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Boiler prep for heating season

Is your boiler ready for the heating season? Do you know where to start? Did you prepare for the season or just figure it worked when you flipped the switch off last spring, flipping it on this fall should pick up right where it left off? Each year we see schools and office buildings calls go up as the season turns cold and people start remembering they even have a boiler on a nice chilly morning. Here are some quick checks to prepare yourself:

1. Leaks: Did the boiler have any issues in the spring when you shut it off? Remember that when you fire it up this fall you are going to get some condensation coming off the boiler. This seems pretty simple to comprehend but we still get calls. Compare this to a pot of water. As it heats up water droplets form around the metal pieces. After the system is about 140°F this should go away. If you did have a leak in the spring, this leak probably didn’t go away so have it inspected by your local repair contractor for a comprehensive review.

2. Combustion: Through the summer things like birds and bees like to found boiler outlets and make nests. This will plug the boiler flues (AND RELEIF VENTS). Make sure to check them as best you can before starting. Once the boiler is ready to be fired stick an analyzer in the stack and check your CO and O2. Compare this to the last time you did readings.

3. Certification: Many states have rules regarding CSD-1 testing or Rule 27 tests. This requires you to have someone with a mechanical license to check you boiler safety limits and prove they are working correctly. Have them check you combustion at the same time.

4. Closed valves: If you have a steam boiler make sure you fill the system up properly. Never store a boiler completely full of water (a debate of wet vs dry lay-ups for another day) and make sure all valves are properly closed and the system is put in proper operating condition before all bypasses are left unattended.

5. Logs: If you don’t have a log, start a log. Log…Log…Log. I can’t say it enough. Start with a baseline and compare it through the year. Contact us if you don’t have one.

Safety and reliability is your friend. There is a saying that says “a running boiler does not fail”. The main point of this is that a boiler that cycles on-off-on-off-on-off fails more often and many times has more issues. If your boiler cycles way to much I can help you. Contact me or email to

Got more questions? Let me hear them and I’ll add them to this list.

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