Winters in Grand Rapids, MI, can be downright frigid. With temperatures in the low teens or even below zero, if you run into home heating problems, it can quickly turn from just uncomfortable into a full-scale emergency.
If you have a boiler heating system in your home, the best thing you can do to make sure it runs all winter is to schedule routine boiler maintenance. Maintenance makes sure your boiler is running properly and that you are getting good heat flow throughout your home before the cold weather hits.
What Is Boiler Maintenance?
If you haven’t thought about boiler maintenance in a while, you are not alone. There’s really no reason for it to be at the front of your mind if your boiler seems to be working.
But remembering to schedule a maintenance appointment can save you from breakdowns and big repair bills down the road. When conducting boiler maintenance, there are several things professionals check for.
Inspecting the Boiler Flame
The boiler flame is a critical part of the system. An issue with the boiler flame is a good indicator of an underlying problem.
The boiler’s flame should usually be clear blue. A clear blue color indicates that the flame is working as it should be. A smoky or yellow flame indicates that there may be some sort of underlying issue that needs to be repaired.
Signs of Underlying Problems
A maintenance professional will thoroughly inspect the entire unit to make sure all parts are intact and working as they should. They will be able to detect issues that may not be obvious to an untrained eye.
HVAC professionals will often inspect:
- Boiler connections and wiring
- Venting systems
- Control settings
- Air inlets
- pH levels
- Heat exchangers
If any of these components are not working properly, an HVAC maintenance technician can recommend any boiler repairs that may be necessary.
Getting ahead of an underlying issue with your boiler can save you lots of headaches and money on repair bills in the future.
Clean the Boiler
A maintenance visit will also include cleaning the heat exchanger and the vents of the boiler. This is a critical part of boiler maintenance because these components are prone to buildup.
Excessive buildup can severely damage the system, eventually resulting in the need for boiler repairs or even a full boiler replacement.
Benefits of Boiler Maintenance
While it may seem unnecessary to schedule a boiler maintenance appointment if your system is working properly, underlying issues aren’t always immediately apparent.
In addition to uncovering hidden issues, there are several benefits to boiler maintenance.
Extend the Lifespan of Your Boiler
Boiler replacement can be costly, so you want your system to last as long as possible. On average, a well-maintained boiler can last about ten to fifteen years. However, if it is not taken care of, the lifespan can be significantly shorter.
Conducting regular maintenance ensures that small issues are repaired in a timely manner, which will help you to get the most out of your boiler.
Boilers, like any appliance, wear down over time and may have to run harder to yield the same results.
It is not always obvious when your boiler is having difficulty keeping up. However, if it is running inefficiently, it could be wearing out faster than it normally would.
Regular maintenance will ensure that your boiler is heating your home efficiently and not running harder than it has to.
Save Money on Utility Bills
If your house seems to be warm, you might not realize that your boiler is costing you more money than it should. If there are any underlying issues with your boiler, the chances are it is using more energy to compensate and heat your home. It may not be super noticeable on your monthly bill, but over months or years, it can add up.
Maintenance ensures that your boiler is in top shape and that it is only using the energy that it truly requires.
Prevent Carbon Monoxide Poisoning
Boilers release carbon monoxide as a byproduct. While this gas is vented to the outside, over time, pipes can develop cracks or leaks. If a pipe is leaking, it can release the toxic gas into your home. A maintenance visit will ensure that all components are stable and operating properly to keep your home safe.
Maintains Your Warranty
Many homeowners are surprised to find that their warranty does not cover boiler repair or boiler replacement if they’ve neglected maintenance.
Most warranties have stipulations that the owner must schedule periodic maintenance from an HVAC professional.
Scheduling maintenance is quick and painless and makes sure that your warranty will be valid when you need it the most.
Save Money on Repair Bills
When homeowners get stuck with a boiler breakdown, they usually say they would have invested in boiler maintenance sooner. This is because repairing a small issue early on is usually easy and relatively inexpensive.
Benefits of Proper Heat Flow
Even if the main living space in your home feels fine, there may be cold pockets or areas of the home that may not be getting proper heat flow. Proper heat flow is critical to the comfort of your home.
Helps to Control the Household Temperature
If your boiler is working properly, you should be able to keep your household at a consistent temperature. Keeping a consistent temperature is not only important for comfort, but also for energy efficiency.
If you do not have proper heat flow, your boiler may have to work extra hard to keep up with the set temperature. In addition, swinging temperatures can cause you to constantly adjust the temperature, which is both inconvenient and a waste of energy.
Reduces Condensation and Mold
Ensuring that your house has proper heat flow is one of the most effective ways to reduce condensation and the risk of mold.
If all of the rooms in your home have good heat flow, it is hard for condensation to remain, making the risk of mold development low. On the other hand, if certain rooms or corners of your house become stale, moisture can accumulate, which creates the perfect breeding ground for mold.
Reduces Impurities and Odors
Just like condensation and mold, impurities and odors thrive in stale environments. Even with the best filtration systems, impurities can enter your home.
Proper heat flow and ventilation ensure that impurities in the air don’t stick around. This is especially important if you have family members with respiratory issues, as they can be particularly sensitive to impurities in the air.
Even the cleanest of homes will start to smell if there is a room or corner of the house without proper heat flow. When your boiler system is working properly, any odors should quickly be filtered out of your home. If you notice unpleasant odors when you turn on the heater, however, it might be a sign that it’s time to call in a professional!
How Can I Schedule Boiler Maintenance in Grand Rapids, MI?
In the Grand Rapids, MI, area, scheduling a maintenance appointment is quick and easy when you partner with the team at Lake Michigan Heating, Cooling, Plumbing. We make the experience hassle-free to ensure your boiler is working all season. We can even help to ensure that you have proper airflow in your home. Whether you are looking for a routine maintenance visit, boiler repairs, or an entire boiler replacement, Lake Michigan Heating, Cooling, Plumbing has you covered. Give us a call today to schedule your appointment or to talk to one of our boiler experts!