A Comprehensive Guide For Residential Boilers

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A residential boiler is essential to keeping homes at a comfortable temperature during the winter months. They are even widely used and needed during the summer to heat domestic water. While reliable, they don’t last forever. Unfortunately, if your trusted boiler starts to show symptoms of malfunction, it’s time to figure out what to do with it. Should you get it replaced? Or can it get repaired? This article will help you examine your options to figure out your best path forward.

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Common Problems With Residential Boilers

Below, we discuss some of the issues that homeowner experience with their boiler system.

1. Your Boiler Shuts Off By Itself

If your boiler is constantly shutting off without manual intervention, something could be wrong with it. There could be several different reasons why your boiler is doing this. One could be an issue with your thermostat. Another issue could be that you have frozen pipes. Some of the other issues include having a malfunctioning pump, poor air pressure, or low water pressure.

2. Your Pilot Light Goes Dark

If your boiler’s pilot light is constantly turning off, it could be the direct result of several things. For one, you could have a malfunctioning thermocouple. Another issue you could be dealing with would be damaged seals. It’s best not to attempt this type of fix by yourself. There are certain things you can do yourself when it comes to boiler maintenance and repair, but this isn’t one of them. It’s always a good idea to call on an experienced and licensed HVAC technician to assist with this type of issue.

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3. Your Boiler Is Leaking

If you have a boiler that’s leaking, it could be caused by various things, including having loose connections or even damaged components. If your boiler’s components are damaged, it can cause a leak that you’ll want to have checked by a licensed and experienced technician. Call on a reputable HVAC contractor for assistance. They can look over it and figure out if it can be repaired.

4. You Have Low Pressure

Any boiler that relies on using a pressurized system can end up losing pressure. This can result from sustaining a water leak or having problems with the expansion vessel. It can be tempting to go ahead and try to fix this issue on your own. However, it’s always best to leave these types of issues to a professional that knows what they are doing. While the manual might have the information you need to fix it, there are plenty of things you need to know and what to look for if you want to do it safely and correctly.


Repairing vs. Replacing Your Boiler

Below, we discuss some of the factors that influence whether to repair or replace your boiler.

1. The Age Of Your Boiler

The first thing that you need to be considering would be the age of your boiler. The age of your boiler should dictate whether or not you even think about replacing it because a new boiler shouldn’t need to be replaced. Typically, you can count on a boiler lasting anywhere up to 15 years. After 15 years, you can expect it to be worn down. You’ll generally start to notice a lot of wear and tear and maintenance issues the closer it gets to 15 years of age.

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2. Low Boiler Efficiency

Certain things should have you pivoting more towards replacing than repairing. If your boiler is a low-efficiency boiler or if its efficiency has decreased so much over the years, it might be time to replace it. A boiler that doesn’t heat efficiently is going to be forced to work two times as hard as an efficient boiler. Because of this, it can drive up your home’s heating costs. This can be avoided by getting an efficient boiler that doesn’t have to work nearly as hard for the same results.

3. Hot & Cold Patches

image of a homeowner feeling chilly due to poor boiler performance

If you notice any patches that are hot or cold in the radiator, it’s likely because you have a lot of built-up grime and sludge. This can end up detracting from the effectiveness of your radiator. This can be avoided by replacing your unit. Otherwise, it will deliver unequal heat distribution.

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4. You Start To Notice Unusual Noises

You don’t want your boiler to be making unusual noises. No residential boiler should be making whistling noises. Likewise, you don’t want to notice any banging noises either. If your boiler is getting louder than normal, it’s time to call on a professional. They can help to assess your boiler to figure out whether or not something is wrong with it.

5. It Needs Constant Boiler Repairs

It’s an easy decision to replace your boiler when it’s starting to get more costly to repair than to replace. If you are constantly having to call professionals out for boiler repair, it’s time to get it fully replaced. No boiler should need multiple repairs in a year. If you are having to call a professional HVAC technician multiple times a year for boiler repair issues, it’s likely a better and more cost-effective option to replace the unit entirely. Investing that money in a new unit will end up serving you better in the end.


What Are Some Benefits Of A Residential Boiler Replacement?

If you are weighing your options between getting your boiler repaired and replaced, you are going to want to learn about some of the benefits of getting a new one installed. Here are some of the benefits of getting a full replacement installation.

1. Better Comfort

When you invest in a brand-new residential boiler, you can expect it to work better. Because of this, you can anticipate having a more comfortable atmosphere in your home. Best of all, you can count on it working throughout the winter months when you need it the most. An old boiler is unlikely to be as reliable which can bring stress during the coldest parts of winter.

2. Save Money On Reduced Energy Costs

image of efficiency vs cost depicting new oil hvac systems

A benefit that you can get from replacing your boiler is the savings you can experience with a more efficient boiler. After all, you can invest your money into an energy-efficient boiler. A high-efficiency boiler isn’t going to use nearly as much energy as a much older and less efficient unit. It’s also going to help you improve fuel efficiency which can help you keep your home at a much more comfortable temperature without having to pay ridiculous amounts during the colder months.

3. Less Maintenance

Another benefit of getting a new boiler installed is its reliability. Because it’s brand new and it has new components, you don’t have to worry about frequent breakdowns or repair issues. This can save you a lot of money not having to worry about paying for so many boiler checkups, maintenance, and repairs.

4. New Boiler Warranty

As with anything new, you are likely going to get a warranty with your purchase. This alone can save you money and give you peace of mind. Having a warranty that you can fall back on can bring you plenty of peace of mind knowing that you will be covered if something does go wrong.

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What Does A Homeowner Need To Consider Before Purchasing A New Residential Boiler?

  • Boiler Size: One of the first things you need to factor in your decision would be the size of the boiler. You don’t want an oversized boiler. After all, it’s only going to use more fuel. Instead, you want something that is the perfect size for your place. You want something that is going to operate as efficiently as possible. Size matters when it comes to maximizing efficiency. Many things need to be factored in choosing the right boiler, including the size of your home, the wall thickness, house arrangement, and more.
  • Energy Efficiency Of The Boiler: As mentioned previously, the newer boilers are much more efficient than the older ones. Because of this, you will want to try to purchase a boiler that delivers high efficiency. This is only going to end up saving you money in the long run.
  • Boiler Fuel Type: You need to look at the fuel type that the boiler uses. You need to find one that utilizes the same fuel that your home supplies.
  • The Boiler Brand: The brand is something worth considering. Certain brands are known to be more reliable than others. You also might want to find a brand that has a stellar warranty and offers good service within your respective area.
  • Warranty: The majority of brands will offer up to 10 years of warranty with the purchase of their boiler. Check for this before buying.


What’s The Difference Between a Standard Boiler and a High-Efficiency One?

The boiler’s efficiency (AFUE) refers to the total amount of heat the boiler is capable of producing relative to the fuel that it uses up. Thus, a higher efficiency boiler is going to be able to cool the gas much quicker, which means any of the steam that is produced ends up getting condensed and turned right back into liquid form. This results in having a boiler system that is much more efficient at producing and retaining more heat.

Whereas a standard efficiency boiler doesn’t do this. Instead, it can lose a whopping 20% of the overall heat that it outputs. This means that it’s going to take a lot more fuel to keep your home at the same temperature as a high-efficiency boiler.

While you will always pay more for a high-efficiency boiler, the upfront cost is worth it due to the ongoing savings you will accumulate over time. You end up spending a lot less on energy costs because of it. Because it’s a nearly 15-year investment, it’s always a better idea to spend the money upfront to maximize your long-term savings.

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Finding the right boiler for your home is essential to ensure that you maximize your energy savings and that you keep your home as comfortable as possible. You want to weigh your options carefully as it’s a big decision. You want the right boiler because it’s easily one of the most important pieces of equipment in your home.

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Give Townsend Energy a call if you need assistance with your heating or cooling system. We offer competitive rates, so you don’t need to go elsewhere. Schedule an appointment today and get a free, in-home estimate.

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