Boiler and Radiator repairs & services
Care and Repair for Hot Water Heating and Steam Heating Systems.
Hot water heat and steam heat are two types of “sealed water-circulating systems” that circulate water heated by a boiler through pipes to radiators. Hot-water radiators are one of the most common heating systems in newer homes, second only to forced-air systems. With regular use it's only natural that you'll need radiator and/or boiler services to keep your system running smooth. Here are some maintenance tips that may reduce the amount and severity of boiler and/or radiator repairs.
Bleed Your Hot-Water System. The most common problem in hot-water systems is unwanted air. At the start of each heating season you will need to bleed your system. While the system is running, go from radiator to radiator and open each bleed valve slightly, then close it when water starts to escape through the valve. For multi-level homes, start at the top floor and work your way down.
Zoned Heating Systems. Save energy in a hot-water system by retrofitting separate zone controls for different areas of large homes, especially when some “zones” are not used often or are on a different schedule than the rest of the home. A heating professional can install automatic valves on the hot-water radiators, controlled by thermostats, in each zone. Using programmable thermostats will allow you to automatically heat and cool off portions of your home to match your usage patterns. NOTE: Keep temperatures set to at least 50°F in unused parts of your home—never shut heat down completely.
Insulate Pipes. In steam and hot water systems, insulating pipes is very cost effective because it avoids dissipating heat in unwanted areas. Install fiberglass pipe insulation that can withstand the high temperatures of these delivery pipes.
Steam Heating System. Steam radiators also need regular maintenance. One-pipe systems use automatic air vents on each radiator, which bleed air as steam fills the system and then shut automatically when steam reaches the vent. A clogged air vent will keep a steam radiator from heating up and usually need to be replaced. If you notice one of your radiators is not heating up, you should contact a heating specialist to check the air vent.
Banging Radiators. Steam radiators can warp floors and dig ruts. This may cause the radiator to tilt, preventing water from properly draining and causing banging noises when the radiator heats up. Simple among radiator repairs, shims should be inserted under radiators to pitch them slightly toward the pipe in a one-pipe system or toward the steam trap in a two-pipe system.
Reflect Heat for Efficiency. Installing heat reflectors behind radiators on exterior walls helps prevent heat loss and lowers energy costs. One of the most common radiator repair services you can do yourself; simply make your own reflector from foil-covered cardboard, available from many building supply stores, or by mounting foil onto a foam board or other similar insulating surface. The foil should face away from the wall and the reflector should be the same size or slightly larger than the radiator.
Contact your local ARS®/Rescue Rooter® heating and air conditioning specialist today to learn more about radiator and boiler repairs and maintenance of your hot water heating or steam heating system.