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Max Sr & Paul Schoenwalder Plumbing, Heating and Air Conditioning, A Corp. Blog

How to Avoid Boiler Problems at Christmas


The worst Christmas present isn’t actually a stocking full of coal. No, it’s a holiday heating system failure! It’s worth doing whatever you can to make sure that doesn’t happen. And if a problem does occur, you’ll want to know what to look for in case you can resolve it yourself with no need for repair. 

Keep your holiday season running smoothly by keeping your boiler happy! Here’s how to set your boiler up for heating success, and what you can do to resolve potential issues yourself and avoid holiday heating repair.

Check on Your Boiler in Advance

Rather than waiting until you notice a problem, you should be proactive about your boiler. In addition to regular maintenance—you do have regular boiler maintenance done, right?—there are some things you should keep an eye on.

  • Clear the Area: It’s important for safe boiler operation to keep the area around the boiler clear. You don’t want to create a fire hazard, and you don’t want things in your way in case of emergency. What if you had to shut off your gas urgently because the carbon monoxide alarm was going off? Ideally, clear a 5-foot space on all sides of your boiler.
  • Check the Flame: Natural gas burns blue. If you see a flame of any other color, such as yellow, or if the flame is flickering or dancing, you’ve got a serious problem that could lead to the carbon monoxide alarm situation mentioned above. Get boiler service in Union, NJ before that happens.
  • Keep the Vents Open: One of the main hazards of a boiler is that, during a very heavy snowfall, vents can get blocked. This prevents the exhaust from being safely conducted out of your home, again risking carbon monoxide poisoning. Know where your vent is, and keep it clear of leaf litter, squirrel nests, and especially snow. If you don’t know what to look for, we can help.

Resolve Problems Yourself

Actual heating maintenance and repair needs to be left to the professionals. DIY boiler repair can result in immediate disaster, such as electrical shock or explosion, or delayed disaster, such as electrical fires or slow gas leaks. But before you call in a professional, especially during your busy holiday season, there are some things you can do that might completely resolve your problem.

  • Check the Electrical Panel: The circuit breaker box or electrical panel should be your first port of call if your boiler simply isn’t starting up at all. Even gas appliances require electricity to function, and if your boiler has tripped a circuit breaker, it just won’t start. A cozy home could be as easy as flipping a switch in the electrical panel! If this works, but only briefly, you will need repairs.
  • Check the Thermostat: Maybe your boiler is absolutely fine. It could be that your thermostat was accidentally set to off, or cool, or that a vacation setting with lower temperatures has been activated. It may even be that you need to change the batteries, which can send out inconsistent signals when they’re running out of charge. 

When All Else Fails

If these solutions don’t solve your problem, don’t delay in getting the heating repair you need. Small problems can worsen if they don’t get prompt professional attention, and a complete boiler breakdown and urgent need for heating system replacement would not help create joyful holiday memories.

Established in 1912, Max Sr & Paul Schoenwalder Plumbing, Heating and Air Conditioning, A Corp. is your trusted resource for knowledgeable gas fireplace installation. Reach out to us today.

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