Written by Brad Crawford
Boiler repair can be avoided with regular maintenance– keeping your boiler running efficiently is a little like keeping your car running efficiently, regular servicing is the answer. Just as with your car,a regularly maintained boiler will save you money in the long run and not let you down when you need it the most. You should make sure that your boiler is regularly maintained to avoid the need for costly repairs. At the very least, an annual checkup is required to ensure that your home stays toasty during the cold winter months.
So what does a boiler do and what are some of the common problems to be on the lookout for? If you notice any of these problems, then it’s time to call in a specialist in boiler repair – it may even be too late and replacement could be the only answer.
• Lack of heat and hot water. The main function of a boiler is to heat your home and heat your water. If you have neither, then you know there is trouble. This trouble may be elevated to Trouble (with a capital “T”) in the winter months.
• Drips and leaks are a sure sign that something is happening with your boiler that really shouldn’t be happening. The severity and cause of the problem depends upon where the drips and leaks are actually coming from.
• Strange noises, banging, gurgling, whistling, and things that go “bump” in the night. This could be caused by any number of issues, such as air in the system or a sign that the water pressure is far too low.
• Losing water pressure. If your usual high water pressure is reduced to a trickle, this could also point to boiler problems. Perhaps your boiler needs a replacement pressure relief valve. You’ll want to call in the boiler repair professionals as soon as you notice this type of
• Thermostat related problems. Maybe your thermostat appears to have “lost its way” and switches on or off when you don’t want it to, or it simply ignores the temperature controls you have in place and leaves you sweltering one minute and freezing the next. Investing in a
new thermostat with increased energy efficiency can save you money and hassle.
• Boiler switching off when it’s not supposed to. This could be because of low water pressure or a faulty valve, problems with the circulatory air pump, thermostat problems – there are a whole heap of possibilities here.
• Heaters not heating up. This could be because of corroded pipe work, air in the system, sludge, or something else preventing the hot water to flow freely around the home. Your system may need to be chemically cleaned and flushed by the professionals.
If you notice any of these boiler problems then a boiler repair professional should be called to your home as soon as possible.
So, what are some other things do you need to look out for while you’re on “boiler alert?” It can be pretty cold and miserable to live in a house without hot water or heat during the winter, even if it’s only for a few short days–that is, if you have the necessary funds to pay for your boiler repair. You can bet your bottom dollar that your boiler will give up the ghost when the temperature and your bank balance are at their lowest.
The only sensible solution to this problem is to be pro-active. It’s been said before and it will be said again, regular boiler maintenance is the best, most cost-effective method of keeping your boiler running all year round.
Here are a few other signs which could point to the fact that your boiler is in desperate need of a service.
Old age takes its toll on many things – people, cars, houses, pets, and boilers. Boilers have an average life expectancy of around 15 years, so if your old faithful is heading into the twilight zone, then it could be time to go shopping. If you wait until your boiler goes BANG you won’t have the necessary time to shop around for the best deal. If your old boiler uses a pilot light for starting the burner then you can be pretty sure that it’s at least 25 years old.
Rising heating bills are another sure sign that a little boiler repair is called for. As boilers get older they lose efficiency which means increased heating bills. Regular maintenance can help your boiler to run at its peak and save you valuable dollars.
If your house has “hot spots” and “cold spots” it could be another sign that the boiler is in need of repair or replacement. Efficient heating systems disperse the heat equally to coincide with the setting on the thermostat. You should be able to set it and forget it (and stay warm and comfortable).
Just like cars, once old boilers start to break down in one area you can be pretty sure that the whole thing is getting worn and unreliable. If your boiler breaks down every winter, even after an annual service then you should seriously start to consider searching for a new solution to your heating and hot water problems.
One last but very important issue about inefficient boilers is not only the comfort of your family but also their health. Boiler repair is essential for the safety of your family. Badly maintained boilers can develop leaks of carbon monoxide which can quickly prove fatal for the entire household.Carbon monoxide is colorless, tasteless, you can’t smell it, you won’t even know it’s there . . .it is also deadly. Leaks can cause queasiness, headaches, flu-like symptoms, disorientation, and burning sensation in the nose or eyes. If you, or any member of your family, suffer from any of these symptoms, open the windows to ventilate your home and call the boiler repair service as soon as possible.