Well, Labor Day has passed and it time to get back to our everyday lives, the summer is over and the colder weather is on the way. It's time to think about your furnace, for some of you it is already a little late, why wait till it is cold outside to find out your boiler or furnace will not fire? That strange noise it was making at the end of the last heating season, that you ignored, saying I will wait till I have a few extra dollars to get this fixed, I promise you that noise did not fix its self. Whatever your circumstance, it is time to get to it. A few things to note: ALL boilers and furnaces need to be serviced by a professional at least once every year, this includes natural gas, propane gas, and oil fired boilers and furnaces, not only will this make your boiler or furnace more efficient, it could save your life.
Oil fired boilers and furnaces will usually make a mess forcing you to decide to call in a professional, NOTE: I'm available to service your Gas or Oil Fired Boiler or furnace, if you live in Orange county New York Call me at 845-325-9830 but gas fired boilers and furnaces will not make a mess (unless it is really in bad shape) But this can be deadly because for one carbon monoxide, an odorless colorless gas, that gas fired boilers and furnaces create when not serviced. You absolutely should have a carbon monoxide detector/s in your home, read the instructions for the proper locations for placing them in your home. I personally prefer the type with the digital display, this will tell you if there are levels of carbon monoxide in your home too low for the alarm to sound, giving you a heads up on a potential problem, plus you don't want your children breathing any levels of carbon monoxide.
All that about the carbon monoxide being said, a carbon monoxide detector IS NOT a replacement for your gas boiler or furnace to be serviced by a professional every year.
Besides the carbon monoxide, the gas valve needs to be checked, a defective gas valve can be extremely dangerous, it can keep on burning gas even after the power to it has been turned off.
The aquastat needs to be checked, it is fairly common for an aquastat to fail, causing a boiler or furnace to be what we call a run a way meaning it will not shut off. Most local codes require a low water cut off and or a secondary aquastat to back up the main aquastat, but many older boilers do not have these safety features, and the backup features also need to be checked every year.
The boiler relief valve needs to be lifted every 3 months when in use, and removed and inspected once every year.
Have you ever seen the Myth Busters plug up the relief valve on a water heater to see what would happen? If not, it blew through the roof of the house, totally destroyed the little house they built for it and then continued to fly about 50 feet into the air, imagine what a cast iron boiler can do.
Even though I help people with their plumbing and heating problems online, I do not recommend doing this yourself, special knowledge and tools are required. Please find a Licensed insured professional to service your Furnace or Boiler this year, make an appointment today, it will be cold before you know it and the real professionals will be very busy.
I know things are tight right now, but you honestly cannot afford to not do this.
Thomas Petito Reardon
Click on this image to see what the tag on your boiler relief valve says.