These Boiler Repair and Maintenance Tips Will Keep You Warm
If you have a water boiler in your home, we don’t need to tell you how important it is. We rely on having on-demand heat during cold months. Boilers circulating hot water are extremely efficient and easier to run than central-air HVAC systems, but they need regular maintenance to operate properly.
Complicating matters is that hot water boilers can also be extremely dangerous. They rely on high pressures to maintain and circulate the hot water, which means if something goes wrong, it can cause a lot of damage. This makes it doubly important to maintain your boiler.
Plus, of course, the more efficient your boiler is, the less energy it will use, and high costs for gas and electricity make it important to conserve fuel whenever possible.
With years of experience providing top-quality boiler repair and maintenance services across New Jersey, the experts here at Air Temp Service Co know how to keep your boiler in top condition! These are some of the most effective and useful tips we have for maintaining a boiler year after year.
Eight Expert Tips for Effective Boiler Repair and Maintenance
1 – Know the warning signs of problems
Boilers rarely fail all at once. They’ll almost always give you some big red flags prior to major problems developing. Know what to look for, and you’ll be able to stay on top of your boiler repair and maintenance needs before there are any big issues.
These warning signs include:
- Leaks or drips from pipes going in and out of the boiler, wasting water and potentially creating low-pressure situations
- Whistling noises, suggesting that seals are breaking down
- Banging or clanking, pointing to mechanical problems within the boiler
- The pilot light frequently going out, suggesting issues with the gas flow
- The boiler switching itself on and off inconsistently, which points to issues with the internal temperature monitoring, or perhaps electrical problems
In most cases, none of these things by themselves constitutes an emergency – but you should still have your boiler checked out soon by expert boiler repair specialists. Small issues can turn into big problems quickly, so don’t wait too long.
2- Keep your boiler well-ventilated
It’s important to maintain airflow around your boiler, to help it regulate its own temperature. Normally the airflow in a basement is fine, but too often, we see people treating their boiler nook like a spare closet, often keeping items dangerously close to the boiler – or even on the boiler itself.
Besides potentially harming the boiler, this represents a fire risk, even if the boiler is well-insulated. It’s a good idea to keep any items at least a foot or two from the boiler, to make sure it has room to “breathe” and also to protect those items from the heat it produces.
3 – Keep an eye on the water pressure
Your boiler should have an external gauge indicating its internal pressure, and the documentation which came with your boiler will tell you the proper PSI. The gauge itself may also have green/yellow/red markings to indicate safe pressure levels.
If the pressure drops too low, your boiler may not be able to circulate water through the house, especially to upstairs areas. If the pressure is too high, it could damage the boiler. So be sure to check the pressure every week or so, to ensure everything is running smoothly.
4 – Inspect the insulation for holes
The insulation around your boiler will help prevent it from radiating too much heat, but there’s always the chance of damage creating tears or holes in the insulation. Even small holes can allow a lot of heat to escape, lowering the efficiency of your boiler, as well as heating up the area.
It’s a quick check and can prevent a lot of needless heat waste.
5 – Periodically bleed your radiators
Over time, radiators will tend to build up small amounts of air inside them. This isn’t particularly dangerous, but it will inhibit the radiator and prevent it from running at maximum efficiency.
Fortunately, nearly all radiators have a small valve specifically for bleeding off air, so make use of it frequently. Just be sure to tighten it securely afterwards, or else the internal pressure might force the valve open again.
6 – Lag (insulate) your external pipes in the winter
During cold winters, you don’t want your outdoor water pipes to freeze up, or that could leave your boiler high and dry. Fortunately, this is easy. Just wrap some insulation around the pipes, which is called lagging. Insulation for outdoor pipes can be found at pretty much any home improvement store, or you could even use old blankets and towels in a pinch.
7 – Switch the heat on at least once a month
Don’t let your boiler remain powered off throughout the warm months, even if you aren’t using it. This is bad for boiler systems and gives them the opportunity to develop a lot of problems during the off-season.
We strongly recommend switching the heat on for around 5-10 minutes around once a month if you aren’t otherwise using the boiler. This helps ensure it remains in good working order even when it’s not in use. In particular, always switch it on sometime in the fall, before it gets too cold. That way, if something’s wrong, you’ll have time to call for professional boiler repair before the bitter New Jersey cold sets in.
8 – Have your boiler inspected annually
Finally, it’s a good idea to get in the habit of calling for a yearly inspection of your boiler, by professionals. There are a lot of issues that a layperson simply wouldn’t be able to spot on their own, especially problems inside the boiler – and you should never try to repair your boiler yourself.
Calling for an annual inspection in the fall is the best way to ensure your boiler is ready to provide heat throughout the winter.
Boiler Repair & Maintenance
Air Temp Service Co. are your New Jersey experts for boiler repair and maintenance, as well as maintaining all other types of HVAC systems. Contact Heating & Cooling services today and schedule an appointment with our HVAC professionals.