With those cold winter months approaching, it’s about time to make sure your boiler is up to the heating challenge! If boilers aren’t regularly maintained they have the potential to cost you more money than is necessary, so go check yours out and see what kind of condition it’s in. You may need to invest a little more time and effort to get it efficiently running this time, but if you implement the following changes into your preventive maintenance plan your boiler will stick around for longer, and I promise your wallet will thank you!
Properly treat the water
Treating the water in your boiler is one of the most important steps in a boiler maintenance plan. If it goes untreated, it becomes filled with dissolved minerals, gasses and particulates, which can result in boiler scale. This reduces a boiler’s efficiency by 10% or more and can lead to downtime or expensive repairs if not addressed. Dissolved gasses, which increase the boiler water’s corrosiveness, can also affect the lifespan of your boiler.
Not to worry though! If you introduce a water treatment system, such as those provided by Lenntech or ChemTreat, these issues can be avoided very easily! So, check out your boiler and see if you can find boiler scale or corroded areas. If you find any, be sure to treat the issue and then implement a system to prevent further damage in the future.
Perform bi-annual inspections
Boilers need consistent attention to ensure they are running as properly and efficiently as possible. It’s recommended that you inspect your boiler and perform preventive maintenance once to twice a year. One of the things you should be looking for during these bi-annual inspections is soot accumulation, as it will decrease your boiler’s operating efficiency by up to 20% if not addressed for a few years. You should also chemically clean the waterside of the boiler or mechanically clean the fireside regularly to decrease deposit buildup and improve the boiler’s performance.
In addition to making sure nothing has accumulated on the boiler, check that the side item limits are set correctly. The high limit control should be set at the highest temperature, the operating limit should be set just below the high limit, and the burner firing control should be set lower than the operating limit. By recalibrating these settings (if they are incorrect), you can save about 20% on gas consumption. Not sure what these controls are or what their purpose is? Don’t worry! Todd Mace, CEO of Dynamix Energy Services and FMX Co-Founder, is here to help.
How FMX can help: In FMX, you can schedule preventive maintenance for your boilers twice annually. You can create step-by-step instruction sets that the assigned worker must check off before they can close out the task. For example, you can list out the steps to properly clean soot off the equipment, clean the waterside of the boiler, and even list the proper limits for the side items so that all your staff know what they are supposed to be set at.
Track maintenance over time
It’s also a great idea to keep records of all the maintenance that has been performed on your boiler. If something is wrong with it you’re going to want to know if this problem has occurred before, and if so how it was fixed in the past. This enables your team to fix the problem as quickly and efficiently as possible. Even the brand new maintenance technician will have an idea of how the boiler is typically serviced and won’t need to call on backup when figuring out how to perform its maintenance.
You should also track the boiler’s performance over time. Look for trends, such as an increased number of maintenance tickets, which may indicate a serious underlying issue or even the need for a new boiler.
How FMX can help: FMX generates a unique QR barcode for every piece of equipment that you can easily affix to your assets. When you scan this QR code it will bring up all the past work completed, all future maintenance tasks, and will even calculate the total costs associated with that piece of equipment. This enables you to decide if it’s more cost efficient to purchase a new boiler or to continue to repair your current boiler. Your boiler’s history can also be exported into an easy-to-read and printable format so that you can share it with your colleagues and management when necessary.
Alayna is the marketing communications specialist at Facilities Management eXpress. When she’s not drafting up content for the blog or social media, she is most likely reading a good book or taking short weekend trips!