One of the more expensive investments in a building is the boiler or heating system. Poor maintenance will result in costly breakdowns and can result in poor performance of the workforce. It is therefore important to maintain the boiler or heating system on a regular basis to prevent breakdowns. Regular maintenance will also result in improved efficiency and reduced energy costs. Scheduled maintenance of the boiler or heating system in a building provides many benefits to a company and can have a significant impact on the wellbeing of the workforce.
The heart of the central heating system – the boiler
The Benefits of Regular Boiler or Heating System Maintenance
The regular maintenance of the boiler or heating system in a building will reduce the possibility of costly breakdowns. In addition, regular maintenance will ensure that the boiler or heating system operates at maximum efficiency, thereby reducing energy costs. Regular maintenance can also reduce potential health problems by improving the efficiency of the air filtration system. The comfort levels within the building can be effectively maintained if regular maintenance is performed on the heating system. With regular commercial boiler maintenance the life cycle of the boiler or heating system can be extended and the return on investment improved.
Understanding How the Heating method Works
In the case of a boiler, hot water circulates through a system of pipes to the radiators that are installed in the various rooms. Hot water can be circulated by using a closed gravity system, open gravity system or a hydronic system. In gravity systems, heat is distributed by the upward flow of hot water and the downward flow of cold water. Open gravity systems have an overflow outlet to prevent the build-up of excess pressure, and closed gravity systems use a sealed expansion tank to prevent damage to the system by excess pressure. With hydronic systems a circulating pump is used to circulate the water. The benefit of a hydronic system is that the hot water reaches the radiators quickly and with less heat loss.
The Maintenance of the Heating System
• Slope – all the radiators and water pipes have to slope back towards the boiler. The failure to heat properly or hammering noises are indicators of improperly sloped radiators or water pipes. The slope of the radiators and water pipes has to be checked during regular maintenance.
• Expansion Tank – in closed gravity and hydronic systems the expansion tank relieves excess pressure from the system. For the expansion tank to operate effectively there needs to be some air in the tank. If the tank is completely filled with water, excess water will escape through the pressure relief valve. Expansion tanks that are completely filled with water need to be drained.
• Water Level – the water level in the boiler has to be maintained at around half-full for maximum efficiency. Water levels that are consistently low are an indicator of water leaks in the system.
• Radiators – during regular maintenance, radiators have to be checked and the vents set for maximum efficiency. The vents in radiators that are producing more heat than others need to be turned down. If air is trapped in a radiator it can prevent the radiator from performing efficiently and the air vent valve has to be opened to allow the air to escape.
It’s essential that your boiler is regularly maintained
The most important safety feature of a boiler or heating system is the safety relief valve. The safety relief valve prevents the pressure inside the system from exceeding the danger limit. Safety relief valves that are not working properly can lead to the catastrophic failure of a boiler. Only trained technicians are allowed to install, repair or service safety relief valves. The regular maintenance of safety relief valves is crucial to the safety of the heating system.
It is easy for a company to neglect to maintain the heating system in a building on a regular basis. Reactive maintenance and repair can be costly and can also create potential safety risks. Regular maintenance of the heating system will prevent costly breakdowns, improve the quality of the air inside the building, maintain comfort levels and will reduce energy consumption.