Before there were boilers, people used stoves and furnaces to heat their homes and businesses. Sometimes they had to use multiple stoves to keep each room of the house warm.
In 1895, the steel coal furnace was manufactured and sold for the first time. Because there was no electrical power at this time, fans were not yet introduced into the heating system, so the furnace wasn't very effective at transporting the heat.
Today, central heating systems grace homes, businesses, and commercial spaces all over the world. The boiler is the most integral piece of a central heating system, which is why boiler repair should never be avoided.
There are telltale signs that your boiler needs a check-up. Keep reading to find out when it's time for yours to be repaired.
What Does a Boiler Do?
Before we discuss the indicators that your boiler might need replacement or repair, let's go over what it does.
The boiler is essentially a water heater. It has a steady flow of natural gas, which is used to heat up the water.
When you turn on the heat in your home or business, your boiler gets to work by heating up water and then proceeding to funnel it through the pipes to different parts in your home or business.
Without a functioning boiler, your central heating system, whether it's used for heating only or for business process, will not function correctly, which is why it's so important to stay up to date on your boiler maintenance.
Here are some signs to look for!
Water leaks make it obvious that something needs to be fixed. However, it can be hard to pinpoint where the problem is coming from.
Water leaks may just indicate that a pipe in your boiler is loose. However, it can also indicate faulty internal components. A pump seal or a pressure valve may need replacement.
To avoid mold infestations, property damage, and other expensive fixes, if you notice a leak, don't wait to call a professional.
Depending on how old they are and their design, boilers do make sounds from time to time while they run and also during startup and shutdown.
If your boiler makes sounds regularly, you're probably so used to it that you don't even notice. If you hear a sound that is different from what you're used to, get someone to investigate it pronto.
If you hear a whistling noise, it may be that there is a buildup of minerals on the heat exchanger. Clunking, gurgling, and whooshing noises are also indicators that something is wrong.
If you notice any strange or unpleasant smells around or near your boiler, it's a sure sign that something is wrong.
Sulfur-like smells might mean that the gas is leaking from somewhere within the system.
A burning metal or plastic smell may indicate that certain elements or circuits are overheating.
A burning fabric or dust smell is common when your boiler is initially activated each season. But if it persists for more than a day, you should get it checked.
For any new or strange smells, it's best to call a technician rather than run into a dangerous situation or having to fork out much more money for a bigger repair or replacement.
No Hot Water or Heat
This is probably the most obvious sign that something is up with your boiler. If you aren't getting any heat or hot water throughout your business, there may be a faulty part that needs replacing. That can be hard to determine though, as it could be anything from a thermostat to a valve to a diaphragm to an airlock.
It's best to call a technician so that you get your repair done fast and with the least amount of damage.
Your Water Isn't as Hot
This one goes hand in hand with not having any heat or hot water at all. They're both obvious. There may be a broken dip tube or sediment that's blocking the heating unit.
If your unit is older, it's possible that it's failing and the entire thing needs to be replaced.
Your Boiler Turns Itself Off
If a boiler is turning itself off, chances are it's protecting itself from melting certain components or overheating.
Most boilers, especially newer ones, have a built-in temperature sensor circuit that will trigger a shut down before things get dangerous.
If it's overheating, there may be low water pressure, a thermostat issue, a closed valve, air in the entire system, a faulty heat exchanger, or a faulty pump.
It's essential that if your boiler is turning itself off, that you call a well-trained professional as soon as possible.
Your Energy Bills Are Higher
Business owners can catch boiler problems early by keeping tabs on their energy bills.
If you notice a sudden or unexplained rise in your bill, or if you notice that it's steadily increasing, your boiler probably needs maintenance.
Of course, it's common for your bill to increase during the first cold months, but keep an eye on it regardless.
The Sooner You Call for a Boiler Repair, the Better
Boilers are expensive to replace. However, they're also essential, especially for critical business process operations and cold winter months.
While most boilers have a self-shutoff system, boilers can still be dangerous if they are left too long without boiler repair.
If you notice anything different, call a professional immediately. Nothing would be worse than having to temporarily shut down your business, which would cause a much bigger loss.