Four (Sometimes Subtle) Signs You Need a Boiler Repair

Four (Sometimes Subtle) Signs You Need a Boiler RepairFour (Sometimes Subtle) Signs You Need a Boiler Repair in Havertown, PA

No heat or no water are obvious signals that it’s time to call your trusted HVAC company for a boiler repair. But, you can spot subtle signs that lead to big problems like those. And, when you know what they are, you can head them off.

In this post, we’re looking at some signals your boiler requires repair. Instead of waiting for something to go awry, you can often end up spending less money — and getting less stressed-out — when you nip these problems in the bud. Especially when it’s getting cold out,and you need the heat more than ever.

And, we’ll also give you some insight into how to prevent even these smaller issues from taking hold in the first place.

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Four Signs You Need a Boiler Repair

  1. Bad Smells and Yellow Flames
  2. Your Energy Bills Suddenly Increase
  3. Banging, Clunking and Other Noises
  4. You Notice Signs of a Leak

Let’s look closer at these.

Bad Smells and Yellow Flames

A bad smell coming from your boiler is a sign that you have a carbon monoxide leak. If you notice these problems, open your windows and go outside.

If you have a carbon monoxide monitor, it will probably go off. If it doesn’t, that could mean the leak’s not too bad — yet.

Still, you should call an HVAC professional immediately.

If the alarm starts going off even when the windows are open, you should call 911 as well.

Bad Smells & Yellow Flames

But wait — carbon monoxide is a colorless, odorless gas. How is it giving off an odor?

Well, it’s not the CO that smells. Instead, it’s coming from the boiler, because it’s not burning the fuel properly.

A yellow flame is also a sign that something’s wrong. In this case, there’s a high amount of carbon dioxide in the system.

Carbon dioxide doesn’t present the same health hazards as a carbon monoxide leak. But, when it’s affecting the flame on your heating system, it’s a sign of corrosion.

If you leave it unchecked, you’ll end up with a leak, possibly a flood, and other problems. Fortunately, a quick look at the flame every now and then can let you know.

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Your Energy Bills Suddenly Increase

Your Energy Bills Suddenly IncreaseA sudden spike in your energy bills is often a sign that something’s wrong with the heating system. Your boiler suddenly needs more resources to get the job done.

Fortunately, you may be able to locate the problem and fix it yourself. Start with a few easy points.

First, have you changed your boiler filter in the last three months?

If not, it’s probably clogged from all the dust and debris it’s caught. At that point, the air has a hard time getting through. So, the boiler works more to do the job.

Also, check for leaks and dripping faucets. Since the system is responsible for warm water, you could be slowly, but continuously, emptying the tank.

If none of those solutions work, then it’s time to call in a professional.

One more note on this subject: If you’ve noticed steady increases over time, and your system is over 15 years old, you may need a new boiler soon.

Again, it needs more energy to do the job — and that’s just due to its age.

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Banging, Clunking and Other Noises

The house probably isn’t haunted if you suddenly hear clangs and bangs from the basement. It’s much more likely there’s a problem with your boiler.

We’re talking about subtle signs in this article, and you’d be surprised how often this slips past people’s radars.

Either they don’t hear it when it happens, or they don’t realize it’s coming from their HVAC system.

So, if you hear something strange coming from the general vicinity of your boiler — just go check it out! This isn’t a horror movie.

Usually, something’s worn out or broken inside the system. The quicker you get it fixed, the less damage it will cause as the system keeps working despite the problem.

You Notice Signs of a Leak

Signs of a Leak

A leak seems like an obvious problem. But, it isn’t always water gushing everywhere. With a boiler, sometimes, you have to inspect around the system to find small amounts of water on the floor or drops coming from the system.

If you do spot this, call your HVAC company immediately. Even if only a small amount of water is getting out, the hole could break open at any point.

Then, you’re looking at a flood in the basement, complete with water damage, extra expenses, and a major headache.

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Preventative Maintenance Prevents Boiler Repair Calls

We’ve spent most of this article in doom-and-gloom mode, telling you all about what could go wrong with your boiler. Well, now we’ll touch on how to avoid needing those repairs in the first place: Preventative maintenance.

This comes in the form of an annual tune-up. It’s when your HVAC tech cleans and inspects the system. They also replace any worn-out or broken parts and optimize the system overall.

Like getting an oil change for your car, an HVAC tune-up ensures your heating system is ready for winter.

Furnace Repair

And, since it’s probably also handling your hot water, you’re using the boiler all year — unlike a furnace.

Of course, any machine will break eventually. That’s why it’s important to know the signs of a coming breakdown.

But, with preventative maintenance, those repair calls will be few and far between. Your system will work for longer, and it will use fewer resources.

That means less money you pay for oil or on your monthly utility bills.

If you’d like to sign up for preventative maintenance in or near Havertown, PA, or you have some concerns about your boiler, don’t hesitate to reach out to John Cipollone Heating and Cooling today!

We’ll make sure your system is ready for this winter and many more after that.

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About the Author

Sarah Murphy - October 19, 2021

Great post, you’re right about the subtlety of energy bills, most people don’t even consider the boiler as being the culprit of a spike in costs

Malik Lighting - October 20, 2021

Thank you for all your help. Your service was excellent and very FAST. Many thanks for you kind and efficient service. I have already and will definitely continue to recommend your services to others in the future.

John Carston - November 6, 2021

It helped when you mentioned that your home has a carbon monoxide leak if a bad smell comes from your boiler. My uncle mentioned to me last night that they are having issues with their heating system as they are hearing a strange noise and asked if I have any idea what is the best option to do. Thanks to this informative article and I’ll be sure to tell him that it will be much better if they consult a trusted heating system repair service as they can answer all his inquiries and will provide good-quality service.

Vivian Black - January 13, 2022

We moved into an old home that has a boiler. Wondering whether or not to replace it, we decided to keep it for its vintage uniqueness. I love that you explained how to prevent boiler trouble in the future. I did not know that you should tune it up every year with an HVAC professional. I like the analogy that it is like getting an oil change.

John Carston - January 14, 2022

It’s great that you elaborated on the things that may be a sign of problems in your boiler such as bad smells. After moving to our current area, we are hearing a strange noise in our boiler and my wife asked if I have any idea what is the problem. You did a great job of explaining the signs of problems and I’ll be sure to consult a trusted boiler repair service.

Jeff Carbine - February 18, 2022

I found it interesting when you said if you don’t have heat or water, it’s time to call your trusted HVAC firm for a boiler repair. I used to think differently about it not until you explained it briefly and it really got my attention. What you said about the heating oil delivery service was really interesting to me.

John Carston - March 28, 2022

I never knew that a high bill of your energy could cause by the malfunction of your units. After moving to our current area, my wife heard a strange noise in our boiler, and she asked if I had any idea what is the problem. You did a great job explaining the signs of problems, and I will be sure to consult a trusted boiler repair service as they can help with the repair and share preventative measures. Thanks for this helpful article.

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