Well, Labor Day has passed and itís time to get back to our everyday lives.
The summer is over and the cold weather is on the way.
It's time to think about your boiler or furnace, for some of you it is already a little late.
Why wait till its 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 call in a professional.
Gas fired boilers and furnaces will not make a mess (unless it is really in bad shape)
But gas boilers and furnaces cause Carbon Monoxide.
A clean gas boiler or furnace will cause safe, low levels of Carbon Monoxide that go up the chimney and not into the living area of your home.
A gas boiler or furnace that is not cleaned every year can cause high dangerous levels of carbon Monoxide that will get into the living areas of your home.
Note: you cannot know a gas boiler is dirty by looking at it; a very small amount of dust in the burner tubes can make a big change in the gas to air mix, causing very high levels of carbon monoxide.
You 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.
A carbon monoxide detector IS NOT a replacement for your gas boiler
or furnace being serviced by a professional every year.
The gas valve needs to be checked, a defective gas valve can be extremely dangerous, and it can keep on burning gas even after the power to it has been turned off.
The aquastat (a control that controls the water temperature in the boiler) needs to be checked, it is fairly common for an aquastat to fail, causing a boiler or furnace to be 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
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 the images to see what the tag on your boiler relief valve says.