5 Ways to Keep Your Commercial Boiler in Top Condition
Boilers are one of the most hardworking pieces of equipment in many commercial establishments. As the name suggests, a boiler creates hot water or steam to heat your building. It keeps your whole building warm and comfortable by delivering the heat source through pipes to enter radiators or units that provide heat.
Commercial boilers are always under stress which significantly reduces their efficiency and lifespan. If not cared for properly, your commercial boiler can add to your operational costs. It is crucial that you take care of it and keep it in top condition to avoid a breakdown that could incur a loss of profits.
There are many ways to keep your commercial boiler in top shape. These five steps will help you keep your boiler functioning as efficiently as possible.
1. Regular Cleaning
Residue such as hard water deposits, soot, scale, and other contaminants can build up on the inside of your boiler tubes. Debris can form a coating that can reduce your boiler’s heat transfer efficiency by up to 10 percent. Even a thin layer of residue in your boiler’s tubes can decrease its efficiency while increasing its susceptibility to breaking down.
Dissolved solids such as sodium, calcium, magnesium, potassium, and other inorganic salts create a scale buildup on the inside of the boiler tubes. The more accumulation there is, the less heat the boiler provides.
A thorough cleaning should be carried out at least once a year. If you want to do it yourself, this can be achieved using brushes and chemicals. However it is recommended that you call a professional boiler technician to perform this service.
2. Get Insulation
For your boiler to continue operating effectively, adding insulation is essential. Any build-up of condensation must be drained away from the boiler properly. Uninsulated piping or valves can reduce the boiler’s efficiency which will result in a higher electricity bill for you.
Once insulated, regular inspection of your boiler is a must to detect any problems early on. Check the boiler and if you notice a slight chance that something is not right, seek help immediately. This will prevent any small issues from becoming a much bigger problem if ignored.
Also, any surface that has a temperature of over 130 degrees fahrenheit should be insulated to protect individuals from injury and prevent other equipment from getting damaged.
3. Schedule Preventive Maintenance
Prevention is better than cure, and this also applies to commercial boilers. Preventive maintenance will help to keep the system working efficiently and safely. However, this is a task that’s better suited to experienced and professional boiler technicians.
Boiler surfaces are extremely hot, and under high pressure, so it’s a good idea to call in a professional to be safe. Never attempt to do it yourself as you may endanger yourself or those around you. You can even damage the boiler itself if you are not trained to do this kind of work.
The tiresome part of preventive maintenance is the need to create inspection logs. This can be a tedious job but essential nonetheless. You must record which boiler has been inspected and what was done to it in order to keep an accurate account of its condition.
Furthermore, recording pertinent data such as flue gas temperatures and pressure will help you assess a boiler’s performance over time. You’ll be able to monitor any difference in its operation from previous years and check for any reduction in efficiency. You’ll also have a record of when the last preventive maintenance was or if there was a repair or replacement carried out.
Preventive maintenance should be performed at least once a year, but in the meantime, daily inspections can help keep your boiler in tiptop shape as well. A daily checkup should consist of the following:
- Check for leaks around and under the boiler
- Make sure that there are no obstructions around it
- Check if the temperature and pressure are both within the normal range
- Look for any errors on the display panel, take note if there are and relay it to your HVAC personnel
- Ensure that it is free from obstructions such as snow or ice
- Make sure that there are no blockages in the combustion air openings
- Listen carefully and check for any unusual noises or vibration
4. Call for Help Quickly
As mentioned above, once you see a sign that your boiler isn’t functioning as it should, contact a professional boiler technician at once. Even if it’s not something drastic, it’s always better to be safe than sorry. Don’t wait to call for help until a minor issue has become a big problem.
5. Check Water Quality
The quality of water in your boiler is a good indicator of its health. Water in your boiler that is clear and free from any debris or oil residue is a good sign that it is working correctly. Because your boiler turns water into steam, it is imperative that the water is of good and clean quality.
Problems with your boiler such as wet steam and short cycling are caused by dirty water. These issues can waste energy and increase your costs. Daily inspections can help prevent these from happening.
Check the gauge and look for signs of a dirty boiler. If water is bouncing vigorously behind the glass, it could mean that the water has oil in it. Additionally, if water drips from the top of the gauge, wet steam is leaking from your boiler.
All these conditions will make your boiler work doubly hard as wet steam does not provide enough heat. A full water treatment system may be the solution to this problem. Have your boiler water tested by a professional to ensure that no corrosion or scale build up has formed due to poor water quality.
To keep your commercial boiler in good operating condition, following these tips will help you while cutting down on your energy costs. There are many ways to protect your boiler, but seeking professional help is one of the best ways forward.