The sudden onset of winter can be rough on many boilers. After all, they've sat stagnant for the summer and most of the full. That's why you need to spend a few days winterizing your boiler before the temperature drops and snow starts falling. Winterizing will adapt to full time service and help it operate more smoothly.
Before you move on to the more complex winterizing processes, you should perform a few simple checks and changes on your boiler. These steps may not seem like much, but they can help make sure your boiler runs more efficiently during the coldest winter months.
These winterizing steps include:
- Clean or replace filter
- Inspect blower belt for frays and loose bolts
- Add two or three drops of oil to blower motor
- Replace blower doors properly
- Unblock all vents in your home
- Inspect exhaust flue for obstructions
- Remove any flammable objects from near boiler
If your boiler system still uses radiators, you need to bleed them long before winter rears its ugly head. Why? Bleeding radiators will eliminate any excessive air buildup that can interfere with proper hot air flow.
Bleeding radiators is a simple process that requires:
- Finding the bleed valve. This is usually located on one of the vertical pipes in your radiator.
- Inserting the bleed key into the valve. If you have no bleed key, you can purchase one at a hardware store or use a flat-head screwdriver.
- Turning the key counter-clockwise until you hear a loud hissing noise.
- Immediately turning the key clockwise when water begins to escape.
Insulating Pipes in Unheated Rooms
Many people ignore unheated rooms, such as attics and basements, when considering their boiler operation. However, insulating pipes in unheated rooms boosts your boiler efficiency and helps winterize it for the long months ahead.
Insulate your pipes by performing the following steps:
- Inspect all pipes for air leaks and seal any with duct tape or high-temperature caulk
- Add foil-backed duct installation to all ducts in these rooms
- Measure the circumference and lengths of the pipes you wish to insulate and take that information to an insulation expert
- Bring home the insulation prepared for you by the expert and carefully wrap it around your pipes
- Tie, tape, or staple the insulation to itself to hold it in place
When installing installation, make sure it is at least three feet from any heat source or that the pipes on which it is installed never exceeds 200 degrees Fahrenheit. While that temperature is highly unlikely for most boiler pipes, it may be possible on hot water steam pipes which may be near your boiler pipes.
Now that you've winterized your boiler, it shouldn't have any problem running this winter. However, if it runs poorly or inefficiently, you should call a boiler service like Cool Air Mechanical, Inc. to check it out. They can assess the situation and find the problem for you. Then, they will find a solution that works for you and your pocket book.