s hope we don’t go another twenty years without thinking of”bleeding” the radiators!