Energy Saving Tips: Boiler Maintenance

by | May 15, 2013

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Well, we are finally out of the grips of cold weather. Your boilers can finally rest after a long and busy cold season. But remember, this is the time of year to examine your boiler system. So with that in mind, here are some maintenance tips to insure your boilers will continue to function reliably and properly and save you money.

Boiler Maintenance

Yes, investment. Little affects the bottom line (and those who administer it) more than suddenly having to shell out big bucks to replace a boiler with avoidable damage. So the first tip is to implement a regular maintenance and inspection program with a qualified contractor. Such a professional should come at least annually to inspect. Here are some of the items that should be checked at a minimum during the review:

  • Make sure the shut off valves function properly. Check for water leakage. If there is any sign of potential leakage, have a leak test performed.
  • Check the refractory for integrity to ensure it is properly protecting critical portions of the boiler.  Check for broken pieces or even cracks, and repair if needed.
  • Check the functioning of controls, safety devices, and indicators, including the low-water cutoff devices and regulators, pressure gauge, safety valves, and the pressure release valve. Any that are not working properly puts the boiler at risk of major structural damage.
  • Check your fuel feed system and burners, particularly if your boilers use liquid fuels. They should be inspected and cleaned. Not doing so will result in inefficient combustion and heat transfer, resulting in higher fuel costs and less effective heating. Related to this is to clean or replace any fuel filters so as to maintain effective fuel flow, without which damage could occur.
  • Be sure to clean boiler heat transfer surfaces regularly to remove buildup of soot.  Soot can act as an insulator which cuts down on the efficiency of the heat transfer between combustion gas and steam generation.

When inspecting your boiler, remember to look for any signs of corrosion, overheating, or erosion, as well as any leaks from the boiler or external piping. These items can be signs that the boiler is not working properly and should be repaired immediately.

Marc Karell is the owner of Climate Change & Environmental Services. CCES technical experts can help you perform such site-specific evaluations of your energy equipment, which can reduce your risk of failure. Or we can take the longer view of your energy profile and recommend and implement cost-saving strategies. See our website: for more information. Contact us today.

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