5 Signs Your Boiler Needs to Be Replaced

The fall season is in full swing, which means that winter is on the way. For Iowa residents, that means cooler temperatures are just around the corner. Because of this, it is a good time to inspect boilers and maintain or replace them as needed. A household boiler is used to heat water and is also vitally important for heating your entire home. To make sure that you’re not left in the cold when winter hits, inspect your boiler to ensure that it is functioning properly. If you notice any of the following five signs during the inspection, call a professional to advise you on which direction you should go. Whether it be a minor repair or total replacement, our professionals will discern what needs to be done.

1. Your Boiler Has a Low AFUE Rating


A boiler’s efficiency rating is measured by its annual fuel utilization efficiency (AFUE). This rating lets consumers know how well the boiler heats the home over a course of one year, which depends on how efficiently the energy gets converted into fuel. If your boiler has an AFUE of 90%, then it uses 90% of the converted energy to heat the home, while 10% of the energy escapes. Older boilers may only have an AFUE rating between 56% and 70%. Boilers that heat somewhat sufficiently have an AFUE rating between 80% and 83%. The newest, most highly-efficient boilers have an AFUE rating between 90% and 98.5%. If the AFUE rating of your boiler is on the moderate to low end, ask us how to improve this rating. If the problem is unresolvable, the boiler may need total replacement.    

2. Your Boiler’s Pilot Light Is Yellow or Orange

When you inspect your boiler, pay attention to the color of the pilot light. For your boiler to work properly, it uses a combustion reaction. A complete combustion means that the amount of gas combined with the right amount of oxygen equals the correct amounts of water, carbon dioxide, and heat. When this happens, the pilot light on your boiler is blue. If the pilot light is yellow or orange, the combustion is incomplete. An incomplete combustion still produces water, carbon dioxide, and heat, but it also produces a toxic flammable gas called carbon monoxide. A boiler that produces carbon monoxide is extremely dangerous, as carbon monoxide poisoning is often fatal.    

3. Your Boiler Leaks

Boilers generally leak water when the valve or seal is broken. Most leaks will show up as wet spots around the boiler, but in some instances, the water might evaporate. In this case, the only way to detect a leak is to check for rust on the surface of your boiler. Problems of this nature can be fixed efficiently and cost-effectively if they are caught before they cause subsequent damage. This, among other reasons, is why regular inspections are important. If persistent leaking occurs, it can damage the boiler to the point of no return and require replacement.    

4. Your Boiler Needs Constant Repairs

Getting your boiler serviced every year will ensure that it runs as smoothly and efficiently as possible. If you need to get your boiler serviced or repaired more often than that, it might be more cost-effective to replace the boiler. Boiler repairs can vary widely in cost. The best way to avoid repairs small or large is to have your boiler inspected annually.    

5. Your Boiler Isn’t Heating Properly

If your home doesn’t feel warm enough or isn’t heating evenly, this could be due to boiler malfunction. If ducts are clean, insulation is sufficient and thermostats are functioning as they should, improper heating is likely due to boiler or central heat issues. Besides your home or business not heating properly, it may also be noted that water isn’t reaching the desired temperature or takes a long time to get there. If you notice any of these signs, it might be time to get your boiler replaced. The HVAC professionals at Ragan Mechanical can help you find a boiler that fits all of your household needs. Contact us today to ensure that your home is ready for winter.

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