Heating the home with hot water has been an idea that has been in place for a lot of years, and over the years, hydronic heating systems have evolved to become as efficient as possible. If you have a hydronic heating system that has a boiler unit instead of a furnace as its primary source of heat, your maintenance processes can be a little different than a typical homeowner's. Also, proper maintenance is the only way to ensure your heating system stays efficient and properly functions for the long haul. Here is a helpful checklist to keep your hydronic heating system in good working order.
1. Check water temperature and pressure settings. - In order to function efficiently and correctly, water inside of the boiler must be held at a correct temperature and at the precise pressure recommended by the manufacturer of the unit. You can check the temperature and pressure by looking at the integrated gauges. If you suspect the gauges do not match the actual temperature or pressure, you can have these attributes checked for accuracy by residential heating maintenance services.
2. Lubricate the water circulating pump. - The water circulating pump of the hydronic system serves the vital purpose of circulating hot water through the radiant lines to keep the house warm. Occasionally, this pump will need to be lubricated with oil to keep it functioning smoothly. Most circulating pumps have a small receptacle where oil can be placed during maintenance. If you can't find this receptacle, check the manufacturer's paperwork that came with your system.
3. Clear the combustion chamber (if present) of soot and debris. - The combustion chamber is where the fueling source, such as natural gas, meets the pilot light and ignites. Over time, this combustion chamber can get pretty laden with soot. Shut down the fuel supply and the system, and use a small wire brush to sweep out any debris from the chamber. If your system does not have a combustion chamber because it is electrically fueled, you can skip this part of the maintenance process.
4. Purge excess air from radiators and lines. - All of the radiators throughout your home should have air bleeder valves where you can eliminate extra air in the unit. Turn off the hydronic heat system, grab a heat-safe mug, and open the valve. Any extra air will come out, along with a small amount of water. Simply allow the valve to outlet water for a moment and close it back.