For most homeowners, the furnace has long time been the heating system of choice for their homes. Boilers are an alternative to this, mostly found in homes that don’t have a network of ventilation ductwork. If you have a boiler, it operates by circulating hot water through pipes to terminal points in your home, like radiators and baseboard heaters, where the heat then radiates into the rooms.
Most homeowners who utilize these heating systems enjoy the comfort and energy savings (not to mention subsequent monetary savings) they bring. They also appreciate how rarely their boiler needs repair. Boilers have fewer moving parts than furnaces after all, so they wear down slower and will require less fixes over their lifespan.
However, this doesn’t mean that they never need maintenance! Your boiler should never miss a routine fall maintenance appointment. For any type of heating system, we recommend annual maintenance.
“Why Does My Boiler Need Maintenance?”
First off, think about what powers your boiler. Is it natural gas? Right there is a reason—there are electric boilers, though they are more expensive to operate and less popular for home comfort, so we’ve found most homeowners have a gas-powered system.
Any natural gas-powered appliance is going to pose a safety risk. That’s not to say gas heaters are inherently dangerous, but they can become so if not properly cared for. Allowing a gas boiler to go without professional inspections each year can lead to it becoming a hazards, due to gas leaks or a cracked heat exchanger.
Don’t take this chance! When your boiler is maintained each fall, it has the best chance of running without ever creating any health concerns in your home.
The Effects of Water and Metal
Boilers suffer from a different kind of wear and tear than furnaces do, which is wear form exposure to water. Although boilers are constructed to resist corrosion for as long as possible, neglect can certainly cause rust to start in early. And when a boiler starts to rust, its tank usually must be replaced, which is an expensive job when you’re not expecting it!
If the rust is only present on the heat exchanger, professionals can typically replace just this part instead of the entire tank, but we need the opportunity to find the problem in the first place. Maintenance helps you avoid corrosion, and keeps boilers running for up to 20 years or more.
During maintenance, our technicians will check for many things. First off, we’ll check the heat exchanger to make sure there aren’t any potential hazards there. But we’ll also check for any signs of leaking, scaling (the buildup of mineral deposits) or any other issues that can impact the effectiveness of the boiler or your home comfort.
Boilers do have less moving parts than furnace, but they do have some—like the circulator pump—and without routine boiler maintenance, this pump can wear down quickly, leaving you without circulating water.