Why Tune Up Your Boiler?
A boiler is a piece of machinery that can be potentially dangerous if not properly maintained. Typically, a boiler tune up procedure is a bit of preventative maintenance that offers owners piece of mind and can extend or maintain a warranty on a product. There are many different types of domestic boilers, and each requires a specific maintenance that is detailed on individual owner’s manuals.
Because of their intricate and theoretically hazardous nature, it is recommended that annual boiler tune ups are performed by professional heating engineers. There are some things that a boiler owner can do to help ensure that their equipment is functioning well. By performing a DIY boiler tune up, owners can help to prolong the life of their machinery and offer HVAC servicers a simpler task in their annual checkups.
How to Tune Up a Boiler
Check your power. First, owners should run the boiler as a test. As with any major piece of machinery, running the gear in a supervised situation is the perfect way to monitor the function of the machine and check how the functions seem to be doing. Running the boiler in a controlled environment helps to make sure all pieces are in respectable operational condition.
- Check your temperature. While running the boiler, you should check to be sure of a few things. Check to be sure that the boiler is generating warmth. This is, of course, the primary function of your boiler.
- Check your temperature uniformity. Once you have ascertained that your boiler is generating warmth, you should be sure that there is a uniform temperature yield to all sources.
- Check your surroundings. The boiler should not leak or produce alarming sounds.
- Check your gauges. After the boiler has been running for a while, the owner should look at the gauges and valves on the machine, and compare those values with the numbers specified by the owner’s manual.
- Check your oils. Proficient boiler owners may attempt to change the oil filter themselves, but an HVAC professional will be able to decide whether or not the filter needs changed in most situations. The professional may go as far as to oil select pieces and gears on your machine in order to ensure the maximum performance of the boiler.
- Check the fine details. There are a few different tanks and reservoirs on the boiler that can be more closely identified by the manual. These reservoirs include an expansion tank, brine tank, and more. HVAC professionals will go over these tanks to make sure that all the utilities are working properly.
- Check your air. Most boilers come with a carbon monoxide detector, but boiler owners are encouraged to have multiple sensors throughout the building, and checking these detectors as well as performing routine maintenance on them is another crucial step.
- Check your chimney. Lastly, there is the cleaning of the chimneys or coils. Despite how clean you may keep your boiler, even properly preserved boilers develop layers of debris in the burners, coils, draft hood, and chimney. The owner’s manual likely has some information on what an owner can do to help keep their boiler’s ventilation clean.
Boiler Types Maintenance Guide
There are many different types of boilers available on the market today. Some popular types of boilers are as follows: natural gas boilers, biomass boilers, steam boilers, oil boilers, and hot water boilers. Though they are all boilers and all share common tune up properties, each has individual tune up aspects.
Natural Gas Boilers Tune Up
These boilers can use natural gas or propane, and are popular with users who live along a natural gas pipeline or in an area that a high level of natural gas distribution. Yearly maintenance is encouraged and easily booked. The boiler service technician will check the thermostat, filter, and exhaust connections as well as taking a look at the safety controls, ignition, and burners. In addition to looking over all external read out and vents, the boiler technician should check all wiring and reservoirs. They will look for ignition issues and ensure the overall efficiency of the boiler system.
Biomass Boilers Tune Up
These boilers are great options for people who cannot attach to a gas pipeline. Biomass boilers rely on the heat of burning wood, be it logs, wooden pellets, or wooden chips. These boilers require more maintenance than most systems, but the government offers a program known as the Renewable Heat Incentive for owners who maintain their service contracts. The annual service exam will consist of checking for flaws in the readouts of the boilers, as well as looking to see how specific parts of the biomass boiler are functioning. This overview will include a review of the combustion chamber door, ignition fan, burners, combustion chamber itself, and so on. Biomass boilers require a very detailed examination to ensure optimum output.
Stream Boilers Tune Up
These types of boilers heating systems are popular with trains, and most people will have heard of the term steam engine locomotive. These boilers use water and steam to create energy, and require maintenance that is specialized to prevent burns or leakage. Technicians providing an annual service exam for steam boilers will give the boiler gauges a close review, as well as inspecting the piping and finer electrical points of the boiler. The technician will ascertain the proper security of the pipes and inner workings, as well as looking over reservoirs and tanks of the boiler to ensure functioning levels. This is a routine check, and any replacements or part updates could mean that the radiators and boiler must be power flushed.
Oil Boilers Tune Up
Oil boilers use oil to heat water in place of gas. They are popular with energy saving consumers, and many owners ask for a smaller nozzle on their burners to help reduce the heating capacity and ensure efficiency. The HVAC professional should note the boiler’s combustion efficiency, smoke reading, percent carbon dioxide (CO2), and stack temperatures. In addition to noting these things, the technician will carefully review all the gauges and functions of the boiler to ensure that even temperature distribution and ideal heating is occurring within the boiler. Checking the ignition switches and electrical elements that go into the piece are also part of the exam.
Hot Water Boilers Tune Up
Hot water boilers use a hydronic system to provide heat in the form of hot water to each room using piping and a circulation system. Maintenance of this system is crucial to stay ahead of leaks and water damage. Hot water boilers receive maintenance similar to that of a regular gas boiler, with the exception that their examinations go more in depth and carefully review each individual piping aspect of this boiler to rule out leakage or other dangers. The technician will ensure that all parts are functioning properly, and replace any necessary components in a preventative measure to avoid future complications of the boiler. This annual review of a boiler, like the review of any other boiler than the biomass boiler, should take no longer than an hour or so to complete.
Boiler Tune Up Cost Guide
There are many different costs associated with the maintaining the optimum condition of a boiler. In addition to various parts and replacements, the annual service fee for checking on a system and providing maintenance for that system varies.
On average, most routine system checks do not require more than a few hours of having an HVAC technician in your home. An annual service check on a standard gas boiler will cost in the range of £53-£72, with an average of £60. Typically, the installation or repair of a boiler will cause a service provider to power flush the system to ensure no technical difficulties. A power flush should not take longer than one day, and will cost the owner an additional £330-£450, with an average cost of about £375.
Though the traditional boilers run traditional costs, a biomass boiler will cost the owner a bit more in routine maintenance fees. An annual service contract is popular with purchasers, who reap the benefit of a government sponsored promotion of these boilers. A service contract is necessary in order to receive the benefit check for owning this boiler. An annual service fee of approximately £275 is expected.
Boiler Maintenance Saving
By ensuring that your boiler receives yearly maintenance and replacement parts as needed, an owner can overstep literally thousands of pounds in costs. Buying a new boiler because your old one was not properly maintained may seem like the worst thing that could happen, but bear in mind that fires, water leaks, gas leaks, and many other disasters are possible when a boiler is not serviced regularly and watched closely for issues.
The small annual cost of boiler service is greatly offset by the potential issues that an unmaintained boiler presents. As a homeowner, one understands that the heating of a place is not only important, but also necessary, and ensuring that the heat is flowing freely and properly from room to room without causing any dangerous circumstances is crucial. Boiler tune ups are instrumental in preventative measures for any home.