Boiler Maintenance, A Step By Step Guide

With our boiler maintenance tips you can do it yourself and save. A hvac service call will normally cost around $100. With a little help, you can do it yourself and keep the $100. And, while you are at it, we will show you some simple improvements you can make. These improvements will not only save you money in operation but also help your system to last longer. (The normal boiler maintenance call would not include tips to improve your current system's performance.)

If your unit uses gas or oil, you should start by examining the vent pipes. For an 80% efficient unit this will be made of metal. You should check for rust and make sure the pipe is not blocked. Sometimes, birds will make nests in these. Also, you should make sure that the connections are not coming apart. For a 90% unit, they will be made of pvc. You should make sure the joints are not coming apart and that the pipes are not blocked. Next, you should check the inside for excessive dirt or rust. You can clean as necessary with a vacuum cleaner but make sure you turn off the power first. Now you should oil the circulator pump and motor if it has oiler ports. Most of the newer pumps do not require oil. You should also check your thermostat(s). If they are not digital, they must be perfectly level. If they are not they lose their accuracy.

**HOT TIP** Replacing your old thermostat(s), if they are the old mechanical type, with digital units is a very inexpensive improvement. It is an easy diy project that can pay big dividends!

Now, you can start the system by turning up the thermostat. Allow the system to heat up. Then, if your radiators have manual air vents on them, you should bleed the air out of the system. With a small screwdriver, you crack open the vent until water starts to come out. Then, you move on to the next one. Check for other vents at the boiler and do the same thing. After you have finished, you can set the thermostat to maintain the desired temperature.

**HOT TIP** If you have the old manual air vents, replacing them with automatic float type vents will greatly improve system performance. It is an easy project that will make you more comfortable and save money!

At this time, you should also check your carbon monoxide detector for proper operation. Check to make sure it is not due for replacement. It should be tested at least monthly during the heating season.

Electric Boiler Maintenance

If you have an electric boiler, you can perform the routine service by first shutting off the power to the unit. With a simple voltmeter, you can check to make sure that there is no electricity inside the unit. Then, you can check all of the electrical connections to ensure that they are tight. You should also look for signs of damage to the wiring such as discoloration which is a sign of a bad connection. After you have checked all of the connections, you can turn the power back on and start up the system. Then, you bleed the air and perform the checks as with the gas boilers above.