Don’t Let Your Boiler Be the Grinch This Holiday Season

woman wearing hat and covered in blanket is unhappy in chilly homeOnce the holidays arrive, our thoughts turn to good times with family and friends, both near and far. We look forward to twinkling lights, giving gifts, food, and celebrations. When we have loved ones gathered in our homes, the last thing we want to think about is our heating system failing. For many people with boiler heating systems in their homes, the boiler currently installed may have some years on it.

Boiler heating is the second most popular type of heating system in North America, following furnace heating. Unlike a furnace, that moves heated air throughout your home, a boiler system produces radiant heat by moving heated water throughout radiators in the home.

The average boiler lasts around 15 years with annual maintenance. But the older a boiler gets, the harder it must work to heat your home. And, the more likely it is that it will need boiler repairs. Don’t let your boiler ruin the festivities this holiday season – notice the signs that it may need repairs before the family starts gathering in your home. Below, we’ll share six of the main signs your boiler will give if it needs repairs, and how T.F. O’Brien can help. Keep reading to learn more!

6 Ways to Tell If Your Boiler Needs Repair Services

To avoid a full breakdown, it’s important to see the signs that your boiler may be giving you that it needs repair. Here are a few of the ways your boiler may tell you that it’s time to call your HVAC professional:

  • If you notice water around your boiler or see a leak, you should call for repairs right away. A leak can often be remedied quickly by your HVAC technician, but if left unchecked it can lead to damage to electrical components, flooding in your home, and water damage.
  • Low Water Pressure: Weak water pressure can indicate a boiler issue, such as a leak or problems in the boiler’s expansion tank. If pressure drops below the minimum level, your boiler’s safety cutoff switch will automatically turn your boiler off.
  • Radiators Not Heating: If your radiators are not heating properly, there could be air in your system due to a range of possible causes, including sludge buildup. Your technician may need to provide a full system bleed and chemical flushing.
  • Strange Noises: Usually, boilers operate relatively quietly. So if you notice an unusual noise coming from your boiler, you should call to have it checked out as soon as possible. Gurgling noises can indicate air in your system while clanking and banging sounds can mean combustion problems.
  • Pilot Light Issues: If your boiler’s pilot light isn’t staying lit, it could be the result of a dirty or damaged thermocouple. The thermocouple is an automatic safety shutoff device that keeps the gas valve from opening if the pilot light goes out.
  • Unusual Odors: If your boiler has not been working as it should and you notice an unusual, foul smell, this should not be ignored. That’s because it could be the result of a carbon monoxide leak. While CO doesn’t have an odor itself, the odor comes from your boiler’s failure to burn properly. A carbon monoxide leak can quickly lead to illness and can even be fatal, so if you suspect a leak, leave your home immediately and call 911 for assistance.

Of course, there are other signs such as increased energy use, higher utility bills, and inadequate heating in general. Even if you’re not entirely sure if your boiler needs repair, it’s best to err on the side of caution and call your HVAC contractor.

T.F. O’Brien offers complete boiler services to meet your needs.

Don’t let a costly boiler breakdown be your Grinch this holiday season – you’ll stay toasty warm in your home all winter long when you choose T.F. O’Brien to provide you with complete boiler services. Whether you need boiler maintenance, repair, or installation, we can help. Just give us a call at 516.488.1800 and we’ll be more than happy to help you with your boiler needs.