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7 Boiler Care Tips For Your Home This Winter
Mother Nature has let us COMPLETELY off the hook so far in fall 2020, with near-record temperatures stretching summer into November here in Massachusetts. But reality is about to set in – both for us and for our heating equipment – as we speed toward the dark and chilly months ahead.
If you own a hydronic heating system (one with a boiler and baseboards or radiators rather than a furnace and vents), you’ll want to keep it running at its best throughout heating season. Here are seven ways to do that and stay safe and cozy as you ride out the New England winter.
Boiler Maintenance Checklist
Make sure your boiler is on. It doesn’t get much more basic than this, but trust us – it happens. Make sure your boiler is switched on, that the circuit powering your boiler hasn’t been tripped, and that you have fuel in your tank at all times. Look for more heating system troubleshooting tips here.
Educate yourself. It’s always helpful to know what you’re dealing with when it comes to heating system troubles. You don’t need to become a certified HVAC technician, but an understanding of boiler basics always helps.
Keep an eye (and hand) on your radiators. If your radiators have cold spots or you notice cool zones in your home, you could have trapped air somewhere in the pipes of your heating system – a problem that will require you to bleed the radiators. Make sure you do it safely – or better yet, call in a pro to do it for you.
Insulate the condensate line. A condensing boiler needs a way to move condensation (water droplets) away from the boiler; that’s what the condensate line is for. Unfortunately, that outlet can become blocked if the pipe freezes. Insulating the pipe should help you prevent this problem.
Fix problems quickly. Don’t wait for an oil boiler problem to get worse – call in a licensed, NATE-certified heating contractor quickly to minimize the damage.
When the time comes, don’t hesitate to upgrade. Professional maintenance can help keep your equipment running better for longer, but no equipment lasts forever. At some point, the best option is simply to install a new boiler. Your heating system will run more reliably and efficiently, and you’ll sleep better at night knowing that your equipment will stand up to any weather challenge.