Do You Smell Any Odors?
Boilers do not typically have an odor, so if your system does, then it is likely that there is indeed a problem that needs to be addressed. In fact, many homeowners in need of a boiler repair have been known to report smelling a metallic-like odor.
What does that odor mean? An odor emitting from your steam heating system is likely indicative of a gas leak, specifically carbon monoxide. As you may know, carbon monoxide is an odorless, tasteless, colorless gas that is potentially lethal. As a result, ignoring any smells coming from your steam heating system can be dangerous for you and your family and a costly repair.
Do You See Any Leaking?
One of the biggest indicators that you may need boiler repair is leaking, specifically around the base of the system. Leaking is particularly detrimental because it forces your steam heating system to work harder to heat the water inside of the heater, leading to additional stress on the system. Using your sight to notice signs of trouble that can help catch and address the problem as soon as possible.
Do You Hear Any Noises?
Lastly, use your hearing to help determine if your steam heating system is in need of boiler repair. Boilers typically make noises while operating, however, it is important to note the presence of any strange noises. What is a strange noise? Any noise that is different from the usual sounds made by your system would be considered a strange sound so be sure to pay attention to familiarize yourself with your systems’ typical sounds. Specifically, if you do notice a loud clunking sound, it could be indicative of a failed component, and a hissing sound could be a warning of iron or sludge deposits collecting, which can cause uneven water distribution and lead to overheating or complete system failure altogether.
Consider the Age of Your System for Boiler Repairs
The good news is your steam heating system can last for many years, provided that you have your system professionally serviced on a regular basis. This is particularly relevant if you have an older system.
How long can your steam heating system last? With proper professional maintenance, your steam heating system could potentially last up to 20 years. However, you should keep in mind that professional technicians do not recommend keeping any system longer than that length of time. It is also important to start monitoring your system regularly once it reaches about 12 years of age or if you’re noticing an increase in your bills, which could also be a gradual sign of malfunction.