The official first day of spring never means anything solid in Chicago. Cold days can continue to strike us through April. But we are definitely in the last part of the winter, and it’s at this time you are most likely to run into trouble with your central heating system. The heater has been doing an immense amount of work, especially during this extremely brutal winter, and all that strain may easily lead to a breakdown or a significant malfunction.
If you use a hydronic boiler for comfort in your house, here are a few things to consider that your boiler may need.
It May Need to Be Replaced
This is the Big One when it comes to boilers, and something to give serious thought to if the boiler is 1) older than 15 years, and/or 2) required major repairs during the winter. If poor performance and repairs have been the norm recently for a boiler, that’s a strong indication it’s time to replace it. Call for a heating professional to inspect the system and explain the options. Repairs that cost more than half the price of a new boiler aren’t worth it. If a repair cost multiplied by the age of the boiler is more than 5,000, that’s also too much.
It May Need More Water
An indoor heating boiler (rather than a water heater boiler) is a closed system—the same amount of water circulates through the system for the entire service life of the boiler. At least, ideally it should. Boilers can lose water through leaks, something that can occur from corrosion and other age-related issues. If the boiler doesn’t need to be replaced—you can ask your technician about what’s best—then adding water to the boiler and repairing the leaks can take care of the problem. The technician will know how much water needs to be put in.
It May Need Descaling
Minerals in the water can create limescale along the inside of the boiler tank. One of the ways you can tell this is happening is if the boiler starts to rumble or create kettling (a kind of popping sound). To fix this problem, a professional must drain the tank and remove the limescale from the interior.
It May Need New Terminal Points
Terminal points means the places in the house where the heat from the boiler is sent into rooms. I.e. radiators, baseboard heaters, and in-floor piping. If you aren’t getting heating in one or more rooms, check if the terminal point has gone cold. Ask a technician to investigate this. It could be a simple problem, such as trapped air pockets that need to be bled out, or it could be time to replace the pipes or radiators.
If you need a Chicago, IL plumber or HVAC expert, you can reach us 24/7 for the assistance you need. Please don’t delay when there’s any late-season boiler problem—the sooner it’s fixed, the easier and less expensive the fix!
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