Stay Safe: How to Properly Start Up Your Boiler for the Season

Starting up a boiler after summer is over involves critical maintenance checks to ensure reliability, energy-efficiency and safe operation all winter long. Because home boilers utilize flammable natural gas, high-temperature burners, and may produce dangerous combustion byproducts like carbon monoxide gas, the recommended annual maintenance at startup is not a do-it-yourself procedure. Scheduling seasonal boiler startup with your HVAC contractor allows a qualified heating technician to inspect the entire system and perform basic boiler preventive maintenance. Then, he will start the system, make vital safety checks and verify proper operation.

starting up a boiler after the summerHere are some of the items on the professional’s checklist for starting up a boiler after summer:

  • Perform a visual evaluation of the tank, cold water supply line, hot water outlet line, and all connections for signs of deterioration or water leaks.
  • Examine the gas supply line and connections for any evidence of leaks or damage.
  • Drain the boiler tank to remove mineral sediment and refill.
  • Check the condition of the boiler vent pipe and ensure that it is intact and unobstructed all the way to the exterior of the house.
  • Remove the main gas burners, clean and re-install. Also clean the boiler pilot light assembly or verify proper operation of the electronic igniter.
  • Lubricate the circulation pump motor.
  • Start the system and observe the burner flame for proper color and height.
  • Once the system is at operating temperature, verify that water temperature and system pressure conform to manufacturer’s specs.
  • Check the pressure charge in the expansion tank. Drain excess water if required and/or recharge with air if necessary.
  • Inspect pressure relief valves for leakage and test for proper operation.
  • Bleed air from all radiators in the house at individual bleed screws.

For more information and to schedule professional service for starting up a boiler after summer, in greater Cincinnati, contact Apollo Home Heating, Cooling and Plumbing.