Commercial Boiler Maintenance in the Summer: What You Need to Know
School’s almost out for summer, but you better think twice before you just let your boilers enjoy a long summer vacation. While it’s important to update a boiler maintenance checklist all year long, it’s even more important to dedicate time in the summer to do a more significant check-in on your commercial boilers. For one, many of the people in your building will be taking advantage of summer vacations which means less people occupying the space at one time.
Now is the time to invest in energy-efficient heating system upgrades that will reduce your energy costs in the long run, and prevent you from making multiple trips to the boiler room during peak heating season. Where do you start? Here are five recommendations to keep in mind when performing commercial boiler maintenance in the summer by our team at Heat-Timer®.
- Never underestimate the power of a good general cleaning.
A deep clean is not only reserved for spring. Start your summer commercial boiler maintenance on the right foot with a good cleaning of the boiler room. A dark, dirty, and cluttered boiler room is a breeding ground for potential problems down the line. Begin by removing anything stored in the room that is not crucial for boiler operation and replace lightbulbs with energy-efficient LEDs to ensure your electricity bill stays low and your lighting lasts longer. Finally, give the floor a good mop and vacuum out the cobwebs and dust from the boiler equipment. With all the garbage removed you’ll be able to take a good look around to find the real problems.
- If you haven’t already, make a boiler inspection list and check it twice.
Make a list of what to look for during your commercial boiler inspection. Be sure to include what to inspect on the actual boiler itself, as well as the surrounding environment. Some common examples to look for: water stains on the floor, rust on pumps or valves, droopy pipe insulation, and for damaged sensors or valve controls. These are all signs of pending failures. For steam heating systems in particular, inspect the main line air vents. In general, look for water stains and any evidence of leaking.
As for the surrounding area, walk the building outside the boiler room. Check radiators and make sure the steam radiator air vents have not been painted over or tampered with. If you have installed remote wireless sensors, like the Heat-Timer® Wireless Sensor System, this is a good time to check the control portal to see if any sensors in your building need new batteries.
If you don’t have a heating control and/or an associated network of wireless sensors monitoring your building, this may be the summer to install it. A Heat-Timer® Internet heating controller can monitor your commercial building via a network of wireless sensors and give you instant updates about your building’s health and the operation performance of valves and boilers in your system. These sensors include room sensors that provide real time information on the hot and cold areas of your building, allowing the self-learning algorithms in our controls to keep the room temperature stable without unnecessarily putting your boiler into overdrive.
Our building control also provides internet and mobile app based alarms and monitoring. From your smartphone or tablet, a building manager can see reports on energy usage, critical temperatures and can set or tweak all parameters associated with the efficient heating of the building.
- Take note of the heat, pipe insulation may be in order.
Does your boiler room feel like a sauna during the heating season? This is a strong indicator that the pipes in your boiler room are uninsulated, or the insulation is damaged or missing. Summer is the perfect time to insulate any exposed pipes since they are all at a safe temperature. Here are three major benefits to insulating the system heating pipes:
- Reduces energy costs, and improves system balance, especially for those long runs to the far end of the building.
- Reduces the temperature in the boiler room, making preventive maintenance or boiler repairs less grueling.
- Prevents burn injuries while maintenance work is being performed.
- Thoroughly clean out the boiler and make proactive repairs.
The boiler is the heart of the heating system. Neglect the heart, and the whole body will fail – same goes with your commercial heating system. If maintenance isn’t performed routinely and properly, the system can fail in many sudden and expensive ways.
Summer gives you the time to drain the boiler, so that both the fireside and waterside of the boiler can be properly cleaned and inspected. Hire a qualified boiler technician to inspect and clean the burner. If necessary, they should also replace the three most crucial safety systems on the boiler.
- The blowdown valve
- The low water cut-off switch
- The pressure relief valve
Failures in any of these systems can result in a boiler shut down or damage. One added benefit of use of Heat-Timer® Controls is that our system can alert you of a number of common boiler issues before they become serious.
- Upgrade to more efficient boiler controls
If your boiler controls are more than 10 years old, it’s time that you benefit from self learning heating controls and the convenience of remote monitoring provided by controls like the Heat-Timer® Platinum Series or new Heat-Timer® Genesis, for smaller buildings.
Heat Timer® series controls come standard with outdoor reset sensors, wireless temperature sensors, and self-learning software that continuously optimizes the heating cycle for your buildings thermal loss characteristics and the local climate. This alone reduces heating costs up to 30%, while the system’s internet communication option will allow you to manage your heating system from anywhere with an internet connection and a mobile device. For more information call Heat-Timer® today
Before you hit the Beach, Get Your Building Under Control
There is really no better time than summer to get your winter heating system dealt with and that should include upgrades like a Heat-Timer® Control System.
For those who already have a non-internet version of a Platinum control, getting our internet upgrade should also be a priority. This upgrade includes both a wireless sensor system, as well as complete internet and mobile connectivity. The best part of this is that you can save as much as an additional 30% with additional capability this upgrade allows while improving resident comfort.
To learn more about our energy-efficient building controls like our Platinum Series or the new Heat-Timer® Genesis, please visit us at: https://www.heat-timer.com/