Why routine maintenance on a condensing boiler and your customer's hydronic system is so critical

Written By: Bryce Malone, Triangle Tube's Western Sales Manager 
 

Systems today tout very high-efficiency ratings. However, without proper routine maintenance, the efficiency of your customer’s boiler and the hydronic system will suffer. The more efficient the boiler is, the less work it must do to accomplish its task. Factors such as cracks in the heat exchanger, lime deposits, and issues associated with a poorly maintained combustion chamber can all impact efficiency. 

More importantly, a properly maintained boiler will be less likely to breakdown when your customer needs it most. It is far too often that a homeowner calls a contractor late on a Friday night in early October when the weather turns cold and their heating system fails to operate. 

Most homeowners assume that their heating system does not require maintenance. They believe it should just fire up and work. As much as we all want that to be true, these systems are still mechanical. Anything mechanical components can fail, regardless of age. Every system is different. Several variables exist such as water quality, gas pressure, locked up zone valves and pumps due to lack of use, dirty burners causing failed or delayed ignition. All of these can be avoided at that critical time if proper preventative measures are taken.

Slab Heating sludge builds up over time in a slab heated system. This will affect efficiency and can harm your boiler. If the home is heated with radiator panels and the panel is hot at the top and cold at the bottom, it is full of sludge, increasing your running costs and leading to a cold home.

Here are some suggestions on a basic visit:

  • Check for Air in System (Air promotes rust forming and disrupts heating efficiency)
  • Check Water, Gas and Expansion Tank Pressures (Incorrect pressures can damage your system and effect its efficiency)
  • Check and Fix Minor Leaks (Avoid the potential of minor leaks turning into major problems)
  • Check Water Quality (Poor water quality indicates the need for a power flush)
  • Check the System gets up to Correct Temperature (Low Temperature can indicate the need for a Power Flush)
  • A Power Flush descales the pipes and removes sludge from the system

For the savvy contractor, this is a great way to increase the service side of your business. We all see the ads in late August and early September from the furnace guys. “Call today and get our preseason special to clean your furnace”. They do this because they know they will get opportunities to upgrade an old system, replace a thermostat, change filters all the while performing the required maintenance to assure the system will operate when the homeowner needs it to. It's a great way to increase revenue, your customer base, and provide a high level of service to the homeowner, assuring that their system will work when they most need it.