• Anthony Ragno

Making Sure Your Boiler is Running at Optimal Efficiency


Heater Boiler - Ragno

If you are looking to lower your business expenses, one of the most useful things you can do is ensure your building systems work at maximum efficiency.


From minimizing water usage with water monitors to switching to LED lightbulbs and providing your heating or cooling systems are properly maintained, the key to saving energy costs is to maximize efficiency.


Your building's boiler lies at the heart of your building's heating system. No matter the type of boiler you have, it functions by expending energy to heat the water that passes through, either creating steam or elevating water temperatures.


Once the heated water or steam is ready, it gets sent through pipes to your radiators or pipes system, warming the building.


When your boiler is not working at its optimal capacity, it can end up costing you money.


If you are looking to lower your business operating expenses and reduce strain on your boiler heating system, we have some tips to ensure it works at optimal capacity.




In this article, we will share six practical tips on how to keep your boiler in top shape and working condition throughout the year:




What is Boiler Efficiency?


Boilers are typically one of the best ways to heat your home or business in terms of cost and air quality.


Your building's boiler can run between fifty to ninety percent efficient, depending on the unit's age. The typical lifespan of a boiler is between fifteen and thirty years.


With time, your boiler will experience wear and tear that may slow it down or cause it to work inefficiently.


A boiler loses a lot of thermal energy in the boiler water. Ideally, your boiler will generate the smallest amount of flue gas at the lowest possible temperature. These conditions will allow your boiler to run at its best or nearest to maximum efficiency.


What does this mean for your building? In simple terms: your boiler brings in cool air, heats it, and pushes it out the stack. If the stack's temperature is high, your boiler releases more energy out with the flue gas. Whenever you lose steam, hot water, heat, or condensate, you lose BTUs—AKA efficiency.


Therefore, when you are looking to reduce your overall operating costs, making your boiler more efficient is the answer.



Here’s what you can do to make your boiler run more efficiently:




Lubricate Regularly



Your boiler is a complex system with many parts that can get stuck because of dust, debris, and dirt that is left to collect.


The unit should be lubricated regularly to keep the boiler working as effortlessly as possible.



The parts that moved continuously in the same way (the fans and pumps) warrant special attention.


Your boiler should be checked by a boiler professional regularly. The professional will check the system's moving parts for damage, wear and tear, and lubricate as needed.




Inspect the Unit


For your boiler to continue to operate correctly and efficiently, you should regularly have your system's pressure and flame inspected.



The Flame


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The boiler's flame must be blue. Blue means complete combustion and that no gas is wasted in the process. If the flame is yellow, red, or orange, it is a sign of incomplete combustion, and you will need to call your boiler professional immediately.



The absence of a blue flame can mean that the unit is emitting carbon monoxide, and you are risking further, more catastrophic damage without intervention.



Pressure


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Check the pressure gauge on the boiler regularly. Low pressure is a common complaint with boiler systems and typically occurs after a boiler has been idle for some time (like over the summer).



Low pressure means that your boiler is not running efficiently and can damage your system.



High pressure, on the other hand, can lead to explosions in extreme cases.




All of the above scenarios warrant a call to your boiler professional.


They will be able to assess the severity of the situation and offer you an appropriate solution.




Clean Your Boiler


Boilers need regular cleaning, inside and out. Dirt, debris, and dust from the environment, as well as byproducts of the heating process, can bog down your boiler and cause it to become less than efficient.


Most importantly, the system's internal components should be cleaned, with extra focus on the flues and air vent damper.


Your boiler's surrounding area should be cleared of clutter and flammable items and swept or vacuumed for dust and dirt.


Your boiler needs proper ventilation, and being surrounded by clutter will not allow it to breathe enough to work efficiently.




Bleed Your Radiators


You might find a radiator that is cold to the touch from time to time, even when turned on. This is usually an indication that air is trapped in the radiator, which means that your boiler is working harder to heat your building.


Cold spots can occur because of poor ventilation. Trapped air can prevent water from heating the entire radiator, and you need to bleed the radiator to alleviate it. Cold spots can make your utility bill skyrocket and shorten your boiler's lifespan.


Calling a boiler professional to release the radiator's air (or bleed) will keep your radiator working to keep your building comfortable and your boiler working efficiently.




Inspect for Damages


Even though you probably aren't a boiler professional, you can perform a visual inspection of your system. Check your boiler and its surroundings for dripping or pooled water, cracks, gas or fuel leaks, or foul smells. If you spot anything out of sorts, or you suspect that something isn't right, call your boiler professional right away.




Schedule Inspections


Professionals should inspect your boiler annually and before turning on the system.


During your inspection, a boiler professional will examine each part and promptly repair or arrange for repair.


Depending on your contract, you may choose to include an annual cleaning in your inspection service, especially if your boiler must undergo New York's emissions testing.


Hiring a boiler professional, like Ragno Boilers, ensures that qualified professionals are servicing your system. Ragno Boilers has over 87 years of service behind them.


Take Away: Regular maintenance and scheduled inspections will ensure your boiler runs smoothly and efficiently, extending the life of your system and putting cost savings in your pocket.


Ragno Boiler Maintenance






If you are ready to have your boiler inspected, need a repair, or your boiler needs replacing, Ragno Boiler Maintenance is ready to help.


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