Boiler Maintenance, Repair, Replacement

The last thing home and business owners want to experience is a boiler breakdown, especially during the cold winter months! When the temperature dips below zero, a non-functioning or inefficient boiler can lead to more than just discomfort; pipes can freeze and burst, potentially causing massive property damage and huge clean-up bills. Of course, regular maintenance will prevent most issues, but knowing the warning signs of a malfunctioning boiler can save the owner a lot trouble.

At Northern Heating and Air, we have the knowledge, the experience, and the right team to provide the sales, service and maintenance you need to keep your home or business safe and running smoothly. (Visit our Specials page for coupons and special offers.)

7 Signs Your Boiler Needs Repair

1. Water Leaks

Water leaks are an obvious sign of trouble, though the actual culprit can be difficult to pin down. The problem can be as simple as a loose pipe connection, however it may be more complex and involve faulty internal components, such as a pump seal or pressure valve. Regardless of the cause, home/business owners should call a technician as soon as possible to avoid property damage and mold infestations, which can be brand new, very expensive headaches.

2. Unpleasant or Unusual Smells

Unpleasant and/or unusual smells around the boiler is a sure signal that something is not working correctly. A burned metal, plastic, or oil smell can indicate overheating circuits or elements. Sulfurous, rotten-egg like smells most likely mean that gas is leaking from somewhere in the boiler system. In both instances, the system should be shut down until a professional can fix the issue. A boiler may emit a burning fabric or dust smell when first activated for the season. This smell is normal, but if it persists for more than a day or becomes noxious, call a skilled technician.

3. Strange Sounds

Boiler systems, depending on age and design, make a variety of sounds when starting up, running, and shutting down. These often become so monotonous that people tune them out like other common background noise. On the other hand, unusual noises stand out like a sore thumb and should be investigated.  A whistling noise, often called kettling, can result when minerals build up on the heat exchanger. The water backs up, boils, and makes a tea-kettle like whistling sound. Clunking, gurgling, and whooshing noises are also troublesome, and technician should be called in to assess the problem.

4. No Heat or Hot Water

A sure – and most obvious – sign that a boiler needs immediate attention is a lack of heat and hot water. More than likely, the malfunction is due to a faulty part that will need to be replaced, but figuring out which one can be tough. The problem could be the thermostat, valve, airlock, or diaphragm, and, to be certain, the owner should call a technician to examine and replace whichever parts are damaged.

5. Water Not as Hot

If the hot water in sinks and showers doesn’t seem as hot as it used to be, there could be an issue with the boiler. This could be caused by a broken dip tube, which would allow unheated water to mix with the heated water, or it could be built up sediment blocking the heating unit. The worst case scenario is that the entire unit could be failing and needs to be replaced. Homeowners may be able to replace the dip tube, but cleaning out or replacing the unit should be done by a professional.

6. High Energy Bills

Homeowners and business owners can head off boiler problems by simply keeping a close eye on their energy bills. Obviously, boilers will work harder and burn more fuel in colder weather, but a sudden unexplained hike or steadily increasing bills can indicate that a boiler system is not running efficiently and needs maintenance.

7. Boiler Turns Itself Off

A boiler that keeps turning itself off is, most often, stopping itself from overheating and melting components. As a precaution, most boilers have a built-in temperature sensor that triggers a shut down before it can become dangerous. This overheating could be due to a number of issues: a closed valve, low water pressure, a thermostat problem, air in the system, faulty heat exchanger, or a malfunctioning pump. Owners should call in a well-trained technician to professionally diagnose and fix the problem.

At Northern Heating and Air, we install, service and maintain high efficiency boilers from Queensbury to Lake George and Ticonderoga, Saratoga Springs to Clifton Park. Review our service areas here, and give us a call today at (518) 745-0401 for all of your heating and cooling needs!

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