Midwest Mechanical - An HVAC Blog

Is Boiler Service Really Necessary for a Healthy HVAC System?

Published: August, 14 2017

Written by Midwest Mech

As a savvy commercial building owner, you probably keep a master list of all the things that are paramount to keeping your facility running smoothly vs. those maintenance items you deem unnecessary. You know your facility and just because a professional tells you a particular service is important doesn’t mean that will be the sole criteria for making a decision.

Your commercial facility’s HVAC maintenance is likely one of the areas that you scrutinize heavily when it comes to your discretion regarding the maintenance advice of professionals. There are many items that are critical to keeping your building’s HVAC system operating smoothly and as costs add up, boiler service may be placed in the category of nice-to-have vs. need-to-have services. If you’ve asked yourself whether or not boiler service is really essential to your commercial facility’s longevity, you’re not alone. And the short answer is, yes, it is.

Boiler

To understand why, let’s look a little deeper into the vital role boiler maintenance plays in an ongoing Chicago HVAC maintenance program.

The boiler’s function

While the boiler is certainly a major component of a commercial HVAC system, some building owners may not be able to clearly explain exactly what it is or its function for the building. If you fall into this group, don’t worry. This section will serve as a good refresher on the important role the boiler plays in your HVAC system.

At its most basic level, a commercial boiler is a pressurized system that turns combustible fuel (such as natural gas or fuel oil) or electricity into heat. That heat is then applied to water and/or steam and circulated throughout a building for heating purposes.

In older systems, radiators and similar equipment may fill with the heated water, dissipating the heat through radiation, before circulating it back through the heating system and into the boiler to be reheated as necessary. More modern systems that work on similar principles include forced hot air (heated by means of contact with the system’s heating elements or piping in the system that circulates hot water) and radiant heating in the floor, ceiling, or walls.

No boiler, no heat

The boiler is certainly a key component of your heating system. Perhaps the key component. Without a boiler, there is no heat. So, while your HVAC system’s boiler may be the furthest thing from your mind in the middle of the summer, any deficiencies will become noticeable rather quickly as the weather cools down.

Complete failure of your boiler system is a less common scenario than a system that’s slowly declining due to age or condition. As your boiler deteriorates from a lack of maintenance over time, it is costing you money because it’s not using your fuel efficiently. Additionally, it may not be heating the building as it should, leading to tenant complaints and even property damage, depending on circumstances.

What is the replacement cost of a commercial boiler?

Because it’s an integral part of your building’s HVAC system, it’s not surprising to hear that replacing a commercial boiler is one of the more costly scenarios you’ll encounter with your commercial HVAC system if it’s left unmaintained.

Every building and system is different and the range in prices can be significant, especially when considering additional steps such as installation costs. Bottom line: while no boiler is going to last forever, you definitely don’t want your actions, or more importantly, inaction, to force you to replace your commercial boiler sooner than you must.

How to get the most out of your commercial boiler

The best way to get the most value out of your commercial boiler and control energy costs is to ensure that it is regularly inspected and serviced from the time it’s initially installed until the day comes that it’s time to replace it.

A scheduled and proactive maintenance program that includes routine inspections, cleaning, testing, and repairs or replacements throughout the life of the boiler is the smartest and most financially responsible way to go about extending the life of your HVAC system’s boiler.

Your facility’s HVAC plan should encompass a trained professional HVAC technician to perform all necessary maintenance activities on an optimal, predetermined schedule. This will allow them to catch any unexpected repair or replacement needs before they become a problem that could result in serious failure issues or damage other essential components of your HVAC system.

If you’d like to discuss potential maintenance plan options for your facility and find out how to create an energy efficiency plan to ensure that your commercial boiler remains in optimal running condition, we’d be delighted to talk with you. Contact our Chicago commercial HVAC company today.

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