Before the deep freeze arrives, it’s a good idea to make sure your heating system is ready for the challenges to come. Here are seven suggestions for what to do in the coming days and weeks.
Check your breaker/ power switches – Your furnace needs electricity to run many of its safety systems – without it, your heating system won’t run. If you haven’t labeled your boiler circuit in your circuit box, now is a good time to do that, too.
Review your product literature – Re-read the manufacturer’s instructions so you will know how to get the most out of your equipment.
Check for radiator cold spots – Cold spots on your radiators are usually a sign of trapped air in your system; to get rid of that air, you will probably need to bleed your radiators.
Insulate the condensate pipe – If you have a condensing boiler, it needs to discharge wastewater from the combustion process into a sewer in order to operate safely. That water vapor is sent through a plastic condensate pipe, which often runs outside or through unconditioned spaces (basements, crawl spaces, etc.). That exposure can lead to water vapor freezing inside the pipe; if that happens, your boiler will shut off as a safety measure. By insulating the condensate pipe, you should be able to prevent this problem from happening.
Round up emergency contact info – Make a list of local emergency contacts, including your heating system repair company, and put it somewhere handy so anyone in your home can access it during a no-heat emergency.
Consider replacing old equipment – There will eventually come a time when holding on to your old boiler becomes a poor financial decision – either because the efficiency of your system has significantly declined or because repairs have become too frequent or costly. When that time comes, be sure to hire an experienced professional to install your new gas- or oil-fired boiler – it may cost a little more, but you’ll more than gain that investment back in the form of lower bills, fewer repairs, and more reliable operation over the course of your equipment’s lifetime.