When the seasons change from hot to cold (or vice versa), it’s a good idea to evaluate what condition your boiler is in.
The last thing you want to reckon with as the temperature fluctuates is a busted boiler. But if it is in poor shape, is it best to repair or replace it?
Before we dig into what to do if your boiler is broken or on the verge of breaking, let’s briefly discuss what function they serve in your home and how they work. In very basic terms, it heats water and the resulting steam moves throughout the pipes and radiators in your home. This both heats up your home and creates hot water.
It is arguably a better option when compared to a furnace.
Before you make any big decisions, it’s important to evaluate what shape your boiler is in. The main factor to take into consideration is the condition of the metal inside of the machine.
The steel boilers typically found in multi-family homes are a bit easier to evaluate. They usually feature a manhole you can use to peek inside and inspect the metal visually. But cast-iron and some steel boilers made for singe-family homes require a more drawn-out process to determine their condition. Usually, that requires shutting down the boiler, draining it, and opening it up.
When you take a look at the metal within a boiler, check for rust and corrosion. Do a visual scan of the area. Are there any leaks? How are the piping and doors looking? These are all things to keep in mind when checking the condition of your boiler. The age of your boiler will also play a huge factor in potential issues.
Whether you go the repair or replace route depends on how up-to-date your boiler is. It’s vital to determine if going forth with a repair is a viable, safe option. Even when there is a way to fix an outdated boiler, it might not be a worthy investment to pursue.
Often times boilers 15 years and older aren’t up to snuff on modern laws and guidelines. If you go through with a repair on an old boiler, problems could continue to crop up and you’ll likely need frequent maintenance. You may even encounter safety issues such as carbon monoxide leaks.
Repairing an old boiler can also be an expensive endeavor. Generally, the older your boiler gets, the harder it becomes to find the parts it needs to run smoothly. Be sure to see how replacement and repair costs stack up.
If the cost of repair is reasonably low, that might be your best option. But if your boiler is getting up there in age, it might not be a very economical decision to throw a lot of money towards something that could potentially fall into disrepair within the next few years.
Another factor to keep in mind is how much money you could potentially save or throw away after a replacement or repair.
Typically, newer boilers are more energy efficient. That means if you pay more cash upfront to update to a newer model, you could be saving yourself a lot more money in the long run. And, as mentioned above, you won’t have to stress about frequent repairs after a replacement. But if you already have a new model, a repair would probably be the best route for you.
If you’re in the Central Pennsylvania area, WM Buffington Company is your go-to resource when it comes to all things home heating and cooling. Not only can we provide a timely, accurate assessment of whether a boiler replacement or repair is best for you, we can also set you up with a maintenance plan to prevent future issues.
Get in touch today and learn more about our services!