Are you one of the many homeowners in our area who relies on a boiler for your heating needs instead of the traditional furnace? This is definitely a great choice, especially if you have limited room in your living space for ductwork, since a boiler operates by circulating hot water through concealed pipes to terminal points like radiators or baseboard heaters, where the heat then radiates into the rooms.
Most households that utilize these powerful systems appreciate the comfort and energy savings that they bring. They also like how rarely these boilers need repair. Since boilers contain fewer moving parts than furnaces or heat pumps do, they wear down a lot slower, and don’t require as many repairs as traditional furnaces do throughout their useful lifespan.
However, it’s important that you don’t let this slower aging and fewer repair needs trick you into thinking you boiler system doesn’t need maintenance. Because yes, it does need maintenance!
The “Why” of Boiler Maintenance
It’s first important to consider what fuel type you’re using to power your boiler system. If you’re like many homeowners in our area, it’s likely natural gas. Electric boilers are typically more expensive to operate and not as popular when it comes to achieving optimal home comfort.
The reason we bring this up, is because even though electric boilers need occasional maintenance as well, it’s especially important for natural-gas-powered appliances to get regular inspections to ensure that they operate as safely as possible. Allowing a gas-powered heating system to go without professional inspections and service could lead to potential hazards such as gas leaks from a cracked heat exchanger. Don’t take any chances with your home safety! When you have your boiler professionally maintained on a regular basis, then you don’t have to worry about having health concerns in your home.
Boilers do suffer from a different type of “wear and tear” than furnaces, but they have wear and tear nonetheless—from the exposure to water. Although boilers are constructed in a way to resist corrosion for as long as possible, neglect can allow rust to set in early. When a boiler starts to rust, its tank usually must be replaced, which is an expensive job. If the rust is only on the heat exchanger, professionals can replace this part instead of the whole tank. But, we need the opportunity to find it to begin with!
Routine maintenance helps prevent boiler corrosion and keep them running for many years—sometimes even more than two decades. Leaking is another potential issue a boiler can have, and technicians will always check for leaks along the boiler tank and the pipes when we perform maintenance.
One more maintenance task we do is flushing out the boiler. This is done because the minerals from hard water allow sediment to develop along the bottom of the tank and this sediment can coat the heat exchangers, making for inefficient and ineffective use.
Lastly, boiler maintenance allows us to check the few moving parts the system does have, like the circulator pump. Without these routine checkups and component adjustments, those components can wear down and leave you with a malfunctioning or completely broken down boiler.