Guest Post


Thursday, 16 August 2012

Tips on Keeping Your Boiler Healthy Yourself

A pinch of prevention is worth an ounce of cure. This not only applies to human health. Machinery and equipment can break down just as well, if maintenance is lacking or inadequate. But, as the saying goes, doing regular maintenance will save the owner a lot more money than conducting extensive repairs. Take your boiler for example, it needs cleaning and inspection from time to time. A respectable HVAC service would probably charge up to $100 for boiler maintenance; while this would seem steep for some, it is far lower than spending $3,000 to replace a broken down boiler, one that would probably serve you for years more if only you didn't skimp for maintenance.

However, if you're an inveterate penny pincher, perhaps a little DIY know-how will serve your purposes better. Here are a few tips on keeping your boiler healthy yourself:

1. Examine the vent pipes for blockages or disjoints.

If an artery blockage could potentially cause heart attacks in humans, the same principle would apply for the vent pipes of your boiler. Check if debris have somehow made their way inside, making the passage of air difficult if not altogether impossible. Metal pipes should be checked periodically for signs of rusting as well. Joints should also be inspected to check if they are still properly connected.

2. Check if the vessel contains excessive quantities of residue or show signs of rusting.

Before checking the interior, make sure that the power to the appliance is turned off. Shine a torch inside and if you see dirt there in large quantities, vacuum it off. A boiler free from residue will work more efficiently and with less power than one with a dirty interior.

3. Gauge to see if oil levels are adequate.

Older circulator pumps need oiling to work efficiently, so check this next. Replenish as required. The main motor itself may need to have its oil levels checked, so include that in your replenishment efforts.

4. Determine if the thermostat is working properly.

Boilers that have seen a fair share of winters often have mechanical thermostats installed, which are less accurate than current digital types. Consider replacing them if they prove tricky to calibrate. Digital thermostats are fairly inexpensive, if only for the benefits they provide as an accurate device for preventing blow ups or breakdowns in your machine.

5. Inspect the Radiator.

A working radiator is required if you don't want your boiler to overheat quickly. Usually, the air vents present a problem, especially if these vents are of the manual sort. Test it by increasing the thermostat settings and letting it run for a few minutes. Shut it off, and then check the vents. Bleed air off these vents until it is water that you see coming out of the vents. You need to this for each and every one of those vents. As with mechanical thermostats, manual air vents have fallen out of favour and have largely given way to float-type vents, which perform better.

6. See if the CO detector is still functional.

If your carbon monoxide gauge is not working properly, you run the serious risk of having your family and yourself exposed to dangerous gas emissions. Better be safe than sorry.

So there you have it: six tips to make sure your boiler is in tiptop shape for the next heating engagement.

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