Residential Boilers: The Ultimate Guide


Even the harshest winters can be bearable, thanks to the heat produced by a residential boiler. That said, it can be a big problem if the boiler becomes erratic and prone to failure. You will have to decide whether to call for repairs or replacement. In this article, we discuss how you can come up with the best choice.

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Frequent Issues That Homeowners Experience With Their Residential Boiler

Boiler Turns Off By Itself

You need your boiler to produce heat, but it turns off on its own. Various stimuli could trigger this. That includes a faulty pump, a frozen pipe, a thermostat issue, or a drop in water pressure.

The Pilot Light Goes Off

The pilot light should be on when you need it to. If it is switching off when you don’t want it to, then the boiler may have underlying issues. Perhaps there is a faulty thermocouple or damaged seals. Homeowners shouldn’t deal with this problem on their own. Those experiencing this should let an HVAC contractor deal with the issue for safety.

Boiler Leakage

Boilers should not be allowed to continue leaking as it is a sign of danger. There may be bad connections or broken components that cause this. Again, let a licensed HVAC contractor handle a boiler leak repair.

Pressure Drop

Some boilers operate based on a pressurized system. However, pressure may be lost if there is a water leak or a problem with an expansion vessel. Resist the temptation to fix the boiler yourself. It is much better to get HVAC technicians for this matter.

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How To Determine Whether Or Not To Replace Your Boiler

Not every problem merits a boiler replacement. However, there are a few signs that point to this direction.

HVAC Equipment Age

Just like other types of equipment, the reliability and performance of boilers go down with age. The average service life of a boiler is around 15 years. Therefore, be mindful of this fact as your boiler approaches its 15-year mark. Boiler components slowly degrade over time, and that will increasingly become apparent.

Reduced Efficiency

Neglecting HVAC maintenance and cumulative damage will make a boiler less efficient over the years. This means that the unit will need to consume much more energy to provide the usual amount of heat that you need for the house. You will end up paying more every month on your home heating bills.

Boiler Is Unable To Keep Up With Your Heating Needs

The radiator may have a mix of hot and cold patches. This is usually due to sludge build-up of trapped air. The biggest problem with this is the uneven heat distribution that comes as a consequence.

Odd Boiler Noises

Boilers can produce sound, but you should get used to the low hum. If you notice something out of the ordinary like loud bangs, persistent gurgling, or high-pitched whistling, then you might have stumbled upon a problem. Alert your HVAC contractor for troubleshooting.

Recurring Boiler Repairs

Boiler repairs are often more practical than replacements due to the cost. However, a boiler that keeps breaking down and needing repairs may end up costing more to keep than a replacement unit. In such a case, it is arguably better to start fresh with a brand new boiler. Those who have to call for repairs several times in a year should probably start looking into this possibility. You will end up saving more money over the long term.

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broken boiler

The Benefits Of A Residential Boiler Replacement

When choosing between a temporary fix or a permanent boiler replacement, think of the advantages you will get with a new heating system installation:

  • Improved Comfort: Brand new heating equipment will be able to make the house a comfortable place to be in despite plunging temperatures outdoors. There is nothing like the absolute confidence that your boiler won’t let you down when you need it.
  • Lower Energy Bills: Innovative technologies have resulted in greater efficiencies for current boiler models. These require much less fuel to produce heat around the house, so energy costs are lower.
  • Small Operational Cost: Homeowners won’t need repairs anytime soon since the components are still in pristine condition and will be extremely reliable for years to come.
  • New Boiler Warranty: In case problems come up, there is no need to worry as the manufacturer’s warranty covers the cost of parts and labor. There won’t be any financial shocks.

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Tips For Selecting A New Boiler

  • Size: The size of the boiler should be a perfect match for the needs of the home. Going too big means wasting money on extra heating capacity and greater fuel consumption. Going too small means it may not be to warm up your home effectively. You should always consult with an HVAC expert as to the precise requirements of the house. They incorporate the floor space, foundation, orientation, insulation, and other relevant factors to find the perfect match.
  • Efficiency: Highly efficient heating systems cost a bit more than the average but they can save you money in the long run. They use far less fuel throughout its lifespan while performing just as well or better.
  • Fuel Type: Get a boiler that is compatible with the kind of fuel that you are using in the house, be it heating oil or natural gas.
  • Brand: Go with a trusted boiler brand for peace of mind. Check which ones have a good presence in your area in terms of service centers.
  • Warranty: New boilers usually come with a warranty of up to 10 years from the manufacturer. The specific terms regarding parts replacement may vary.
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Why Does Energy Efficiency Matter In A Boiler?

One of the most important things that you should check in a boiler is its efficiency rating or AFUE rating. This is usually measured as the ratio of the heat produced and the fuel consumed by the boiler. A higher rating is what you’re looking for, as this means that it will not be wasting a lot of fuel during operation. The best units can cool flue gases such that steam turns back to liquid, allowing the unit to produce even more heat.

Standard-efficiency boilers are cheaper, but they can lose around 20% of the heat they make. This forces them to consume more fuel to keep the house warm.

High-efficiency boilers, meanwhile, make up for their higher initial cost by ensuring that they consume less fuel day in and day out. Choosing them can result in long-term savings.

residential energy efficiency

Call Lawes Company For All Of Your Residential HVAC Needs

Your family’s comfort should always be the top priority. Get a boiler of a suitable size and efficiency to ensure that your home will always be a pleasant space in the winter. Study your choices with the help of experts to come up with well-informed decisions.

Lawes Company is known for being the area’s authority when it comes to heating and cooling. The company’s NATE-certified technicians can diagnose issues and provide the right solutions quickly, thanks to their skills and experience. Customers can expect friendly and professional services at reasonable rates. Satisfaction is always guaranteed. Call Lawes Company today to get a free estimate.
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