Boiler and Furnace Tune Up and Start Up
When cooler weather is on its way, it is time to tune up your furnace and boiler to check for any problems and maintain them properly. Proper maintenance will keep your furnace and boiler running well for a much longer period of time because they won’t have to work as hard to provide the same output.
Furnace Start Up
During the warm summer months, it is possible for problems to crop up that you may not notice because you aren’t using the furnace to heat. Before you do turn it on, a best practice is to have the furnace inspected by a professional, make sure that it is operating safely and efficiently. Efficient operation will save you money over the long run on your energy bills as well as preserve energy for future generations.
- Change the filters. You can change out the filters yourself easily. Check the filter size and buy replacement filters from a local hardware store. If you hire a professional, they can also do this for you. Filters should be replaced at least every 90 days. Check them once a month to see if yours need to be replaced more often.
- Clear away debris. During the summer, it is common to pile things around vents and the furnace. Before turning it on, move all of those items away for safety.
- Call a professional. A repair man knowledgeable in furnace repair will come to your home and check for any leaks, dirt or problems that may affect the proper operation of your furnace.
- Clean your ducts. This procedure is optional but will reduce dust accumulation in the air and your lungs. For people with allergies, cleaning air ducts is a must.
- Check smoke alarms and carbon monoxide indicators. A furnace can potentially cause a fire and a gas furnace may cause carbon monoxide leaks. With proper alarms in your home, you can prevent any such accident.
- Turn on the pilot light. If you have an older furnace, you may have a pilot light. Newer models no longer have pilot lights.
- Turn on the furnace and set the temperature. Listen for any unusual noises. It is not uncommon for the furnace to smell like something is burning for a few initial minutes when you first turn it on. However, this smell should dissipate quickly. If it doesn’t, there is something wrong.
Boiler Start Up
- Drain, and then flush your boiler by opening all the bibs. Clean the boiler and remove all dust, soot and scale from the firesides. Check the unit for any corrosion or damage.
- Next, refill the boiler.
- Add a boiler water treatment to the boiler to reduce any corrosion and scale build-up.
- Hire a professional boiler technician to inspect and clean the boiler. They should also adjust any water shutoffs and water feeds if necessary. Over time, these feeds can corrode from rust and need replacement.
- Lubricate any moving parts.
- Check for leaks in the pipes to and from the unit.
- Ensure that all debris and nearby items are moved away from the boiler and any air openings.
- Open manual stack dampers and manual fuel valves.
- Start pumps and purge the boiler.
- Turn on pilot light if you have one. Modern units have replaced some functions with automated ones.
- Turn on the unit and observe periodically to make sure it is operating properly.
- A technician can handle the entire start up sequence for you if you desire.