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Habitat Magazine Business of Management 2021




Ask Habitat: Is It Really Time to Replace the Boiler Again?

New York City

Dec. 22, 2014

HABITAT ANSWERS: When was the boiler last overhauled and cleaned? It's important, because the problem with your boiler may be a question of maintenance and cleaning.

Delaying an annual overhaul and cleaning only keeps your boiler running less efficiently, thereby running longer and burning fuel needlessly.

Soot building is a major reason for inefficient boiler operations because it acts as an insulator. Just an eighth of an inch of soot in boiler tubes can decrease fuel consumption by 8.5 percent.

Scaling, caused by soot and condensation on the inside of the boiler, reduces efficiency even further. It can also create leaks, which lead to expensive repairs for you and disruptions for the residents.

Here are some steps to take on a regular basis to increase boiler efficiency and save considerable energy dollars:

  • Complete a full boiler cleaning.
  • Have an annual efficiency test and overhaul on every burner.
  • Set in place an annual preventive maintenance program contract for boiler-cleaning. Different fuels and burner sizes require different programs. Ask your boiler maintenance company which program is best for your property.
  • Replace boiler tubes as soon as possible after they start leaking. Plugging tubes reduces boiler efficiency. Any delay will negatively affect your energy budget.
  • Make certain that the boiler chambers are in good condition. This can be investigated during your annual overhaul and repaired at that time.
  • Check draft regulators and replace, if necessary. Too much of a draft can pull heat through the boiler too quickly and reduce efficiency.
  • Keep burner cones clean of scaling and soot. Burner cones are designed to keep the flame in its optimal shape for an efficient burn. Cleaning them enhances efficiency and saves energy.
  • Schedule regular professional chemical treatment of boiler water. This increases the overall life of the boiler.

There are other tangible benefits to good boiler and burner maintenance besides saving fuel. Good preventive maintenance extends the longevity of your equipment, reduces overall equipment maintenance costs, minimizes air pollution, and prevents disruptions in service to tenants.

It makes economic sense not to delay these simple and relatively inexpensive preventive maintenance programs. 


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