Go Back

Preparing the Boiler for Winter Weather

Boiler Services

How Boiler Services Help to Keep Homes Warm

Many homes rely on a boiler system to keep their homes warm during the cold winter. In this blog post, we share insight from professional heating experts on how to get the boiler ready for winter to keep the home safe and warm all winter long. Doing boiler maintenance and having basic knowledge of how the system works and what problems to look out for can save homeowners from a heating emergency this winter.

Going without heat in the winter can be dangerous if the temperatures drop below freezing. The cold can impact the health of the family that lives in the home, and it can also impact the plumbing and other home systems by causing frozen pipes. Homeowners should take steps early in the season to prepare their heating system for cold weather.

Boiler Systems Explained

A boiler system uses water to transfer heat. This is called a hydronic heating system. Hydronic heat is one of the most common types of heating systems. One of the main benefits of a boiler system is that they are typically more efficient than other heating alternatives, which is why boilers are common in residential homes.

The boiler heats water by burning gas or oil. The heated water transfers its heat into the air through one or more radiators before returning to the boiler to be reheated. Boilers are powered by either natural gas or oil. Natural gas is the more cost-effective option compared to oil.

Radiators are the most common type of terminal for boiler systems, but some homes also have baseboard terminals. There is also underfloor heating, but the downside is that this type of terminal is susceptible to hidden water leaks.

Common Boiler Problems

Boiler Problems

Homeowners should be looking for warning signs that something is wrong with their boiler. Boilers left in a state of disrepair are dangerous because of the high temperatures within the system. When homeowners notice a boiler leaking water or making weird noises, they should call a trusted local heating expert immediately.

During the winter, homeowners need to be on the lookout for frozen pipes. When the water within the boiler system freezes, it can cause burst pipes and other damage. Water expands when it freezes, which is why it could cause the boiler or radiator to crack. A cracked radiator or boiler will often need to be replaced.

There can also be issues with the boiler ignition in the winter. Puffback is what heating experts call it when the ignition fails, and gas builds up in the system. Excess gas or oil in the system can lead to smoke when it ignites.

Homeowners can expect to run into problems if they neglect boiler maintenance for too long. One of the most common problems is low water cutoff failure. It is dangerous for the boiler to heat up without enough water so it has an automatic low water cutoff switch. Sometimes there is a false alarm that cuts off the boiler.

Benefits of Boiler Maintenance

Boiler Maintenance

Investing in annual boiler maintenance is the best way to prevent common boiler problems. During maintenance appointments, the heating technician will have a chance to inspect the boiler for signs of damage and worn-out parts and make suggestions for how homeowners can protect and improve their performance.

Doing small boiler repairs whenever necessary can help homeowners to prevent premature boiler replacement. Boiler systems are not cheap to replace, so homeowners should take steps to protect their investments. Boiler maintenance at the beginning of the winter season can help to prevent a system breakdown once the temperatures drop to their lowest.