Did you know over 9 million homes in the U.S are heated with boilers? Gas boilers are common in residential homes today mainly because they are a form of clean heating. They do not produce dust particle and allergens, which can reduce air quality in the house.
Proper boiler maintenance is the key to extending the system’s durability. It also minimizes energy and operating costs and promotes safety. A well-maintained boiler enhances the efficiency and reliability of the central heating system.
If you have a boiler in your home, you probably don’t pay much attention to it. After all, it is installed out of sight in the kitchen, bathroom, or utility room.
However, the heating system requires regular maintenance to operate optimally at all times. In this light, keep reading to find out everything you need to know about proper boiler maintenance.
Check the Boiler’s Water Level
A gas boiler works by heating water that is then pumped around the home. The hot water can also be used in the central heating system. Thus, the level of water in the boiler should be high at all times.
When there is no water in the boiler, the metal parts can overheat and crack at the welds. If you attempt to add water while the parts are still hot, the boiler can explode and cause a fatal accident.
Luckily, boilers have safety features that monitor water level and automatically add more water when it’s low.
You need to check the water levels in the boiler at least once every two weeks. If the level is too low, it means the safety features aren’t working correctly. Call a heating system expert so they can inspect the boiler and replace the safety features.
If an explosion occurs, seek medical help immediately. Check out this site to read more about how and where to get assistance after an accident.
Inspect the Boiler for Leaks
There are several reasons why water leaks aren’t good for your boiler:
- Leaks lower water levels and decrease system efficiency
- They can cause corrosion of exterior metal parts
- They will promote mold growth around the boiler
- Leakage leads to water wastage and increased utility bills
Regularly check the area around your gas boiler for water leaks. Turn the thermostat on high and inspect the system for leaks. If they exist, get a contractor to fix the problem before it results in costly repairs.
Clean Flues and Air Vents
Blocked air vents prevent a boiler from working correctly. Blocked flues prevent fumes from being discharged from the system, and this can cause carbon monoxide poisoning in the home.
Check your boiler’s manual to locate the air vents and flue. Inspect them for any blockage from dirt and debris. If they are clogged, clean them to facilitate smooth airflow.
For boilers whose flues and air vents are installed in hard-to-reach areas, you should contact an expert for inspection and cleaning. Do this at least once a month to avoid carbon monoxide hazards in your home.
Flush the Boiler Every Year
Do you use hard water in your home? If so, you need to flush your boiler at least twice every year.
Hard water contains mineral deposits and sediment that can build up in your boiler and cause scale. Scale damages the internal parts and leads to a spike in energy consumption.
Once the scale accumulates in the tank, it can cause the heater to stop working altogether. Luckily, you can prevent this by flushing your boiler.
Flushing involves getting rid of all the water in the boiler and cleaning it to eliminate scale. Flush the boiler with clean water and use a descaler.
Note that even homeowners who don’t use hard water may benefit from boiler flushing once every year or two.
If your water is unfiltered, it can deposit sand and sediment in the boiler as well. You need to flush the boiler to maximize its performance and efficiency.
Conduct Annual Boiler Maintenance
Every year, you should have one professional service for your boiler. During the service, the heating system expert should perform the following tasks:
- Conduct a gas safety check
- Inspect safety features and operating controls
- Examine the venting system
- Carry out a comprehensive inspection of the heating system
- Inspect electrical wiring and connections
- Check and clean the burner assembly
- Perform a power flush on the system
These annual checks will significantly improve the performance of the boiler system. Since it is possible to forget to schedule for boiler maintenance, we recommend you get a service contract.
Find a company that offers gas boiler service plans. This way, you’ll get professional preventative maintenance and servicing every year.
Protect Your Boiler During Winter
The cold season is particularly harsh on exterior parts of your heating system. If the pipes freeze, they cause system blockage, which increases pressure in the boiler.
Increased pressure leads to a system malfunction, and you’ll not get hot water. Protect your external pipes during the winter to ensure a constant supply of hot water.
We recommend you have the heating on for a couple of hours every day to prevent freezing. If you are on holiday, set the gas boiler on a timer or have someone switch it on every day.
Look out for Warning Signs
Even with regular boiler maintenance, problems can creep up on you when you least expect them. Thus, you should always be on the lookout for warning signs of trouble. Some of the key things to watch out for include the following:
- Clunking noises
- Black, sooty marks around the boiler
- A yellow or smoky flame
If you notice any of these problems, something is wrong with the boiler. Contact a plumber immediately for inspection and repairs.
Maintain Your Boiler for Optimal Performance
Regularly inspecting a gas boiler is not a fun task. However, it is necessary if you want an efficient, reliable, and safe boiler in your home. Follow the boiler maintenance tips we’ve shared here to enjoy hot water all year round.
Remember to check out our blog for more tips on how to enhance the efficiency of other systems in your home.