Ten Tips for Boiler Maintenance
Your boiler is arguably the most important part of your home. So, while it keeps you comfortable in the cooler months, it is also a complex system that has the potential for danger.
Boilers can use a variety of fuels for power. Gas, wood, and oil are the most commonly used fuels, but there are others as well. Because of the potential danger that can be present in each type of boiler, boiler maintenance should be regularly completed by a certified boiler contractor.
A boiler contractor will be able to recognize exactly what your boiler needs in terms of maintenance. And in particular, they will know how to clean and maintain the boiler, specifically for the type of fuel used.
Outside of these larger repairs, there are some things that a homeowner can do to maintain their boiler. These minor maintenance techniques can mitigate the need for major repairs, and prolong the life of the boiler itself.
Here are our 10 tips to keep your boiler in tip-top shape:
1. Do a Test Run
Prior to colder weather, the first step for boiler maintenance is to give your boiler a test run. This means you will need to turn the system on and ensure that it is operational.
A good rule of thumb is to run the boiler for approximately 30 minutes and observe what follows. You will want to confirm that: the boiler is not leaking water, there are no abnormal or loud noises coming from the boiler or pipes, and there is an output of heat to the vents and radiators.
If any of these issues are present, call a boiler contractor. It is important to wait until the boiler has cooled to complete any other maintenance.
2. Check the Boiler Pressure
It is a good idea to check your boiler’s pressure gauge. Preferably, the gauge should be between one and two bars (12-15 psi).
The boiler’s pressure is measured by the pressure relief valve and expansion tank. Anything less than this reading, and you should call a boiler contractor to repressurize your boiler.
3. Check the Boiler Temperature
Boilers typically have an array of temperature controls and gauges that control the thermostat, circulating pump temperature, boiler water temperature, and safety limits.
Your boiler’s operating instructions will dictate the control settings, appropriate readings, and how to troubleshoot the system. If you are unsure of how to check the temperature, or it seems out of the ordinary, call a professional boiler contractor.
4. Turn on Your Heat
Turn on your central heater once a month (yes, even in summer) to make certain that it runs efficiently. When you run your boiler monthly, you will help to eliminate any grit or debris that may have accumulated while it sat idle.
Turn the heat on for 15 minutes once a month to also allow the parts to move after no use. This will ensure that your boiler and heat work when the weather gets colder, and you will reduce the risk of boiler breakdown.
5. Check Your Carbon Monoxide Detector
As with all heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) units, there are risks associated with the systems. Even though the chances of being poisoned by carbon monoxide are low, it can be deadly to skip a carbon monoxide detector check.
A faulty boiler can produce and emit carbon monoxide. You should have one or more carbon monoxide detectors placed around your home.
You should also test your carbon monoxide detector(s) to ensure that they work correctly and have a sufficient battery charge. This task can be done at least every six months.
6. Check Your Radiators
In order for your boiler to work properly and efficiently, your radiators must be in good working order.
Check your radiators for cold spots—you may need to have your radiators bled. It is crucial to check this prior to cold temperatures so that your central heating system is working properly when you most need it.
All HVAC systems need space to work properly and efficiently. Your boiler needs room to be ventilated properly, so it is important to remove anything that could interfere with the ventilation.
It is also critical to keep your radiators clear so that the heat can circulate the room properly.
8. Replace the Oil Filter
An oil-fired boiler may need the oil filter replaced annually. The boiler and oil supply will need to be shut down in order to remove the oil filter. Find the oil filter and remove the cover.
Remove the used filter and replace it with a new one. Your user guide will explain the process in detail, but if you are not comfortable with this task, your boiler contractor can complete the task as part of regular maintenance.
9. Prevent a Frozen Condensate Pipe
Your external condensate pipe is susceptible to cold temperatures and can freeze. Frozen pipes can lead to a clog that causes your boiler to cease function. This means your home will be cold and can lead to other problems as well.
Foam insulation can mitigate this issue. Another way to prevent a frozen condensate pipe is to ensure that your thermostat is turned up to stop the formation of condensation.
10. Bring in a Professional
Your boiler is a complex system, so you may find yourself unsure of how to maintain it by yourself. If you encounter any problem with your boiler or heating system, it is important to call a professional boiler contractor.
Ragno Boiler Maintenance is efficient, professional, and will provide you with boiler maintenance so that you can rest assured that your boiler and heating system will work as they should and keep you safe and comfortable.