Boiler Maintenance Tips for the Holidays

Boiler Maintenance Tips for the Holidays

Boiler Maintenance Tips for the Holidays

  • Heating
  • Plumbing

Hot water is essential to your well-being and your health. And during the holidays, you need it for everything from cleaning pots and pans after a festive meal to taking a long, luxurious bath once all your guests have gone home again. But if your boiler is not working properly, then your life suddenly becomes a whole lot less comfortable. That’s why we’ve put together a list of boiler maintenance tips for the holidays:

  • Check the gas light. The gas light should burn a steady blue. If it’s yellow or some other color or if you notice soot marks around it, then it’s a sign there’s something wrong with the combustion. Call a professional immediately instead of trying to fix it yourself.
  • Remove any clutter. You need to maintain at least two feet of clearance around the appliance at all times. During the holidays, this can be more challenging, especially if you’re looking for extra storage for gifts, decoration boxes or other holiday-related items. Nevertheless, since this is about safety, you still need to keep the boiler free of clutter.
  • Perform a visual inspection. Inspect all sides of the appliance for dings, dents or leaks. If you notice serious damage, corrosion, or a leak, you’ll need to get it fixed. You should also carefully check the valves and pipes for leaks or other damage.
  • Make sure the boiler has the right pressure. While your boiler is properly calibrated for the correct pressure when it’s first installed, it will lose pressure over time. This is completely normal, so there’s no need to worry. However, you do need to maintain correct pressure. The best way to go about doing this is to review the manufacturer’s manual for the correct pressure and follow the instructions on how to adjust it.

More Advice for Safe Boiler Ownership

In addition to these tips, you need to keep your and your family’s safety top of mind. When a boiler malfunctions, it can release carbon monoxide — an odorless, clear and tasteless gas that can be fatal for people and pets. Because it’s basically impossible for humans to detect, you need to make sure you have a working carbon monoxide detection system installed. It’s the only way to guarantee you and your family will be alerted in time in the unfortunate event of a carbon monoxide leak due to a malfunctioning boiler. 

Finally, even if you’re good at maintaining your boiler yourself, you should also schedule annual tune-ups by a professional technician. He or she can perform a good cleaning of all the appliance’s parts, check to make sure they’re in good working order and replace any that aren’t. Your technician will also advise you about your options when it’s time to replace your current boiler. 

Call Papalia Home Services Today!

If you need boiler service after reading our boiler maintenance tips for the holidays then contact Papalia Home Services today and keep you house warm through the season!

 

By admin

10 Warning Signs That a Furnace Replacement Is Imminent

10 Warning Signs That a Furnace Replacement Is Imminent

10 Warning Signs That a Furnace Replacement Is Imminent

  • Heating

10 Warning Signs That a Furnace Replacement Is Imminent

The summer is fast fading and when that happens we know what to expect – shorter days and cooler nights.  If you are a homeowner who lives in a snowy climate, chances are you will be checking your furnace for proper performance.  Now would be a good time to troubleshoot it or you may not have heat during the fall and winter. A furnace that hasn’t been tuned up will run you into high energy costs, not to mention the price you must pay for maintenance or repairs. Getting it done now will give you peace of mind, ensure that you have reliable heat for the winter and save you the risk of replacement later, or having to worry about repair costs.  Here are 10 warning signs that a furnace replacement is imminent.

1. Your Furnace Sounds Like a Monster

No furnace is completely soundless, but if it is making noises like a hungry tiger on the prowl for food -groaning, whining, banging – repair may include replacing a loose belt, priming the ignition, or finding the correct component to replace it with.  Troubleshooting as soon as you hear those noises and you will be on your way to to quickly remedying the situation.

2. Turning Up the Thermostat Doesn’t Do the Job Anymore

Your natural reaction to feeling cold is to turn up your thermostat to a temperature where you feel comfortable again.  Lately, however, this just doesn’t work anymore. Now you won’t have the proper heat during the cold season months.  This suggests that the thermostat may be on the blink, or your ducts might be leaking.  For constant, reliable heat, call in a specialist to see if the problem is your thermostat and he will suggest a replacement.

3. Your Electric Bill Skyrocketed

When you’re paying more than you normally do for electricity it means your furnace isn’t working properly.  Rather than doing guesswork , it is best to call a specialist in so that they can remedy the problem.

4. Yellow Pilot Signal

If you notice that the pilot light on your furnace is glowing yellow you probably think everything is alright. This is just as big a warning as the yellow traffic signs on street corners.  A yellow light indicates that the gas balance of your furnace is not in good condition.  What you want is for the flame to be blue, which means that the gases are perfectly balanced.  Yellow means that carbon monoxide is being emitted, which is dangerous, and lethal to you and your family.

5. You Have Difficulty Starting and Keeping Your Furnace On

This is a sure sign that you need furnace repairs.  Problems can range from improper wiring, a broken fan motor or getting a new pilot light.  Most furnace repair companies will provide easy financing provided you catch the problem before it becomes too severe.

6. Your Family is Experiencing Respiratory Problems

When your furnace needs fixing you may notice that it is linked to frequent problems with breathing such as asthma and chest related illnesses.  A system that doesn’t work properly pours dust, mold and other pathogens in the air which circulate in your home. Diminished air quality is an incentive for getting your furnace fixed as soon as possible.

7. Hot and Cold Spots

If you constantly feel a draft while your furnace is on it means that it is no longer strong enough to heat your entire home.  If you find ice forming on your roof this may indicate that the heat from your house is escaping through the attic rather than keeping place in the living section where it is supposed to be.  Getting your furnace tuned-up will provide greater efficiency by getting rid of those cold and hot spots.

8. Air Condensation

You may not need furnace repairs for condensation, but if it keeps up it could mean you’ll be making constant calls for checkups that could lead to a higher risk of replacement. It is best to only allow two minor furnace issues occur in succession before you call for a maintenance person.  

9. Your Furnace is a Dinosaur

The average furnace last between 10 to 20 years with a good unit lasting into the upper level of that range. If you have had your furnace for over 15 years, now is a good time to begin looking for a new one.  A new furnace gives constant, reliable heat, eliminates repair costs and maintenance visits.

10. Your Furnace Gives Off an Unusual Odor

Your furnace is only supposed to have the scent of fresh gas or oil if you are using it for the first time of the season.  If after several consecutive uses, there is still a strange smell during your generator use, then something isn’t normal. Contact a specialist right away to diagnose the problem.  Strange odors are more serious than you might think.  Not only does it mean your unit is not functioning properly, but it also poses safety hazards to your environment.

Call Papalia Home Services today if you check any of our 10 warning signs that a furnace replacement is imminent!

By admin

6 Common Heating Repairs You May Need Before Winter is Over

common heating repairs to keep your home warm this winter

6 Common Heating Repairs You May Need Before Winter is Over

  • Heating

There’s a good chance your furnace is overworking itself to keep you warm this winter, which means it may need a few repairs before spring is here. The last thing you want is a busted furnace while it’s still below freezing outside in Acton. Without the proper maintenance and occasional repair however, your furnace can wear down. It losing its efficiency which costs you higher utility bills, and eventually breaking down altogether. The winter season puts enough strain on your furnace, and damages left untreated can not only result in costly repairs but a dangerous fire hazard. Luckily most furnace problems can be solved with these six common heating repairs.

 

How to Ensure Your Furnace Works Year-Round

Your furnace is a complicated appliance with several components and a ventilation system. Dirt, debris, and a lack of ventilation are common causes for furnace problems but are easily avoided with the right cleaning and care. Some issues are trickier to detect without professional help, but all furnace issues should be repaired as soon as possible.

Try the following repairs to keep your furnace running right:

Change the air filter.

One of the most common heating repairs is a dirty filter. How often you should change the air filter will depend on the size of your home, how much you use the furnace, and if you have pets. Your furnace needs proper ventilation in order to function properly, and a dirty, clogged air filter can cause it to overwork itself to heat your home. Changing the air filter at least once a year can help increase your furnace’s lifespan and efficiency.

Fix the pilot light.

A faulty pilot light not only makes it difficult for your furnace to heat your home but, it can also cause a fire hazard. If you suspect your furnace’s pilot light is damaged, call Papalia Home Services immediately. Gas-fueled furnaces, for example, should always have a blue pilot light, meaning that the flame is receiving enough oxygen. A yellow light indicates that the amount of oxygen used to combust fuel is restricted and it’s producing carbon monoxide. Carbon monoxide is an odorless, colorless gas that is deadly. If you see a yellow flame, call for service as soon as possible. 

Replace the thermostat.

Sometimes the issue has nothing to do with your furnace at all. A thermostat that’s either faulty or installed in the wrong location could cause your furnace to work more than necessary. If your furnace seems to be cycling more than usual or you feel a fluctuation in temperature, the issue may be the thermostat. If you need to replace your thermostat, now may be a good time to upgrade it to a smart thermostat, which can allow you to monitor your energy usage and even schedule different heating settings.

Check the switches and breakers.

As odd as it sounds, sometimes all your furnace needs is to be turned on. There should be a standard wall switch on or around your furnace somewhere. It’s also a good idea to check the fuse for it on the circuit breaker. The front panel covering the furnace’s blower motor should also be securely fastened, as there is a push-in switch underneath that needs to be fully pressed in order for it to operate.

Clear the air ducts.

Your furnace works by circulating heat throughout your home, but over time the air ducts can collect a lot of dust and debris. Dirty air ducts not only wear down your furnace but circulate dirty air throughout your home. If you suspect your air ducts are dirty, it’s best to have a professional clean them to avoid damages. A professional air duct cleaning can also alert you of any air leaks that need to be sealed.

Clean out vents.

Besides keeping your air ducts clear of debris, you’ll also want to check your furnace vents. Any vents that lead to the outside of your home can be prone to clogs, usually from plant debris, pests, or ice. Installing a screen mesh can help keep most debris from clogging the vent, but it should be cleaned frequently. If your home has a heat pump, make sure to keep all grass clippings and leaves away from the fins of the outdoor compressor unit.

 

Be Consistent with Your Furnace

Nobody wants to deal with a busted furnace, especially during the winter season. That’s why your furnace needs routine maintenance no matter what season. Keeping up with your furnace, however, requires the occasional common heating repairs. If you think your furnace is damaged, it’s important to have it repaired as soon as possible. A damaged furnace is not only costly but also dangerous. Don’t wait until it’s too late.

Call Papalia Home Services today for any of your common heating repairs or heating installation needs. 

By Dan Burrows