Boiler malfunctions are a pricey fix, costing thousands of dollars in replacements and property damage. Here’s why it’s important to consider boiler maintenance, according to Warner Service technicians:
Safety Issues and Building Damage
“The majority of boiler failures are caused by malfunctioning low water cutoffs, operator error, poor maintenance and/or corrosion,” according to Contracting Business.
This means that properly functioning control panels and safety devices are essential for any boiler. The only way to ensure everything, including the pressure vessel, is up to standard is through regular boiler maintenance, testing, and inspection.
“Regular boiler inspections are also important for optimal function and energy efficiency,” according to the magazine.
“Boilers are high energy users — typically second only to HVAC systems in annual energy use. Inefficient operation means wasted energy and increased operating costs.”
If you want to save money on your home energy bill, it’s best to invest in proper maintenance and care, especially because most HVAC problems don’t occur suddenly. They develop slowly over a period of time, such as corrosion in the safety valve and sediment collection in the float chamber on the connection lines of the low-water fuel cutoff device.
Inspection Laws Are Getting Stricter
More improvements are being made to residential and commercial boiler regulations. The Maryland Department Of Labor, Licensing & Regulation Boiler and Pressure Vessel Safety - Safety Inspection ensures "that all boilers and pressure vessels are inspected in accordance with Maryland Boiler and Pressure Vessel Safety Act & Regulations.
This responsibility involves ensuring the safe operation, maintenance, repair and alterations of all pressure-retaining objects. The Law also requires that any boiler or pressure vessel that will be installed in Maryland be built to American Society of Mechanical Engineers Boiler and Pressure Vessel Code and be registered with the National Board of Boilers and Pressure Vessel Inspectors.
The Law requires that boilers and pressure vessels be inspected annually or biennially depending on the type of equipment. Boilers shall not be operated without a Valid Certificate of Inspection.
Boilers and pressure vessel installers shall notify the Chief Boiler Inspector at least thirty days prior to installation.
All inspections shall be performed by an inspector commissioned by the National Board of Boilers and Pressure Vessel Inspectors and by the Maryland Commissioner of Labor and Industry and be employed by an Authorized Inspection Agency (AIA). There are about 20 AIAs active in Maryland. The owner shall contract with Insurer or Non-Insurer AIA. If an object is insured then the Insurer shall inspect."
Keeping Your Boiler Top-Notch
- Schedule annual check-ups. Ensure that an experienced HVAC professional services the equipment. The professional should be able to give the equipment a thorough inspection, clean its various parts, identify any issues, and recommend a solution.
- Run it frequently. It’s safe to run it for 15 to 20 minutes every week in order to keep the boiler’s components from going rusty. It’s especially important to perform this routine during the summer, so it’s ready for winter.
- Check the pressure. The boiler’s gas pressure can run low over time, causing underperformance. While you can check the gas pressure and take appropriate measures accordingly, it’s best to call an HVAC tech to do the job right.
- Release the trapped air. If your radiators have air trapped in them, it will halt the system from performing efficiently and put pressure on the boiler, causing your energy bill to skyrocket. Release the trapped air by "bleeding the radiators".
- Look for red signals. Pay attention to unfamiliar, odd noises and marks. This helps you identify any possible problems with the equipment, so you can schedule timely repair.
- Check the ventilation. If your heating equipment is in a closed, compact area, keep it clutter-free. The equipment needs a lot of ventilation to work in its optimal condition.
- Find the carbon monoxide detector. A defective boiler emits carbon dioxide, which is extremely hazardous for the environment, your family, and animals. A carbon monoxide detector is essential to every home because it can easily detect dangerous levels of this particular gas.
For more tips on how to keep your boiler from malfunctioning, download Warner Service's Boiler Maintenance Checklist: