What Will Your Technician Inspect During An Annual Boiler Maintenance Visit?

16 December 2022
 Categories: , Blog


Like any other HVAC equipment, your home's boiler requires periodic maintenance and inspection. While you can perform a few essential maintenance tasks independently, having a professional technician examine your equipment at least once per year is important. Gas boilers can create several potential hazards, so ensuring yours remains as efficient and reliable as possible is crucial.

This process involves cleaning critical parts of the boiler, including the flame sensors, burners, and condensate lines for high-efficiency condensing boilers. However, inspection is another critical part of any professional maintenance visit. A professional HVAC technician will typically inspect these three items during annual boiler check-ups.

1. Combustion Efficiency

Most HVAC technicians now utilize sophisticated equipment to analyze the combustion efficiency of gas appliances such as boilers or furnaces. Combustion efficiency tells you roughly how much of your boiler's fuel goes into heating its water and, in turn, providing heat for your home. The remainder of the energy escapes as waste heat through the exhaust stream.

Measuring combustion efficiency is essential not only because it lets you know if your boiler is costing you an excessive amount of money but also because it can provide clues about underlying problems. Any issues with the combustion analysis will provide important clues about what's happening inside your boiler.

2. Low Water Cut-Off Testing

All modern boilers include low-water cut-off switches to prevent the potentially severe damage that a low-water condition can cause. Just as forced-air furnace relies on airflow to maintain safe heat exchanger temperatures, hydronic and steam boilers cool themselves by heating the water that flows through your home's radiators or floor heaters.

Low water conditions (known as "dry firing") can rapidly cause catastrophic damage and destroy your boiler. The low-water cut-off switch prevents this condition, and testing it for proper operation is an important part of any annual maintenance visit. This inspection task helps ensure that your boiler is operating safely.

3. Heat Exchanger Inspection

Unlike gas furnaces, it's usually impossible to inspect a boiler's heat exchanger directly. However, it's still important to judge its condition since this critical component contains the harmful gases your boiler's burners produce. In most cases, technicians will use clues from the combustion analysis and an inspection of the burner area to identify any problems.

Evidence of flame rollout, severe corrosion, leaking, or other issues around the burners is flashing red warning signs. By keeping up with your annual maintenance visits, you can spot these trouble signs before a damaged heat exchanger puts you or your family in danger. For more information on boiler maintenance, contact a professional near you.