Common Warning Signs of Boiler Trouble for Homeowners
Your boiler is essential for providing heat to your home during the cold winter months. So when it starts to crap out or act up, it’s probably going to be during a time when you need it the most. Obviously you won’t uncover problems during the summer months, when your boiler is not in use. But you should have a technician out for a service call annually to inspect, clean, and repair your system as needed. Even so, you might find yourself suffering problems once you’ve had your boiler running full blast for a couple of months. And you’ll likely start to see warning signs of trouble to come before your unit goes out completely. Here are just a few symptoms you’ll want to keep an eye out for so you can call in your plumber or HVAC technician post haste.
If you’ve cranked up the thermostat but you’re not getting any heat, or your heat seems severely diminished, this is a definite sign that something is wrong. Of course, the problem could lie with your thermostat. If you’ve got an old-school dial you should know that these units are notoriously finicky and need frequent calibration. But regardless you’re going to need a fix in order to ensure the heat that will keep your family safe and comfortable. So it’s probably a good idea to call in a pro any time your heat doesn’t arrive on demand.
Too much heat
When you set your thermostat to a moderate and advisable temperature during the winter and you quickly find yourself sweating and stripping off layers of clothing because your home interior feels like a sauna, it’s a good bet that some kind of problem with your boiler is to blame. A system that includes a boiler and radiators will probably produce a lot of heat in short order, but the sensors in your system still tell it when the desired temperature has been reached so that the equipment cycles down. If this isn’t happening, you’ll probably want a professional eye on the situation.
Irregular pressure readings
All kinds of problems can arise when the pressure in your boiler system is too high or too low, so it’s not a bad idea to check your gauges regularly to make sure they’re reading within acceptable levels. When gauges show incorrect levels, it could herald problems like air in the system, open vent dampers, or an inducer fan that is stuck. In some cases, simply turning off and resetting your system will fix the problem, but until you know what’s wrong you should probably get professional advice on how to proceed.
Pilot light out
In most cases this problem is easy enough to fix by simply following instructions on the boiler to relight the pilot. But if it keeps going out, it falls under signs of boiler problems. Again, this is a situation where it’s probably safest to call in your regular HVAC technician or plumber to have a look. It could be that all your boiler needs is a good cleaning. But it could also be something more serious.