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

  • Plumbing Preventative Maintenance

  • 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 Heating, Cooling and Plumbing.